Boutique accommodation is a booming industry, and one that is slowly spreading across the globe. There are three great reasons why this trend should be adopted in Australia. First, boutique accommodation is highly sought after in Asia, one of Australia's key markets for tourism. Second, Australia has the perfect environment for setting up boutique accommodation in the form of wildlife retreats and eco-hotels. Finally, the industry in Australia is ready to adopt these boutique hotels as part of their service offering.
Boutique accommodation in Asia
A boutique hotel is a hotel with a limited number of rooms, and often one that specialises in luxury or bespoke accommodation. Over the past 5 years, the boutique hotel industry has seen a rapid rise, with the industry sector growing particularly in Europe and Asia. In fact, Jon Stonham, Chief Executive at Asia-hotels.com has noted that there is an increasing trend towards unique and tailored services in the hotel industry in general: "People want intimacy and quality of personal service so we'll see more and more boutique hotels".
Tourism Australia's 2020 Strategy estimates that the industry generates over A$96 billion per year in spending, with a particular focus on the Asian market as representing the greatest potential for tourism growth to the year 2020. Boutique accommodation is highly sought-after in the Asian market, and consumers can be expected to desire a similar offering in other countries that they visit. Given the rise of boutique accommodation throughout Asia, the expansion of boutique accommodation throughout Australia is the next logical step for Australia's hotel industry.
Australia has perfect locations for boutique accommodation
Any boutique accommodation growth in Australia would be perfect in the highest-demand areas of the Australian landscape: coastal areas (including beaches), as well as wildlife and ocean experiences. The most appealing locations in Australia for international visitors are Tropical North Queensland, Sydney, and the Gold Coast, with over 40% of respondents to a Tourism Australia survey noting that world class beauty and nature are some of the most important factors when choosing a holiday destination.
Expansion of boutique hotels in these highly desired natural environments would be able to provide personalised accommodation experiences that focus on Australia's unique wildlife and landscape experiences, by establishing eco-hotels and wildlife resorts. Eco-hotels in particular are booming in Europe, as the zero-carbon and sustainability movements increase in their influence.
Australia is ready to provide boutique accommodation
One of Australia's major marketing campaigns is the slogan: "There's nothing like Australia". This campaign is designed to highlight Australia's unique tourism offerings, and accommodation plays a major part in the experience of a destination. With Australia keen to focus on the country's unique tourist experience, boutique accommodation is the perfect next step in providing high-quality, personalised holiday experiences.
Guests at boutique or alternative hotels expect their accommodation to be visually appealing, and provide modern amenities. They also expect the boutique or alternative hotel to have intelligent staff who can provide a personalised, individualised service. Australia is ready and able to provide this kind of service, and given the growth of the boutique hotel industry has experienced, any further delay will give the impression that Australia's accommodation market is not keeping up with world trends.
These are just some of the reasons why the boutique accommodation trend would not go amiss in Australia, and there is no doubt that boutique accommodation will continue to expand worldwide.