Are hotels capturing the power of nostalgia?
Are hotels capturing the power of nostalgia?
05 OCTOBER 2018 7:18 AM

As more and more of the entertainment world is driven by nostalgia, is the hotel industry missing the boat?

I don’t think it’s going too far to say that nostalgia is one of the most important driving forces in the world of entertainment right now.

You see it in movies, television, video games—you name it. Every idea from yesterday is being reborn and reimagined in ways that try to use those long-standing good feelings to motivate people to spend money on things they’ve experienced before in one way or another.

And I’m not trying to be dismissive or curmudgeonly in saying that. I’m really not the type of person who complains about every movie being a sequel or reboot or adaptation. And I’ve clearly bought into the nostalgia wave going on in the video game industry with Nintendo and now Sony rereleasing miniature versions of their old consoles to get people to pay for games they probably already bought 20 or more years ago.

But it leaves me wondering if the hotel industry is missing the boat.

If, as a culture, we are at a point where we’re admitting we like to see tangible pieces of our base that we can reach out and touch, doesn’t that same line of thinking also apply to things like hotel brands?

Stop for a second and think about some of the more long-standing and iconic hotel brands and how they’ve changed over the year. It’d be hard to argue that the vast majority of those changes haven’t been for the better, at least from a consumer perspective, but wouldn’t it be fun and interesting to be able to feel like you were stepping back into your childhood to a time when you went on family vacations and stayed at, say, a Holiday Inn?

Obviously, finding and staying at a Holiday Inn isn’t a particularly difficult thing to do in 2018, but imagine it was a perfect replica of what it would’ve been 30 or 40 years ago. And that’s not to say it’d be an untouched and rundown property with 40 years of wear and tear, but a pristine look into the past of what hotels used to mean for the traveling public.

Of course the amount of capital someone would have to spend to capture the novelty of that nostalgia would be significant, but in an industry that’s constantly talking about the increasing need to deliver and authentic and unique experience, that seems like something that would stick with me as a traveler.

What do you think? Let me know via email or on Twitter.

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