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2021 Hospitality & Lifestyle Trend Evaluation



At The Storied Experience, we spend a lot of time evaluating trends and exploring shifts in lifestyle behavior. It's not enough to just acknowledge the trends, we like to really sit with each trend (no matter how silly or irrelevant it may seem) and ask: what does this really mean for society?


Evaluating trends allows us to help our clients understand what people value and care about (and where they're spending their money).


Every year, Pinterest comes out with their trend report. We like to think of Pinterest as the more beautiful, visual version of Google! As of the third quarter of 2020, Pinterest had 442 million monthly active users worldwide. People go to Pinterest to find recipes, explore new hobbies, plan vacations, and more. They have SO MUCH data and insight into human behavior, it would be foolish to overlook this important data. So let’s dive into it.


Less Reading, More Doing

Recently there’s been a 85% increase in searches year over year for outdoor education, a 35% increase in searches year over year for art education projects, and a 4x increase in searches year over year for stories with moral lessons.


What does this tell us? The lines between learning are blurring. Education is no longer confined to traditional means such as books and classrooms. Hands-on learning and discovery out in the real world is becoming a priority. Learning through story, metaphor, and symbolism will become more and more important as plain-old ‘facts’ are not as attention-holding. In a world where almost everything is google-able, people are seeking to learn in more engaging, multi-sensory ways.


Becoming BFF with Mother Nature

Recently there’s been a 100% increase in searches year over year for forest resort, a 35% increase in searches year over year for mountain travel, and a 80% increase in searches year over year for nomad aesthetic.


What does this tell us? The sleek, modern, techno experience is losing its steam. People are being called back to nature and a more rustic experience. This could be because nostalgia is on the rise thanks to COVID, and people are longing for simpler times. As people learn more about nature's healing powers, they will continue to seek out time forest bathing, hiking, and living the nomadic lifestyle.


Transportation Through Craft

Recently there’s been a 2x increase in searches year over year for ancient Egyptian architecture, 20x increase in searches year over year for Persian calligraphy art, 95% increase in searches year over year for Japanese carpentry, and a 100% increase in searches year over year for Irish quilt patterns.


What does this tell us? This can tell us 2 things: 1) people are bored with their own culture and are looking for inspiration outside of what they see and consume on a day to day basis (escapism through design) and 2) people are looking for ways to connect deeper with their own heritage. We know that people love exploring other cultures through their crafts and design. Globally inspired patterns and old (even ancient) pastimes are resurfacing. It’s not enough just to enjoy the scenery of a destination. The more hands-on you can immerse them into the culture’s historic architecture, art, and craft, the better.


Elemental Aids on the Rise

Recently there’s been a 180% increase in searches year over year for spiritual cleansing bath, 100% increase in searches year over year for protection crystals, and a 165% increase in searches year over year for couple stargazing.


What does this tell us? People are becoming more aware of their soulful connection to the elements and universal energies. Rituals are becoming increasingly commonplace for people as they wake up to their own wellbeing. They are trying to cultivate ‘good vibes’ by leaning into more supportive and grounding practices. The metaphysical is making its way into the mainstream more and more every day.


Variety is the Spice of Life

Recently there’s been a 5x increase in searches year over year for breakfast charcuterie boards, 2x increase in searches year over year for candy charcuterie boards, 155% increase in searches year over year for Mexican charcuterie board.


What does this tell us? People love variety and trying a lot of different things, mixing and matching. This is where the crafting and foodie culture merge, as people are becoming increasingly drawn to more multi-sensory experiences. Charcuterie is a more playful and sociable way of eating. Some claim that this way of organizing and display food can be an important form of artistic expression and self-care – like arranging flowers or meditative coloring books.


Which of these trends are you seeing most in the world right now?

And where do you see opportunity for your hospitality property or tourism experience to elevate and rise to meet the desires of today's visitor & guest? Incorporating these trends into your programming, events, and spaces in ways that align with your brand's values and purpose will be a great way to level up in 2021!

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