AcademicsWhy Design Thinking matters in the Hospitality Industry

To lead a hotel towards a successful future, hotels need to position themselves to capture every facet of the guest’s multi-sensory experience, to transfer the full guest experience to their memories.

Emotional engagement and authentic interactions between the hotel, staff and guests need to become the new benchmark. To facilitate these key drivers of change, more hoteliers are looking to design to find solutions to these challenges.

Using design thinking to reboot their strategies is precisely where they need to start.

We are seeing more and more of the hospitality industry blending design into their strategies, as Hoteliers recognize that change and adapting to new approaches and methods of thinking are no longer an option and has instead become a necessity.

Hospitality design at IHTTI School of Hotel Management

Design is simply the process of creating the holistic product or service and the parts within, where the parts refer to not only the look and feel of it but also how it works. This process is acknowledged as the Design Thinking process.

The shift towards Design Thinking relies on a human-centred methodology that concentrates on people rather than on products or technology to solve problems. Engaging with employees and customers, listening to them and having an understanding what matters to them, in my opinion needs to be the mantra for successful hotel managers.


Jaco Von Wielligh - Academic Director of IHTTI School of Hotel Management

Jaco Von Wielligh is the Academic Director of IHTTI School of Hotel Management in Neuchâtel, Switzerland and has spearheaded the embedding of Design Thinking into the curriculum. IHTTI is the first hospitality school in the world to be accredited by the Charted Society of Designers.

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