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Experience Strategy Podcast with Stone Mantel

Mar 2, 2022

In today’s episode, we are joined by Ron Swidler, Chief Innovation Officer at The Gettys Group Companies and creator of the Hotel of Tomorrow® Project, a think tank that unites teams of hospitality experts to ideate, prototype, and test innovations for the near and more distant future of the hotel industry. From technological innovations and new business models to unprecedented shifts in customer expectations, Ron shares the top 10 things hotels should be doing to prepare for the future. 


In This Episode: 


  • [01:59] Ron elaborates on the major shifts he has seen in customers’ wants and needs from a hospitality experience.  
  • [06:38] How are owner developers now approaching creating profitable spaces that provide both hospitality and meet the new safety needs that customers have come to expect? 
  • [11:35] Brands have to decide what they stand for in order to deliver their services to their guests in a way that is most meaningful to them, or risk becoming irrelevant.   
  • [16:12] What does it mean to experience time well spent in a hotel?  
  • [19:38] Ron shares some ways that technology is driving the future of hospitality.  
  • [27:37] How do modularity and flexibility relate to the idea of time well spent?  
  • [31:29] Micro room solutions are creating adaptable and functional spaces while cutting down on construction costs.  
  • [34:19] How will luxury be defined moving forward?  
  • [38:44] Aransas gives a quick summary of today’s discussion and topics.  


Key Takeaways: 


  • Moving forward, hotels must focus on innovating for wellness.  
  • The flexibility of how spaces are used has to become a higher priority for the hospitality industry.  
  • Brands need to have a clear sense of purpose and a clear place in the market.  
  • People in the future are going to want their spaces to adapt to their particular needs.  
  • Luxury is linked to an experience of transformation.  It’s a moment to invest in ourselves and to feel nourished and nurtured and cared for.  


Bio: Ron Swidler


With a passion for pioneering ideas and new approaches to hospitality experiences, Ron serves as the CIO at The Gettys Group Companies. 


Ron created the Hotel of Tomorrow® Project, an industry-leading think tank that has brought together hundreds of companies for many years to envision the future of hospitality. The result has been innovation that can be found in hotels and restaurants throughout the world. His vision also led to the founding of Gettys ONE—our interior design group dedicated to branded hotels— and Outside Agency, our branding agency—where he leads brand creation and strategic thinking projects for boutique properties, large industry events and international brands.


He is a frequent speaker at industry events and has been interviewed in countless publications for his hospitality, design and branding insights. Ron received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois. He is affiliated with the Hospitality Advisory Council at DePaul University, School of Hospitality Leadership. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France; EM Lyon in Paris; Haaga Helia University in Helsinki, Finland; and Breda University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands.