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Millennial traveller needs may spur Mideast hotel retrofit market

EXCLUSIVE: Sustainability-led updates will gain traction as younger audiences seek energy efficiency, KEO exec tells CW

Millennial travellers could spur hotel retrofit programmes.
Millennial travellers could spur hotel retrofit programmes.

Hotel owners and operators in the Middle East remain sceptical about retrofitting, but the hospitality industry is gradually realising the benefits of upgrading assets, especially as millennial travellers demand smarter facilities, an official from construction consultancy KEO Consultants told Construction Week.

Regional building services manager at KEO Consultants, Ioannis Spanos, told Construction Week at the fifth annual RetrofitTech Mena Summit in Dubai that hoteliers are open to exploring changes to their properties that could lead to greater sustainability and energy efficiency. 

“With visitors [millennials specially] choosing to stay in a hotel that provides environment-friendly services, it is imperative for hoteliers to provide such solutions and stay ahead in terms of the sustainability factor,” he said.

Spanos said that for hotel that was built 20-30 years ago, KEO — Construction Week Oman Awards 2019's Consultancy of the Year — would typically provide new systems without changing the property's structure. 

An energy audit would be conducted prior to the retrofitting exercise, following which KEO would commission the project, he explained. 

Additionally, while retrofitting projects might lead architects to worry about upgrade work interfering with the property's design elements, Spanos said that a sound retrofitting programme would focus on how improvements can be made within existing spaces instead of entirely changing the asset.

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Construction Week - Issue 763
May 04, 2020