For us baby boomers Rimini represents a stage of the imaginary journey back in the time of our childhood: who does not remember the family pension with the inevitable lasagna on Sundays, the first evenings in dancing, the piadina with Nutella and the beach radio that broadcast the hits of the moment?
In the 90s the dancers became nightclubs with high-sounding and sometimes disturbing names and Rimini’s customers became masses of young people eager to spend long nights to the rhythm of music and cocktails.
Today Rimini tries to find a new dimension that can relaunch it and act as a stimulus for the entire Romagna hotel sector.
But what to do in a destination with a mature tourist product like Rimini, whose hotel park in 75% of cases dates back to before the 1970s?
We asked Mauro Santinato, president of Teamwork Hospitality, which deals with consulting and training at 360 degrees for professionals in the hotel sector, client of DEMO Design Emotion, an innovative project in the hotel sector.
In our industry we use an index to assess the tourist attractiveness of a location. This index, known as the tourism index, is given by the number of new hotels that open every year. In Rimini the tourism index is negative!
And I am not speaking only of newly built hotels, but also of new hotels because they are the result of renovations, but not only. In Rimini the real estate value of hotels has decreased considerably, we are talking about a decrease of up to 50%. The operators of the sector have been waiting for a strategic relaunch plan for years, today we at Teamwork have accepted a great challenge and, throwing our hearts over the obstacle, we have decided to make the first move with the DEMO Design Emotion project, a design hotel which gives emotion and which, at the same time, wants to be a demonstration of a virtuous and sustainable design, a concentration of sector innovations and provide stimulus and example. We want to show that innovating in the hotel sector in Romagna can and must be done.
So what is DEMO, a new hotel project?
Calling a hotel DEMO is an understatement. DEMO is a creative laboratory where the new in hospitality is concentrated. It is a permanent showroom set in a hotel that really works and wants to become a point of reference in the hotel industry.
A strong message not only for the city but for the entire hotel sector.
There is no other example of this kind in Italy, it is a unique experience that aims to be an attraction in the destination and aims to ensure that staying in the structure becomes an emotional and experiential adventure for the customer thanks to its originality. We wanted something that could awaken a sense of wonder and that could offer an experience to remember.
Last but not least DEMO wants to be a showcase of the best Made in Italy.
The real challenge was to transplant this visionary idea into the context of the Romagna coast and let 14 architectural firms work on it!
14 architectural firms for just one project? A mission impossible!
In fact, I sometimes wonder how I could conceive such a crazy idea! But it was necessary to think outside the box! Starting from a disused boarding house, each studio has had the task of creating an environment in a completely free way. The result is a hotel in which every corner tells a different story, each suite of the 9 present carries out a theme declined in all its meanings. The fil rouge that harmonizes the intuitions and innovations of the 14 architectural firms are the common areas and the façade through the masterful use of color. DEMO will be a hotel / school, where we will hold our training courses, DEMO will be a laboratory where we can meet and continue to experiment.
Mauro are you telling me that DEMO is a provocation and will remain a laboratory?
Italy is a country with a great tourist vocation that has an artistic, cultural and landscape heritage that is unique in variety and richness, but we are unable to fully express this primacy in the hotel industry.
In Italy there is no research and development in the hotel sector as is done in any other sector. We must learn to treat the hotel like any other product. Of course there are excellences in hotels in Italy too, mostly chains that offer high comfort, but they are only 5% of the total number of 33,500 Italian hotels. We lack the average offer, to achieve which we certainly need funding, but also winning product ideas.
We do not want hotels that offer a bed, we want hotels that decline their uniqueness and that offer a unique experience to the customer. Our dream is to be able to transform the 33,500 Italian hotels into as many showcases of made in Italy.
Because it is true that DEMO is a provocation, but it also wants to be a model to follow.
Let us always remember that it is the offer that creates the demand!
I believe in a new Rimini no longer just a seaside resort but a pole of attraction for innovation in design and DEMO is the tangible sign that innovation can be done.
I hope to positively infect, with this example, other hoteliers who want to follow us on this path