The educated luxury

birdsOmotesando, the chicest street in Tokyo, is changing Louis Vuitton handbags and Chanel coats for Zara dresses and Gap jeans. There, as well as in many other places, bellies increasingly feel the pressure from belts and, so it seems, of luxury; what we understand as excessive luxury, nowadays seems by all means over the top. This consideration is seeping ever deeper into our consciences and some people assert that its effects will not be temporary, but that austerity, or a non-wasteful lifestyle, has no turning back. This is even considering that the acquisition of objects of brands such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton or Armani was a symbolic ritual of the Japanese middle class, an act of initiation of which without it there would be no sense of belonging to the group.

Alas, not. Luxury of this type is no longer sustainable, despite the environmental care these large firms devote to their finest products. During the years of the Great Depression working towards a sustainable consumption of goods and use of services may not have been priority. The whole world settled for cheaper industrial manufacturing and less indulgent with environmental damage, preferably made in China. However, what nowadays is on the post crisis, globalized and digitalized horizon, is a new vital culture imbued with variables so innovative and exciting, such as social responsibility, knowledge of purchase, global information, public involvement of consumed objects, and exaltation of the senses… Luxury, yes, but an educated luxury. Continue reading

Domotic Rooms

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Here are the latest technologies for a guest who is no longer surprised by LCD screen or WIFI connection because he is accustomed to using them daily at home. Hubs for iPod, control panels, interactive TV, light sensors, home cinema, smart tiles, and nanotextiles will be part of the equipment and decor of the rooms of the hi-tech hotels that are to come.

Home automation is a reality. It is in our homes and has come to stay. Eighty-five percent of newly built housing incorporates facilities related to this technology, according to the Spanish Association of Domotics (CEDOM). If the real estate sector is already convinced, we can expect that hotels will achieve this same percentage soon. Continue reading

Predictive Tourism Models

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The emergence of the digital phenomenon has already altered the foundations of tourism around the world and a new uproar is around the corner: Big Data, the analytics of massive data. The processing of large quantities of data allows the establishment of predictive models originated by tracking the travel activity through human sensors already implemented/implanted, such as smartphones, almost biometric extensions of people. In the year 2020 we foresee the interconnection of 212.000 million sensors! , correlating without any cables, telemetrically. This fantastic universe of intertwined data will then provide information that to date is unavailable as to how many, when, how, where, towards where and whom are the travellers on the move.

The tourism industry must be prepared to affront this big challenge of the circulation and analysis of data. Pioneers of the technological development, airline companies have initiated this task several years ago when they created a management system, yield management, capable of optimizing air transport based on demand, seasonality, connection hubs, and anticipating booking. Big hotel chains have copied this model, as have other tourism corporations such as main reservation companies, online agencies and travel meta search engines, that have been introducing variables in their electronic business modules capable of determining what date is more convenient for the user to take a specific flight or book a particular room. Continue reading

Guest Satisfaction Index

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Knowledge of the evolution of the habits of travellers is just as relevant as the knowledge of their tastes and desires. If the tourist industry needs to know more about the “what” during travels, it’s no less important to figure out the “how”, when it comes to choosing an experience over others. It is this element that, precisely, conditions the product according to the satisfaction that it produces on its consumers.

In this regard, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) provides very interesting data about the evolution of habits in the hotel consumption, not always reflected in the hospitality industry in general, in Spain, or Latin America, or even the majority of the countries around the world. A quick analysis of this data shows that today, priority is not given to comfort, services, complementary activities and other aspects, but to technology. We live in a technological world, and therefore, citizens adopt a technological habit which cannot be interrupted or diminished, even during their vacation. The improvement which is most appreciated by travellers (at least in America), is the ease of the process of making reservations and personal check-in introduced by technology thanks to online engines. The potential offered by Big Data technology will, without a doubt, determine the evolution of hotel reservations in the coming years.

If the ease of checking in is what provides the most satisfaction to hotel customers nowadays, even above the ease of confirming reservations (thanks to mobile technology), it’s well worth thinking about the future of the reception desk and of the formalities and procedures that take place at the front desk. This feature of hotels, if it were to continue existing, will be completely different in 10 years. In its morphology, in its functionality, in its atmosphere, and its consumption of human capital. Continue reading

Internet of Hotel Things

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Google has acquired Nest, a company that specializes in smart thermostats, for $3,200 million dollars paid in cash. This movement confirms one of the clearest tendencies observed in the digital panorama: the so-called Internet of Things, a world that’s hyper-connected through mobile sensors, which will take flight in the tourism industry this year, even though its definitive results will take a while to be of common use by the consumers. Continue reading

19 Hotel Trends for 2020

trendsHere’s a trend projection to what is happening and probably will continue to happen in the upcoming years in  sub-sector of tourist accommodation.

1. HOTEL INDUSTRY. While oversupply condemns the Hospitality industry to maintain abnormally low prices in Spain, the development of the hotel sector is at growth level never seen before in Latin America. However, note that some Latin American countries are reaching their growth ceiling, more in the corporative sector that on the business one and more centered around large cities than in untapped tourist destinations. Consistent with our predictions for 2013, Lima and Bogota have been seeing growth in the corporate mid-class segment and the so called “boutique hotel industry.”

Chile is putting a stop (softly) to its economy, while domestic tourism grows with new personal and design hotels. Brazil continues, albeit more politely, its growth to give hospitality to the World Cup and Olympic hype for 2014 and 2016. Among Asian countries we announced last year that Sri Lanka would become a new tiger for tourism. Well, this year the government has announced public and private investments to triple hotel capacity from 2014 to 2016. China continues its growth with the aim to achieve in the next 10 years, 6.3 million beds and a volume of investment close to 100,000 million dollars. As much as they built in the past decade, China’s per capita ratio of hotel rooms (four per 1,000 people) is lower than in the U.S. (20 per 1,000 people). Continue reading