2017, the year of Bitcoin

bitcoin evanescentYour 10 euro bills tomorrow will only be a piece of paper. From midnight today, the money you treasure in your pocket will not be worth anything. Citizens who wish to exchange their notes for others of lesser value will have to wait until next week when the banks open again. For the time being, they will remain closed by a presidential order. Until then, no one shall exceed the limit imposed on exchanges, and an ID will be required at the counter.

This notice is a half-fiction. It does not concern any country of the European Union, so no European should worry. But it has just happened in India, where President Narendra Modi surprised his citizens with an announcement similar to this one that went into effect without prior notice. «Black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles to eradicating poverty», the president said in his defense of a measure as radical as eliminating much of the money circulating overnight in the country. Continue reading

The Ruse of Ununbium

periodic tableUnunbium, as is well known, has been one of the latest elements of the periodic table of elements to be synthesized by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany. Until 2010, it hadn’t received its definitive name, Copernicium, in honor of the scientist and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), with the Cn symbol. Previously, this chemical element with the atomic number 112 was recognized by its latin spelling «one-one-two», and its Uub symbol. Its physical appearance isn’t known yet, but that its 285 isotope has a medium lifespan of 0.24 milliseconds is known. To have some reference, uranium has three isotope with 234, 235, and 238 atomic weights. So we can imagine the potential of this wild foal of nature that weighs 277 time more than hydrogen and is the rarest of the transition metals. Continue reading

Service is Liturgy

peninsula shopping

The Peninsula Hotels brand imposes respect due to its unconditional commitment to luxury and the art of hospitality. An idea of service which transforms itself, as these images show, in a concept of liturgy whose only protagonists are the people.

The field of robotics evolves much faster than some think. It has been replacing operators in automotive assembly lines for decades. It also works in hospitals, and not only in menial tasks; Da Vinci even performs heart operations. They shoot photographs and video from the air, dust the crops, and in 2015, will deliver Amazon-branded packages.

In a world that is more technological and mechanized every day, robots already occupy a very important place in the new industrial revolution. They will also be the main characters of the upcoming service revolution, which will affect the tourist industry utterly and completely. It won’t be long before we see them as an essential part of the backoffice workforce in a hotel, a restaurant, or in any company within the tourist trade. 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

You Will Pay the Hotel with your Mobile

iBeacon, the digital beacon that could transform into not delaying the most popular payment system because of its simplicity, range or virtual interconnection between the buyer and the seller. It’s my daily routine in New York. If I don’t get to take the metro, I hail a taxi from the thousands that go up and down on the streets. A soon as I get in, I take out my iPhone and open the apps Uber or Way2Ride, which most cab drivers are affiliated with. As soon as the app starts, two buttons appear: I Need a Taxi, which will help me locate one in case I’m living outside radio range, and I’m in the Taxi, which will mark me as being in a cab already. And that’s it. Once I’ve reached my destination, as the ad suggest on TV’s cab, I open the door, and give the cabbie that took me there a warming bye-bye.

In New York it’s becoming a habit to not pay for taxis, or even some trifle sold in Macy’s stores. Soon it will not be required to pay for travel by subway, or lunch at the restaurant on the corner. By this I mean, it is not paid in cash, or by credit card. The various applications connect to the taxi system, the cashier in the department stores Continue reading