Here’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
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
Guess, guess … What would be the biggest dream of an hotelier? No doubt, it would be that homeownership was prohibited. If it were up to the tourist industry, citizens would be obliged by law to rent a hotel room … of course.
No, the idea is not surreal. This is what follows from the hotel lobby actions against the explosion of the phenomenon of residential exchanges. The Airbnb concept today moves more than 9 million passengers worldwide. The lodging on offer surpasses the figure of 500,000 units, from single rooms to multi-housing properties in 33,000 cities in over 190 countries. If we compare these figures with those of hotel empires such as Marriott International, which manages 3,800 hotels and 666,000 rooms, the conclusion drawn by the dean of the division of the Preston Robert Tisch Center, Bjorn Hanson, is that Airbnb is “the biggest brand of accommodation in the world.” And it has achieved that in just seven years.
Airbnb was founded by three Americans – Nathan Blecharczyk, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky – in 2007. After the legend of startups born in a garage, the idea was the development of an ecosystem based on accommodating friends. They called it Air, because they thought they would lodge them using inflatable mattresses, and BnB, for bed and breakfast. Continue reading
Uber is in luck. The assessment that Bloomberg made in late May that the company is worth $18 billion could have fallen short. Its business could now grow more quickly than anticipated due to the taxi strike in several European cities. If someone thought that it would take time for Uber to gain a foothold in an already saturated market of P2P applications, they could not have chosen a worse time: taxi drivers around the world have joined to publicize Uber.
The taxi collective was already taking time to demonstrate their slyness, but no one can stop the P2P phenomenon, despite what taxi drivers, coach tour operators, hoteliers, travel agents, publishers or musicians insist. That’s not to mention what is coming for merchants, where Amazon is king; the telcos, towards which Google is moving with its balloon satellite connectivity project; the entire industrial sector, which some naively seek to revive in Spain with the rise of 3D printing; physicians, whom will be recycled into health programmers in the face of the development of nanotechnology; and politicians themselves, who not only suffer the from the boredom Continue reading
Google began selling its digital glasses in the United States, although access has been limited for now to the category (mass) of the “explorers” or early adopters as they are known in marketing speak. They’re probably not as comfortable as those of us who have already tried them had expected, nor as functional nor as ultra-sensitive. But they most certainly open the door to better futures, and especially, to a new digital era coined with the IoT brand, Internet of Things.
I’m convinced that Google, whose New York offices I was able to visit recently like someone who snoops at the Pentagon, has also been called on to be a front-and-center player in the tourism industry of the future. The glasses will enable up-and-coming generations to record their purchases on Fifth Avenue and the panoramic view shots de rigueur from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. First it will be through that monstrous contraption holding a prism that is hardly adaptable to graduated optics and its delicate frames. Later with graphene nanotubes inserted in microscopically thin contact lenses. Finally with organic brain impulse readers like the ones emitted by our eyes’ optic nerve. Their detractors will not have time to react: the glasses disturbing their intimacy will be invisible. Continue reading
At first, I thought that Airbnb was going to occupy a lodging niche that nobody wanted to, or could, digitally manage, given the dispersion of supply and the variety of behaviors attributed to homeowners interested in putting their homes up for rent by periods. But after a deep reflection on the strategic focus of the company, different view exchanges among tourism agents in New York (home of its founder, Brian Chesky), and the concerned monitoring of American hotel strategist Chip Conley, with whom I have exchanged some epistolary views on the subject, I confess that my current impression is radically different from the original. Airbnb wants to enter not only in the hotel market but in the entire value chain of the tourism business. And it wants to enter to transform the world of travel through the generation that will manage it in the coming decades: the so-called millennials. Continue reading