Facebook Nation

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Facebook is already the most populated nation in the world. More than 1,550 million people live connected to each other today, exchanging ideas, feelings, languages, aptitudes, products, services, economies…The demographic has been, is and will be a deciding factor in this world’s organization. And it is convenient to reflect and reconsider many clichés before it.

It would be necessary to discern first what we intend as a nation and how we feel as a country. If we adhere to a legal or historic scope, the concept of nation rises in the middle of the XVII century when the Treatise of Westphalia puts an end to the Thirty Years’ War, in 1648. But the maturity of the State nation is not consolidated until the end of the XVIII century, coinciding with the end of the old regime and the fall of the French Revolution, when the first theoretical formulation of the differential event with its adjacent political movements are elaborated. It would be certainly necessary to synthetize here the foretold End of History, by Francis Fukuyama, equidistant  to the renationalization that seems to be observed in certain areas of Europe as a consequence of what Samuel Phillips Huntington defined as the clash of civilizations, especially that of radical Islamism against the West. 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

Blacklists of conflicting clients

Blacklists of conflicting clientsAfter the controversy over false reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, I have held a debate about the blacklists that several tourism platforms have created over conflicting guests. This initiative, which allows subscribers to view the list of problematicpassengers, may affect the right to honor or freedom of expression in the words of some shysters. The Spanish economic newspaper Expansion has just published a reference I want to comment on here. Not from the law perspective, but from common sense that marks every principle of reciprocity.

According to the Charter of the United Nations, the signing states apply and develop the right to free expression – an inalienable right of every person to communicate what they think and how they think it. This right prevails in some countries like the United States, even on top of other constitutional rights such as honor, privacy and self-image. So much so that successive actions against TripAdvisor have not matched punitive judgments by the courts, except in exceptional cases.  Continue reading

Google Opens a New Door to Tourism

Google is a technological and cultural freshness in the antipodes of the tourism “experts” and their undecipherable jargon

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