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
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
After 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 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