TLDR: Too Long Didn’t Read
In follow-up news, there are concerns that bedbugs, previously in France, might have migrated to the UK, potentially impacting the hospitality industry. Expo Real Munich 2023 addressed industry challenges such as interest rates, construction projects, and inflation, emphasizing collaboration to overcome difficulties. In sustainability news, certification is recommended to meet guest preferences, with data showing a willingness to pay extra for sustainable accommodation. Motel One experienced a cyberattack resulting in a data breach, raising concerns about cybersecurity in the hotel industry. The Q2 Guest Experience Benchmark report highlighted improvements in hotel reviews and responses. AMEX's 2024 forecasts suggest positive growth for top tourist destinations. India is embracing experiential hospitality offerings. In external news, conflict in the Middle East, including the Hamas-Israel situation, could have global economic implications. Nobel Prize winners were announced, including Nobel Laureate Claudia Goldin, recognized for her work on gender differences in the labour market. For those interested, her book "Career & Family" is recommended. Lastly, there are tips on preventing data hacks in the hospitality sector.
0. News snippets
Not important enough to expand on, but worth hearing about
Michelin Guide is going to offer hotel ratings too now. Since their acquisition of Tablet hotels, it is going to be marched together with the core brand; China’s peak season 8 Day Golden Week only shows 85% of travel volume compared to 2019; The rail industry gives out awards for best picture/promoters of their industry, this year the “Grand Tour of Switzerland” won;
0.5 Follow up
Where we follow up on news from previous weeks
Bedbugs - in the UK, likely…
Remember the story of bed bugs spreading across France? Well, they might have migrated to the UK already. While the article is more of a clickbait FAQ for those amongst us who fear bedbugs most, it is still a slowly unfolding bedbug infestation that can be yet another topic that makes hospitality professionals’ lives more difficult.
Expo Real Munich 2023
EXPO REAL 2023 featured 1,856 exhibitors from 36 countries and attracted over 40,000 participants.
The event served as a platform to address challenges such as increasing interest rates, stagnating construction projects, and inflation, fostering discussions on topics like ESG, digitalization, urban development, housing construction, and (re)financing.
Despite the industry's challenges, there was cautious optimism as participants emphasized the importance of exchange, networking, and finding solutions together to overcome current difficulties. More here.
1. Main Hospitality News
Core news related to the industry
Sustainability matters, get certification?
While we try to avoid sponsored articles, that inherently are biased and hence might not be the best representation of what happened this week, this article still made it. Sustainability matters, say the authors, yet there is no, one, well-recognized way to certify your business for the guests to know. Why you ask, should I get a certificate when I can just implement sustainable practices and advertise them if needed to the guest? Well, the authors say that over 65% would feel better booking sustainable accommodation. Funny that if you go to the source they mention (the initial data comes from the booking sustainability report) which mentions only 36% willing to pay extra for it (in the sponsored version it mentions 45%). Nevertheless, this is data only regarding the UK. Hence, if you buy a sponsored article, at least make sure the data you quote is represented correctly. Nonetheless, for you keen business owners, people do care and getting recognized as “sustainable” upfront, would come as handy and can serve as yet another USP for your guests.
"ALPHV” Hackers’ Cyberattack on Motel One
Motel One, a hotel chain, experienced a cyberattack resulting in a data breach, exposing millions of customer names, travel data, and credit card information.
The breach revealed six terabytes of customer records on the black market, dating back to 2016, including private details, internal business data, and employee phone numbers.
Despite acknowledging the attack, Motel One described the hackers as "extremely professional" and has not issued an apology to affected customers. The incident has raised concerns about cybersecurity in the hotel industry. More Info in German here.
Q2 Guest Experience Benchmark
Over 3 million reviews and 9 million review comments from 9,500 hotels around the world were analyzed.
Global Review Index rose by 1.0 points to 85.5%, with notable improvements in 4 and 5-star hotels (+1.2 points) and 3-star hotels (+0.8 points).
Review volume increased by nearly 20% in Q1 but remained 8% below pre-pandemic levels from Q2 2019, with Asia Pacific experiencing the highest growth rate at 70.6%.
Hoteliers responded to 61.6% of reviews, with positive reviews receiving a 63.5% response rate (average response time of 3.6 days) and negative reviews receiving a 53.7% response rate (average response time of 4.3 days).
AMEX forecasts 2024
AMEX does hospitality forecasts too! Are you from one of the top tourist destinations in the world and are concerned about how your market is going to grow or decrease in 2024? No problem, AMEX has you covered. Spoiler alert, all cities are going to increase and not just increase but overtake inflation & GDP growth of those corresponding countries too (according to AMEX). How? Easy, small-paragraph explanations can be seen when looking through the report. Barcelona is expected to grow by 9%. Amsterdam 10.8% (something the locals surely will love, especially with closing flight routes). Overall, some cities are expected to grow more than others, but all are set to grow at least 4%, hence optimistic is how this data nugget can be described.
India goes into experiences
One often talks about how countries mature from wanting to buy things to wanting experiences. We have mentioned an extensive amount of news about this in the last few months and this time it's India’s turn. A recent article from HVS outlines a new generation of hospitality experiences that India is offering more and more right in time for economic development. Some of the places mentioned are glamping stays & even a military-style resort. While the Indian economy service sector is already exceeding 60% of the total GDP (similar to first-world countries), almost 49% of it is Software. Travel is around 4%.
Econimics, finance, geopolitics. All have an impact on the hospitality sector.
Hamas, Israel & War
Hamas has attacked Israel & Israel is now striking back. A piece of news that unfortunately adds to the series of wars, coups and COVID pile. Now obviously the tourism sector is effectively shut down, but you might say who cares? Well, no matter your stance on this issue or lack thereof, this is likely going to impact the entire Middle East and with it, the rest of the world. Stock prices have dropped and oil prices surged (even more). The US has moved warships closer to Israel (like it's a tabletop-based game, Risk). Finally, the Abraham peace accords we mentioned in our previous editions, were bringing Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel & others closer and generating millions if not billions of extra GDP dollars for everyone involved might be at risk. On top of that, the war in Ukraine is still happening and can likely cause another oil & wheat shortage due to the Black Sea turning into a battlefield.
Oscars Nobel prize winners are announced
The full list can be seen here. Pretty exciting! Medicine goes this year to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for technology that enabled the development of the COVID mRNA-based vaccines. Physics is awarded for the “Experiments with light capture the shortest of moments” & in Chemistry for “quantum dots”. If you want to know what that is we wish you good luck. Literature went to Jon Fosse, amongst his works there is “Septology” if you want to check it out. Finally, economics went to Claudia Goldin for being the first to uncover the key drivers of gender differences in the labour market. If you are interested in her work, we provide her academic sources in the section below.
Scientific papers related to the topics above. For those who want to know for sure ;)
Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gap and different genders in the labour market. How did that develop and why is it the way it is now? Claudia Goldin, the Nobel Laureate we mentioned above is the very economist who proved certain reasons as route causes we now all think as obvious. Her recent book “Career & Family” is a good way to discover that.
Books, podcasts & the big stuff.
All the Nobel Prize books
In the spirit of this week’s news, we thought it would come in handy to just recommend all the books that won the Nobel Prize by popularity over at GoodReads. Check out the full list here. So if you have a bit of free time coming up, just start from the top.
5. Tips & Tricks Tools & SaaS
Any new software you can use? Industry tricks you missed?
How to prevent your data from being hacked
How to prevent and deal with hacks in the hospitality sector. Here is an interview with the CEO of comforte AG to enlighten us (disclaimer it's in German). Within the context of Motel One having been hacked recently and guest data available online, this topic is unfortunately still present, and likely always be. Since Comforte seems so confident, perhaps the hackers can see that as another “fun” challenge.