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Week 43 - Innovative ways of the hospitality industry
North Germany wants to attract International Tourists, Marriot develops a fortnite gaming map, Intercontinental uses science to rebrand, EU travelers sentiment Q3 and more!
TLDR: Too Long Didn’t Read
In the main hospitality news, Marriott has entered the gaming world through Fortnite 🏨🎮. China is planning a 34% increase in domestic flight capacity ✈️🇨🇳. North Germany aims to attract international travellers 🇩🇪🌍. Lufthansa has created a new airline for short-haul flights ✈️🆕, while an EU-wide travel report reveals travellers' preferences 🇪🇺📊. Intercontinental is rebranding to help guests shift between work and leisure 🏨💼🏖️. In the externalities section, Asia faces demographic ageing issues 🌏👵👴, while there are concerns about an EU fiscal crisis 🇪🇺💰. Academia reports that theoretical education may increase graduates' willingness to work in the hospitality industry 📚👩🎓🏨. The Readables section recommends a book on neuroscience in design 📖🧠. The Tips & Tricks Tools & SaaS section discusses the evolving landscape of learning and teaching in 2024 📚👩🏫, the continued relevance of annual budgets 🗓️💼, and the reasons behind people's travel searches 🏨🔍.
0. News snippets
Not important enough to expand on, but worth hearing about
Phocusewire is starting its annual conference on November 13th, loads of good keynotes & interviews will take place, hence do not miss it over here | India is experiencing a fall in travel numbers, especially compared to 2019 levels. | What does it take for a Spa hotel to convince someone to come back 21 times? Health-changing routine that can “change one's life” | Being in Revenue is allegedly one of the most Ethically complicated travel sector fields, here are some of the dilemmas Revenue managers experience
1. Main Hospitality News
Core news related to the industry
Marriott goes into gaming
You might remember how some hotel chains have been building their own worlds in Facebook’s virtual reality network “meta”. Well, now Marriot has gone one step further and built their own world in a game called Fortnite. If you are not familiar with this game, that is understandable, since 62% of players are between 18 & 24 years of age. Anywhere between 1 & 2 million people are playing it at any given moment. At its core, it is a shooter, where the option to build your bases & be “creative” is offered. Marriot itself has stated that this will help show the next generation of hotel guests how magical it is to stay over at Marriot brands. The creative mode allows players to turn the game into something completely different, hence Marriot Hotel will have to compete with “Box Fights”, “Desert Zone Wars”, “Rainbow Dropper” and the likes of “Dungeon Prison”. So far around 5 people a day are playing this map, but we will keep you updated if it somehow becomes a hit!
China increases flight capacity, will demand catch-up
China has released its flight routes plan until March 2024, which includes 34% more flights than pre-pandemic levels. This does not mean that these flights will be fully booked, just that they will be offered. Additionally, this only includes domestic flights. International flights are still at around 70% (Some countries more than others, i.e. the UK is nearly at 100%). This shows how a multitude of variables can seemingly impact the travel sector, yet be decided by a committee somewhere in China. Will see how this impacts money spent in the coming months.
North Germany wants to get on the list of famous beaches
You might have heard of Spanish beaches, Italian coastal towns or even endless dunes in Portugal, but have you heard of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany? Exactly! This is a coastal region in north Germany that is quite famous amongst the Germans, yet is pretty much absent in the minds of international travellers. And this is what the region (or its tourism office) wants to fix. Mostly by attracting younger generations (through appropriate supply) and making sure the welcoming culture of locals would not push foreigners away. Gaining a meaningful position in the minds of worldwide beach seekers would mean a lot for a region and its economy. If you are considering, check out the ranking of beaches over at TripAdvisor.
Lufthansa starts a new airline
A new airline indeed has been registered and certified by Lufthansa to operate short-haul flights. A 2 side story that on one side shows Lufthansa keen on “strengthening its competitiveness on short-haul flights” and on another, work unions calling this a bluff and a way to re-employ staff with new, less expensive contracts for the company. With Lufthansa already operating a short-haul subsidiary Eurowings, this surely seems like an interesting way to optimize. As a reminder, Lufthansa has a long-term problem with its retirement deficit and ageing staff.
EU-wide travel report
Another quarter means another sentiment report released by the European Travel Commission. An extensive survey indicates in each EU country, why, how and where will people travel. Amongst the things we found: the top 5 reasons to choose a destination are: Pleasent Weather (18.7%), Bargains and Deals (17.7%), Friendly Locals (12.2%), Destination is not crowded (9.9%) and Direct transport routes (9.3%). Finally, a different question shows what preferred type of leisure trip are europeans seeking. City Break (19.3%), Culture & Heritage (16.7%) and Nature & Outdoors (13.5%). Finally, travellers are seeking different experiences. First is enjoying the landscape (17.7%) and second is gastronomic experiences (16.1%). While all these rankings might be a little difficult to combine, so is the average human’s wish list or desires. Overall a very handy status quo report that we recommend you check out.
Intercontinental is using science to rebrand
Intercontinental is undergoing a rebranding. What the chain calls a “brand shift”. What is changing you ask? The main point of concentration is “Shapeshifting”. The chain wants to allow its guests to seemingly transition from work to leisure mode. Amongst the new implementations is a new scientifically driven F&B concept designed to help with travel fatigue, a new app Timeshifter also targeted towards jetlag effects and even a redesign of guestroom spaces to address the problems above. On the surface a lot of scientific data that you too can check out. The designer of the spaces has a website and books outlining her methodology.
Econimics, finance, geopolitics. All have an impact on the hospitality sector.
Ageing out is not only reserved for the Western World
Western economies are ageing significantly, creating a so-called demographic crisis. But this is only a problem for developed countries, right? Not! According to this article, several countries like China, Thailand, Vietnam etc. might have aged out before fully developing their economies. While Japan took 24 years to double its oldest population, the US 70 years and most EU countries almost a century, Thailand did it in 20. The theory goes, that one must develop an economy while the population is young, for a variety of skilled workers to settle in and the economy to continue to grow through talent and not population growth. If your economy is still heavily dependent on low-skilled labour yet is already largely retiring you have no one left pushing for that development. India is still in that “good” phase, where the country has a chance to reach some sort of maturity and join the ranks of other developed states.
EU fiscal crisis, TBA?
A slow ticking time bomb is likely present in the EU economy. High interest rates haven’t fully hit yet, and governments of various states are worried that financing of economic growth is reaching a tipping point, where the servicing of debt alone might become unsustainable. This in turn will likely cause various EU governments to cut their budgets and cause an economic crisis that will be felt by its populace. As an example, the article mentions the cost of debt servicing in Germany will go up to 40 billion Euros in 2023, compared to 4 in 2021. A level previously seen during the 2008 financial crisis.
Scientific papers related to the topics above. For those who want to know for sure ;)
Hospitality students want theory, not practice
A very peculiar study came out of Indonesia this week. Looking into how various forms of hospitality education impacted the commitment of graduates to stay and thrive in the hospitality industry. Supposedly, theoretical & soft skills education increased graduates’ willingness to work in the industry, while the practical segment of education decreased the commitment of said graduates. There could surely be a joke made, that students want to just talk and theorize instead of working, but we at Le Portee would never do that.
Books, podcasts & the big stuff.
Neuroscience in Design & Architecture
Sourced from weekly news, here is a book we recommend written by a designer who is combining neuroscience, architecture and design. Basically a way to design your hotel spaces and have them impact guests’ brains, based on science. The same methodology was used by Intercontinental to redesign their guest rooms. The place where you can find the book in English is over here.
5. Tips & Tricks Tools & SaaS
Any new software you can use? Industry tricks you missed?
Learning & Teaching in 2024
Learning has always been an important topic to address, for oneself and companies “inspired” to give their employees an opportunity to grow. Here is a snippet of what learning might be like in 2024. Mostly related to a shift in technological development. 5 main topics can be summarized. Online teaching along with gamification of the process, AI helping with grading high context text and finally subsequent adaptation to these trends. Second, soft skills training or the demand for it will increase again, precisely because online training is limited on that front. Third, decreasing attention span due to our beloved social media tools. Fourth, teaching people how to learn, rather than just teaching, due to the ease of access to information these days. Last but not least, self-development is being pushed by the article authors due to the same reasons listed in point 4. To survive, one must instil a culture of perpetual learning. Full article available here.
Are annual budgets still useful in 2024
Is annual budgets a useless way to forecast the unpredictable? The authors of this article, sponsored by the way i.e. take it all with the grain of salt, interviewed 3 major industry leaders to answer that question. The consensus is, that it is still a necessary item, requested basically by all stakeholders (from investors to even the governments). Interviewees say it is evolving into something bigger due to forecasts spanning longer than 1 year, as well as emphasising how annual budget meetings are used to align goals across the company and plans for the future. Regular review and adjustment are also still needed. So in a nutshell, budgets do not accurately forecast the future but rather help achieve goals through collective awareness, which should be reviewed more than once throughout the year.
Travel search reasons
What are the main reasons people search for their travel experiences? Supposedly it is to be surprised, educated, helped, impressed & the thrill of travel. The article provides no sources to these statements, nonetheless, if you believe this has worked for you share with us by responding to this newsletter!