Week 5 - Lifestyle hotels in record numbers
LAM pipeline record high, NFTs in a hotel bar, Academia as your go to tool!
TLDR: Too Long Didn’t Read
In hospitality follow-ups, European lifestyle hotels focus on community-building strategies, aiming for local engagement and diverse offerings 🏨🌐. Meanwhile, recent incidents highlight the complexities of cruise ship travel, including illegal attempts to move between countries and unique onboard events like Costa Cruises hosting the San Remo Music Festival 🚢🎶. Additionally, the integration of NFTs in F&B ventures and the upcoming ITB Berlin travel trade show are noted 🍽️💻.
In external news, China's economic challenges contrast with innovative AI applications 🇨🇳💰🤖, while academic insights offer a deeper understanding of tourist motivations and spending patterns 📚🌍💳.
Lastly, industry tips emphasize fostering relationships between revenue and contact centers, showcase popular Airbnbs on Instagram 📈📞📷, and stress the impact of online reputation management on hotel revenue 💻🏨🌟.
0. News snippets
Not important enough to expand on, but worth hearing about
0.5 Follow up
Where we follow up on news from previous weeks
Lifestyle hotels on the rise in EU
In a recent hospitality panel it was discussed that European lifestyle hotels are increasingly focusing on community-building, with 956 hotels under 66 brands striving for a blend of local engagement and diverse offerings. This strategy includes design-led premises, multiple revenue streams, and community-centric spaces, enhancing the guest experience and fostering a sense of belonging. The emphasis on community marketing and the integration of entertainment reflect a broader trend towards creating immersive, culturally rich environments that appeal to guests seeking unique and memorable stays. Out of the top 10, 6 chains that classify as above belong to the big chains. The only question remains, if guests would agree with the chains self identification.
1. Main Hospitality News
Core news related to the industry
Is a cruise ship a way to move illegally to a country? Yes, it is!
In Naha, Japan, police arrested Duman Alper, a Turkish national, for illegally jumping from a cruise ship and swimming ashore on February 1. Alper was apprehended after a cruise ship agent reported the incident to the fire department. He denied the charges, claiming ignorance of the illegal landing. The vessel involved was the MSC Bellissima, operated by MSC Cruises, but it remains unclear whether Alper was a passenger or crew member.
Costa Cruises hosts San Remo’s Italian Music Festival
Costa Smeralda has arrived in Sanremo, marking the commencement of the 74th Sanremo Music Festival's second leg. This unique event unfolds at sea, offering an exclusive experience for VIP guests and music enthusiasts. Known as a "Limited Edition Cruise," this festival, now in its third year aboard Costa Cruises ships, boasts a sold-out status, with attendees treated to live performances amidst the enchanting backdrop of Sanremo. The festival lineup features esteemed guests such as actor Enrico Brignano, rapper Tedua, and singer-songwriter Bresh, alongside world-renowned DJs Bob Sinclair and Gigi D'Agostino. Exciting themed evenings spanning musical decades, interactive games, and late-night discos ensure non-stop entertainment throughout the voyage. With each moment set against the backdrop of the azure sea, the 74th Sanremo Music Festival aboard Costa Smeralda promises an unforgettable journey filled with music, luxury, and enchantment.
F&B & NFTs
In late 2022, amidst the challenges posed by the omicron variant to the restaurant industry, chef Tom Colicchio shifted his attention to the metaverse. He announced CHFTY Pizzas, an NFT venture with Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn, featuring 8,888 unique pizza designs. Owners of these NFTs were promised exclusive physical and virtual experiences. A pre-sale for "Slicelist" members was scheduled for March 23, followed by a public offering, with 2,777 NFTs priced at .07 ethereum each (around $200 at the time of publication). The anticipated proceeds from these sales exceeded half a million dollars, marking a notable foray into the digital realm amidst the challenges of the pandemic-stricken year.
In 2024, the brand new AVA Hotel in Cancun will feature … an NFT bar where NFTs will be displayed and available for purchase.
ITB Berlin is coming this March
ITB Berlin, one of the world's leading travel trade shows, is scheduled to take place from March 6th to March 10th. This renowned event brings together industry professionals, exhibitors, and stakeholders from across the globe to explore the latest trends, innovations, and developments in the hospitality and tourism sectors. With a diverse range of exhibitors showcasing destinations, technologies, and services, ITB Berlin serves as a premier platform for networking, knowledge-sharing, and business opportunities. Attendees can expect to gain valuable insights, forge new partnerships, and stay informed about emerging industry trends. From destination presentations to industry seminars, ITB Berlin offers a comprehensive program tailored to meet the needs of professionals in the travel and tourism industry.
France denies the Brits an exception
In a twist that's left many Britons with holiday homes across the Channel feeling more than a little stranded, France has firmly said "non" to a proposed amendment allowing British expats extended stays without the hassle of a visa. This legal barrier, aimed at those owning a pied-à-terre in regions like the picturesque French Alps, sought to grant stays beyond the 90-day limit visa-free. Yet, deemed unconstitutional, this attempt at easing post-Brexit mobility for the roughly 86,000 British homeowners in France has hit a dead end. The French court's decision, final and without appeal, underscores a broader narrative of tightening migration controls and the complexities of post-Brexit residency rights. Now, UK citizens must navigate the intricate visa application process for longer stays, a significant shift from their previous EU freedom of movement perks.
Latin America Hotel Pipeline
The Latin America Construction Pipeline Trend Report for Q4 2023 reveals an 11% year-over-year increase in both projects and room counts in the region's hotel construction pipeline, reaching 594 projects and 97,679 rooms. Notably, nearly half of these projects are now under construction, with luxury, upper upscale, and upscale projects constituting 58% of total projects. Mexico leads with the highest project count, followed by Brazil and the Dominican Republic. The report also forecasts significant new hotel openings through 2025, indicating a robust growth trajectory for the Latin American hospitality sector. This is a peculiar trend where Regions like the Middle East and Latin America are mostly focused on upper-scale properties, while the EU and the US are developing mid-scale projects. Potentially budget properties are just not being tracked as the rest.
Canada hotel investments reached 1.65 USD in 2023
In the fourth quarter, Canadian hotel investment activity surged to approximately $320 million, contributing to a year-end total surpassing $1.65 billion according to preliminary data from Colliers Hotels. Despite challenges from interest rates and inflation, both established players and new entrants continued to view hotels as viable investment options for generating cash flow. Although 2023 didn't stand out in terms of overall volume, it set a new record for national average price per key metrics, reaching nearly $180,000. Notably, almost 90% of the investment volume comprised acquisitions intended for ongoing hotel operations.
Economics, finance, geopolitics. All have an impact on the hospitality sector.
We have seen positive travel numbers coming out of China or at least the hope for such for over a year now, yet how is the economy doing? They recently had a real estate crash, where several major developers couldn’t deliver projects that were already paid up, combined with overpriced real estate this wasn’t a good mix. Production numbers have fallen and in the month of January this year, the Chinese market has lost a trillion (USD) in value. Finally the Chinese government has issued 140 $ billion in bonds to support local economies, instead of the other way around. Growth or now growth, perhaps do not expect your Chinese tourist bus too soon.
AI & Machine learning innovative applications!
AI, AI, AI. It will take our jobs and automate your chat bot. But is that it? We found a refreshing new application of machine learning that recently won a prize of 700t $. Deciphering the Herculaneum scrolls. A scroll that was found after being burried for 2000 years next to Vesuvius, was until now unreadable, since it carbonized into one solid pieace and any attempts on unrolling it would cause it damage. The program trained to identify ink of a 3D x-ray was able to find places where ink was still present and “virtually” unroll it, making it readable for the first time in 2 thousand years. Hence, when thinking about applications of the new tech, one can surely think outside the box, perhaps even in our own industry.
Scientific papers related to the topics above. For those who want to know for sure ;)
Backpacker motivations to travel and Tourist spending by category
If you ever want to understand your target group better than the rest, several academic papers are your best source of information by far, while also mostly free. For example a study from 2019 explored the key motivations of backpackers to travel and stay in hostels. “Stimulation”, “Host-site involvement” and “Nature” were the top 3 reasons to do so. While another study of International Tourists in Norway looked into what top spending categories did the visitors have (Accommodation 32%, Eating out 12% and Groceries 16%, etc.). The first can show you exactly is it that your target group wants outside of good price and cleanliness (which applies to virtually all travel groups) and the second can show you can you potentially capture more spending of your ideal target group. Whether it is offering a partnership with a local breakfast provider or setting up a micro food kiosk in your lobby. Simply go on scholar.google.com type in your region and what you want to know, whether its spending, motivations or anything else.
Books, podcasts & the big stuff.
Working on a cruise ship
With all the talk of cruise ships this week, at least in our podcast. We thought it would be appropriate to recommend a book “Cruise Ship Stories: 12 Years of Working on Cruises”. An insider take on how was it like.
5. Tips & Tricks Tools & SaaS
Any new software you can use? Industry tricks you missed?
Fostering relationships between Revenue and Contact Centers
A new take on revenue management and contact centers emphasizes the significance of nurturing a synergistic relationship between Revenue Management teams and Contact Centers, highlighting strategies such as fostering open communication, aligning goals, sharing market insights, recognizing achievements, and developing collaborative incentives. These approaches aim to enhance revenue growth and customer service by ensuring that both teams work cohesively towards shared objectives.
Most liked airbnbs on Instagram
Online Reputation impact on revenue
As always, another week another report! This time how can online reputation impact revenue. The article from Shiji Insights emphasizes the crucial role of online reputation management in the hospitality industry. Highlighting the direct correlation between guest reviews and hotel revenue, it underscores the importance of actively engaging with online feedback. The insights presented advocate for a strategic approach to managing online presence, leveraging data to enhance guest experiences and drive profitability. For a deeper understanding, you can read the full article here.