Week 51 - Pioneering Paths: Digital Visas, AI Travel, and Africa's Rise
This is an experimental post, read more below!
TLDR: Too Long Didn’t Read
Choice Hotels is pursuing a hostile takeover of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts with an offer including cash and stock 💼💰🏨. The Dutch hospitality industry is expected to face a tough 2024 due to a sluggish economy and rising expenses 🇳🇱💼📉. Startup investments in travel have decreased in 2023 🚀💼📉. The hotel industry is urged to consider climate risks 🏨🌍🌡️. Expedia aims to compete with Google using AI-driven recommendations 🌐🤖. Africa's hospitality market has shown growth in 2023 🌍🏨📈. Labor migration in Asia may impact the hospitality sector 🌏👥. Rerouted container ships may lead to delivery delays 🚢⏳. Twitter (now X) is experiencing political shifts under Elon Musk 🐦🔀. A scholarly paper examines HR challenges in Lithuania during the pandemic 📚🇱🇹🦠. Louis Thompson discusses sustainable hospitality on a podcast 🎙️🌱. A guide on restaurant management and POS systems for 2023 is recommended 🍽️💻. A literature review explores employer branding in the hospitality industry 📖🏨👥.
Dear all, we at Le Portee have written all the newsletters ourselves so far and intend to keep doing so in the future. Nonetheless, this week we tried a very unique experiment. Every single piece of text and our weekly image is generated by ChatGPT. With the help of a new feature over at OpenAI, you can now create your “own” version of ChatGPT, give it basic knowledge like instructions, files, links etc and have it do specific tasks for you. So that is what we did. The only human element you see is us picking the news from various different sources and feeding them to our Le Portee Bot. The rest is history. Even the idea for the image of the week came from ChatGPT, after we asked it what it would propose to make this week. Enjoy the read and please vote if you enjoyed it or not at the end of the post.
0. News snippets
Not important enough to expand on, but worth hearing about
Since we often report on destination wide ad campaigns here is another one from Abu Dhabi, apparently targeted towards “every type of traveller” | Peru is now offering digital Nomad visas for those who want them, grab it while its hot |
0.5 Follow up
Where we follow up on news from previous weeks
Choice Hotels vs Wyndham round 3
In a bold move shaking up the hospitality industry, Choice Hotels International has intensified its pursuit of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts through a hostile takeover bid. This aggressive strategy, highlighted by Hotel News Now, reflects Choice's determination to acquire Wyndham, a brand known for its sizable portfolio and strong market presence. Analysts point out that Wyndham'sstock, trading below Choice's $90 per share offer, makes the bid even more compelling. The offer comprises $49.50 in cash and 0.324 shares of Choice common stock for each Wyndham share. Hostile takeovers 101, except quite unique for hospitality to experience Read more about this escalating corporate drama at CoStar.
1. Main Hospitality News
Core news related to the industry
Dutch hospitality in a downfall for 2024
The Dutch hospitality industry faces a challenging 2024. After a significant rebound in 2022 and 2023, consumer enthusiasm is expected to wane, with only a minimal growth forecast of 1% for restaurant and hotel visits. This downturn is attributed to various factors: a sluggish economy, rising unemployment, persistently low consumer confidence, and inevitable price hikes in the hospitality sector. Key drivers of these price increases include soaring personnel costs, making it difficult for businesses to fully pass on expenses to customers. The industry is also grappling with problematic debts, with about one in eight companies struggling under financial burdens they deem challenging. This scenario paints a bleak picture for 2024, with an anticipated rise in business closures and bankruptcies, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. We wish the dutch good luck in their endevour to offer the best hospitality experince out there! Delve into the detailed analysis of the Dutch hospitality outlook for 2024 on ING Think.
Which hospitality start-ups still got investement this year?
PhocusWire's recent article sheds light on startup investments on the sector. This year is poised to be a pivotal one, with significant shifts expected in funding dynamics and technological advancements within the travel industry. Emerging startups are reshaping travel experiences through innovative solutions, focusing on areas like sustainability, personalized experiences, and digital nomad-friendly services. Total investment in the sector went down from 14 billion in 2022 to just 3.6 billion this year. Explore the full article to understand the trajectory of travel startup investments in 2023 on PhocusWire.
Hotel investement vs climate risks
The hospitality industry, particularly in hotel development and valuation, seems to be turning a blind eye to climate risks. Despite increasing awareness of climate change and its devastating impacts, the hotel industry continues to expand in high-risk areas. The article highlights the growing 'brown discount' for properties lacking sustainable features or situated in environmentally vulnerable zones. Conversely, 'green premiums' for sustainable properties are not yet a significant factor in investment decisions. This dichotomy presents a pressing challenge: how to reconcile the industry's expansion with the urgent need to address environmental sustainability. The piece calls for a paradigm shift in the hospitality sector, urging developers and investors to integrate climate risk assessments into their decision-making processes. If you don’t the math might not be as accurate. Explore the detailed analysis and its implications for hotel development in the context of climate change on HospitalityNet.
Expedia wants to beat Google in travel AI
Expedia is on a mission to bypass Google. This bold strategy, outlined by The Verge, aims to transform Expedia into a one-stop-shop for travel, akin to traditional travel agents. The travel giant is developing AI-driven personalized recommendations, hoping to attract travelers directly to its platform, rather than starting their journey on search engines like Google. Expedia's AI endeavors include enhancing customer service and assisting property owners with listing optimizations. The end goal is a seamless, integrated travel planning experience, powered by AI that can suggest destinations, accommodations, and activities based on user preferences and historical data. Too bad google has recently released the best AI model on the market, and you cant beat google with its own products. Read the full article on Expedia's AI strategy and its potential impact on the travel industry at The Verge.
African hospitality market 2023 stance
Africa's hospitality market is a tale of growth and resilience, as revealed in an HVS article. The continent, with its 54 diverse countries, has seen a varied hotel performance in 2023. While established markets like Egypt and South Africa experienced slower growth, regions like Eastern and Western Africa surged ahead with increased investments and urbanization. Remarkably, cities like Addis Ababa, Kigali, and Lagos surpassed pre-pandemic occupancy levels. As of September 2023, Africa's consolidated occupancy reached 55%, with average rates improving by 35% from 2019, signifying a robust recovery. The outlook remains bright, with projections of room nights exceeding pre-COVID levels by end of 2024. However, the industry isn't without its hurdles: infrastructural deficiencies, security issues, and talent shortages pose significant challenges. Addressing these will be key to maintaining this upward trajectory and ensuring a supportive environment for the continent's burgeoning hospitality sector. Delve into the dynamic growth and challenges of Africa's hospitality market.
Econimics, finance, geopolitics. All have an impact on the hospitality sector.
What is happening with labour in Asia?
A profound analysis by 'Economist Impact' delves into the future of labour migration in Asia, a topic of crucial importance to the hospitality sector. The article, explores the evolving landscape of labor movement across Asia, scrutinizing the potential impacts on various industries, including hospitality. Key findings are that most labour migration is based on the different income levels between countries. Climate change might impact the flow of migrants due to changing conditions in different countries. Explore more on labour migration and its future impact in Asia at Economist Impact.
New trade crisis, delays to deliveries expected
In a significant shift impacting global trade, over 100 container ships have been rerouted from the Suez Canal to circumnavigate southern Africa, avoiding Houthi attacks near Yemen's coast. This strategic move, reported by The Guardian, marks a critical response to the escalating conflict in the region. The rerouting, involving a detour around South Africa's Cape of Good Hope, adds approximately 6,000 nautical miles to journeys from Asia to Europe. This change could extend delivery times by three to four weeks, impacting various sectors, including hospitality, by delaying the transport of goods and resources. With approximately 19,000 ships navigating the Suez Canal annually, this simply shows how from one day to the next a global crisis can be born from “nothing”. Read the full story and its implications for global trade on The Guardian.
X is becoming more right wing (partially)
An insightful article from The Economist delves into the changing political landscape of Twitter (now rebranded as X) following Elon Musk's takeover. The analysis reveals a notable shift in the platform's user demographics, particularly among U.S. senators' followers. Since Musk's acquisition, there has been a significant increase in followers for Republican senators, while Democratic senators have seen a decrease. This change suggests a broader transformation in the platform's user base, potentially reflecting Musk's “controversial” stance on free speech and moderation policies. Let’s see who makes more money. Read more about the changes in Twitter's political dynamics and its implications on The Economist.
Scientific papers related to the topics above. For those who want to know for sure ;)
How Lithuania fought COVID HR issues and what worked best
The Lithuanian hospitality industry faced significant HR management challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, as analyzed in a scholarly paper. The research, focusing on workforce burnout, safety, job satisfaction, and post-crisis training, reveals the pandemic's profound impact on human resources in hospitality. Conducted through semi-structured interviews with HR experts from Lithuanian hospitality companies, the study identifies key challenges and potential areas for future research. The findings underline the importance of addressing workforce well-being and adapting HR practices to ensure sustainable operations in challenging times. We all know what happened during COVID and why, but were the most impactful methods to fight it? Access the full paper for a detailed exploration of HR challenges
Books, podcasts & the big stuff.
Sustainable hospitality and “Salutogenic” architecture
Louis Thompson, a visionary in sustainable hospitality, shares his journey on the "What I've Learned" podcast. Thompson, who started his career with Six Senses, is a pioneer in integrating sustainability and innovation in hospitality. His venture, Nomadic Resorts, founded in 2011, epitomizes this ethos. The podcast highlights his groundbreaking project, the Wild Coast Tented Lodge near Yala National Park in Sri Lanka, renowned for its eco-friendly design and community involvement. Thompson's approach to "salutogenic architecture" aims to enhance mental wellbeing through design. He discusses the future of hospitality, emphasizing niche experiences that foster community and well-being. This insightful conversation provides valuable lessons and inspiration for those looking to reshape the hospitality landscape with sustainable, community-centric models. Listen to the podcast to discover Louis Thompson's unique perspective on the future of hospitality.
5. Tips & Tricks / Tools & SaaS
Any new software you can use? Industry tricks you missed?
“How To” for restaurant software
In the ever-evolving restaurant industry, the "2023 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems" emerges as a crucial resource for restaurateurs. This comprehensive guide dives into how leading restaurants are leveraging next-generation technologies to enhance operations and enrich the guest experience. Addressing critical challenges like labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, the guide draws insights from the National Restaurant Association Show. It's a must-read for those looking to elevate operational efficiency and financial performance in the restaurant sector. Download the insightful report to transform your restaurant management.
Academic review of employee branding in hospitality
In the realm of hospitality, employer branding has emerged as a pivotal strategy for attracting and retaining top talent. This is the focus of a detailed literature review published in the International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding. A new paper emphasizes the significance of creating a strong, attractive employer brand to appeal to potential employees in this highly competitive industry. The review synthesizes findings from multiple studies, providing a comprehensive overview of employer branding strategies and their effectiveness. Gain deeper insights into the implementation of employer branding in the hospitality industry by accessing the full literature review.
Thanks for reading Le Portee! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.