Week 52 - Hospitality Industry Recap 2023
Most of the media this week, has released their recaps and "Best of". A summary of them all below!
TLDR: Too Long Didn’t Read
In the main hospitality news, Preferred Travel Group announced the 2023 Prefer Members' Choice Awards winners 🏆🏨, STR reported that 75% of global markets exceeded 2019 RevPAR levels 📊🌐, and the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating US airlines' frequent flier programs ✈️🔍. Phocuswright highlighted its best research from 2023 📈🌐, while CloudBeds released its biannual OTA report 📊🏨.
Externalities include the US seeking assistance to protect the Suez Canal 🇺🇸🚢, and global warming's impact on wine production 🌍🍷.
In academia, a study explores the impact of guest incivility on employee dissatisfaction 📚🤝👥.
Finally, Mews released a webinar recapping 2023 and predicting trends for 2024 🎙️📅, and accounting and F&B advice is provided for the hospitality industry 💼🍽️.
0. News snippets
Not important enough to expand on, but worth hearing about
Travel Media Group has released their 2023 achievements of releasing various industry guides and insights. | IHG debuts yet another brand called “Garner” a competitor to Holiday Inn, that is apparently even cheaper to convert. |
0.5 Follow up
Where we follow up on news from previous weeks
Funny tourist fines in various destinations
We often reviewed destinations pushing away too many guests with fines or threatening ad campaigns. Well, this time Euronews has put together a list of funny fines various destinations have come up with to defend themselves from those pesky tourists. No towels on Sardinia instead mats to avoid sand being carried away. A potential fine of 36 thousand euros on Portugal beaches playing music too loud. No underwear in public in Seville (there goes our party…). A selfie fine of 270 euros in Portofino for hanging around too long. Finally, fake signs warning of danger in Spain, like “dangerous jellyfish”. This feels like a continuous battle between the tourist and the locals and something tells us the locals will lose.
1. Main Hospitality News
Core news related to the industry
Traveller Awards as a marketing tool
Preferred Travel Group recently announced the winners of the 2023 Prefer Members' Choice Awards, with 40 hotels globally receiving honours. This year's awards, determined by member votes from the Prefer Hotel Rewards program, showcased the increasing engagement and growth within this loyalty network. Notable winners included Additionally, Prefer has launched a bonus points promotion for members booking stays at these winning properties, emphasizing the group's commitment to enhancing member experiences. A standard way to promote your own network except for sources through guests’ own "verification"
STR closes year, 75% of markets have overperformed 2019
STR has put together 2023 global trends and compared RevPar of various countries and destinations with their 2019 levels. 75% have performed above the initial levels, which indeed means that 25% are left hanging. Over at STR, one can see a variety of graphs illustrating countries that have done for themselves in green and those that did not in red. Vietnam for some reason was not ont the list. Saudi Arabia and UAE for some reason are way up there. If we take a more detailed look by cities, Dusseldorf, Beijing and Shenzhen on the other hand have lost the most steam since COVID. An economic indicator that is behind has so many different reasons that understanding each is more complicated than one might think.
US Airlines are being investigated for their frequent flier programs
US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating US airlines for their consumer reward programs associated with credit cards. There have been reports of consumer’s points being devalued after the initial marketing campaigns, hence it takes more points to achieve rewards. The comeback of airlines? By investigating us you will harm the ability of customers to use frequent flier credit cards. Those that are supposedly devalued after their initial use, so we suppose not a big loss for the customers?
Phocuswright best of 2023 (research)
Phocuswright, a source we often cite has published their “best” research from 2023. From Chinese OTAs turning around after COVID to travel startups’ future. The most insightful we found though are interviews with industry experts (sadly not listed here).
CloudBeds biannual OTA report released
Cloudbeds has published their biannual report on OTAs. From the report, these are some of the key learnings. Expedia and Booking are still world leaders. For booking 2023 was the biggest year yet with 900 million room nights! Half of all the room nights booked were done so through mobile. If you are interested here is the full report.
Skift’s best-paid research reports of 2023
Skift has also jumped on the what have we done in 2023 bandwagon. With their best research of 2023. Some pretty good stuff out there from Hotel Tech Benchmarks to Wyndham vs Choice in 20 charts. Unfortunately most of these are at a price point of at least 495 USD, hence get ready to splurge.
Econimics, finance, geopolitics. All have an impact on the hospitality sector.
US brought in partner countries to protect the Suez Canal
You might remember the news from last week, where due to Houthi’s drone attacks and capturing of trade ships over at the Suez Canal, there is a global trade crisis brewing. US Navy shops have already engaged the rebels, nonetheless, Biden has asked 20 partner states to assist in protecting the trade route. So far has only received positive feedback from 12 of the said countries. Apparently, they are afraid their electorates will be against their involvement due to the perceived support of Israel’s Gaza campaign. We suppose the electorate will have to outweigh the cost/benefits of not supporting Israel or paying double for their products and waiting 3 weeks while at it.
Wine production & global warming
Global warming, how is it changing wine production around the world? Are several regions in danger, wine growers going out of business, wine prices going up? Well, not quite. England has started to deliver great quality wines, a region that was previously never associated with such. Global warming is now likely to allow 18% more regions to grow Burgundy-level wines initially. (theoretically, this can even go up to 45%). It turns out wine grape varieties are more resilient to heat than we thought. The outcome is several regions like Alsace are picking their grapes 39 days before the historical average, due to quicker ripening of said grapes. Other regions of Bordeaux have allowed the use of grapes from other regions like Portugal, which are better at surviving hot temperatures. Thus, Europe is benefiting from the change for now. Nonetheless, worldwide, the total wine yield has dropped to its lowest in 61 years.
Scientific papers related to the topics above. For those who want to know for sure ;)
Incivility of guests and how it impacts employees
Imagine a guest who checks in and starts screaming at your employees. Part of the job right? Indeed, however, a new academic paper has shown the direct “incivility” of customers on employee dissatisfaction and in turn an increase in employee turnover. Who knew people screaming at you during your job hours is not going to positively impact your well-being. A valuable insight, that might help you think on how to impact said incivility. “Ladies & Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” indeed.
Books, podcasts & the big stuff.
Mews Webiner recapping 2023 and future of 2024
Mews, a major PMS in the industry, has released a Webinar on 2023 recap and predictions for 2024. There are 2 parts and several interviews for each. Enough content to consume until the end of the year. Part 1 here & part 2 here.
5. Tips & Tricks / Tools & SaaS
Any new software you can use? Industry tricks you missed?
Accounting basics in hospitality
Another week, another consultant gave free advice to attract potential clients. But still, here is a small accounting guide. In short, from the Consultant's advice following should be done better. The accounting system should be set up to be able to see the overall big picture. There is often tracking, but reporting is broken. Levelling out the accounts or checking how much money has come in vs expected. A frequent mismatch, due to OTAs having paid less or guests being charged less too. Simple advice. Full article here.
F&B advice from Hilton’s global head of F&B
Hilton’s global head of F&B has shared some advice on the sector including what practices are sustainable. Offer lighter lunch options that are healthy (can lead to cost savings & happy guests) with the help of local vendors. Set up tasing/grazing stations, for guests to socialize and explore. Have a juice bar, great for meetings of said guests. Consider donating food waste, etc. He added a source of information on the top source from Hilton’s latest trend report, which underlines what food trends are currently out there.
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