Hotel & Tourism SMARTreport #34

cleverdis

THE PROFESSIONAL BUYERS’ REFERENCE

SMARTreport

ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

#15 / THE GROWING

IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL

FLAVOURS

SPOTLIGHT ON

THE MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

#25 / TARGETING 195 MILLION

VISITORS BY 2030

INNOVATIONS

& TECHNOLOGIES

#39 / THOUGHT

LEADERS’ ROUNDTABLE

ALL HANDS-ON

DECK RIGHT NOW

ARE FOCUSSED ON

BRINGING THESE

TWO COMPANIES

– STARWOOD

AND MARRIOTT –

TOGETHER

ARNE SORENSON

CEO & President,

Marriott International

#34 - 2017 SPRING EDITION / A CLEVERDIS PUBLICATION


Richard Barnes

Editor-in-chief

richard.barnes@cleverdis.com

Tel: +33 (0) 4 42 77 46 00

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 3

FOREWORD

THE TALE OF THE NEW WORLD

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age

of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”: Perhaps these lines from

the Tale of Two Cities seem even more applicable today as the world

comes into a time of fundamental change, than for the period for

which they were written – just before the French Revolution. Indeed,

the world is getting smaller each year, but the challenges appear to be

looming bigger as well. With this backdrop, the tourism industry forges

ahead – piloted by the World Tourism Organisation, and with leading

events such as this month’s Arabian Travel Market, World Tourism

Forum and HITEC show helping guide the way. Industry growth is

very much dependent on the brilliance of those in leading positions,

and in this edition of the SMARTreport, we highlight more than one

example. Indeed, our interview with Arne Sorenson, President & CEO

of Marriott International – now the biggest hotel group in the world,

celebrates his being given the Lifetime Achievement award by IHIF.

On a different level, as Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UNWTO,

steps down in 2017, he talks to us about his final year, and we also

take a close look at all the new candidates for the position - and

each of their platforms. The CEO and President of the world’s most

prestigious group of travel advisors – Virtuoso – Matthew Upchurch –

is back in this edition with another exceptional interview. And in the

field of technology and innovations, we gather together some of the

world’s top tech brains to paint a picture of what the industry will look

like in five years’ time. All in all, we’re really “taking it from the top”.

We hope you get some mileage out of this edition and that it lives up

to all your expectations. Happy reading!

CONTENTS

4 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

4 MANAGING THE DEAL OF THE

DECADE

CEO & President, Marriott International

7 EVENTS

7 20+ MINISTERS GATHER @ ATM

9 WORLD TOURISM FORUM – LUCERNE

10 HITEC 2017

11 UNWTO SECRETARY-GENERAL:

THE RACE IS ON

11 Exclusive interview with outgoing UNWTO

Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai

12 Candidates make their final pitches in an

effort to take the top spot at the World

Tourism Organisation

14 EVENTS CALENDAR

15 ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

15 THE GROWING IMPORTANCE

OF LOCAL FLAVOURS

16 IT’S ALL ABOUT RETURN ON LIFE

Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO,

Virtuoso

19 IN THE FIELD WITH EVELYNE GAUDIN

WINE & GASTRONOMY TOURISM

20 WHEN PACIFIC CULTURE MEETS

FRENCH SAVOIR FAIRE

20 BORA BORA PEARL BEACH

RESORT & SPA

21 A CULINARY JOURNEY IN THE

MOST BEAUTIFUL GARDENS OF

AIX EN PROVENCE

21 GASTRONOMY BRINGS TRAVELLERS

INTO CLOSER CONTACT WITH LOCAL

TRADITIONS AND CULTURE

23 FEELIN’ GREAT – IN THE SUNSHINE!

24 THE TRUE POLYNESIAN EXPERIENCE

25 MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

25 MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA MEETING

THE CHALLENGES

26 AIR TRANSPORT

TIMES CHANGING FOR M.E. AIRLINES

28 ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

VOTED BEST AIRPORT IN THE MIDDLE

EAST AND MOST IMPROVED AIRPORT:

MIDDLE EAST FOR 2016

29 MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA INBOUND

TRENDS & FIGURES

30 10.4% GROWTH IN ARRIVALS FOR

KENYA

31 ABU DHABI: EVER MORE DIVERSE

AND EXCITING

33 TRENDING HOTELS:

ACCORHOTELS EXPANDS LUXURY

FOOTPRINT IN AFRICA WITH

FAIRMONT ROYAL PALM MARRAKECH

33 EXPERIENCING ONE OF MALAWI’S

LAST TRULY UNEXPLOITED

WILDLIFE AREAS

33 PEMBA ISLAND & THE AIYANA

HOTEL COMPLEX

34 MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA OUTBOUND

TRENDS & FIGURES:

MIDDLE EAST OUTBOUND

TRAVELLERS

35 UNTAPPED RESOURCES

Dr Irfan Ahmad, CEO and Founder, Irhal.com

36 FRANCE DEVELOPS NEW TOOLS

FOR TAS & TOS IN MEA… AND

BEYOND

39 INNOVATIONS

& TECHNOLOGIES

39 THE GATHERING OF EXCELLENT

MINDS

40 HOTEL TECHNOLOGIES:

CURRENT “BURNING ISSUES”

42 GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL:

WHERE WILL WE BE IN FIVE YEARS’

TIME?

42 Internet of Things (IoT)

44 Artificial Intelligence (AI)

+ Machine learning

46 Robotics

48 SAMSUNG: A MAJOR

PARADIGM CHANGE

Nicolas Mercier, Practice Lead – Hospitality

& Travel, Samsung Electronics

50 IN THE FIELD WITH DAVID ESSERYK

STREAMING CONTENT VERSUS

DIRECT INTEGRATION


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

MANAGING THE DEAL O

Exclusive interview: Arne Sorenson, CEO & President -

Arne Sorenson is not only at the helm of the world’s biggest

hospitality group but also recently had quite a bit to celebrate

in Berlin - being given the IHIF Lifetime Achievement Award

– and speaking about “managing the deal of the decade”. Firstly, we

asked him how he felt about receiving the award.

Arne Sorenson

CEO & President,

Marriott International

I feel like I may be too young for this

(laughs)! I am obviously honoured

by it and humbled, but in many

respects, what we have done so

far is simply close the transaction.

We haven’t yet proven what we

need to prove – that we can build

something from the combination of

these two companies which is more

powerful than we could have done

on our own. That’s the hard work

we’re about today. So, while we

are celebrating in a sense, we are

certainly energised, but I don’t think

we are claiming victory.

Indeed, you are now at the helm

of the largest lodging company

in the world. What were the

most challenging elements of

“managing the deal of the

decade”?

Let’s put it in context. It is big. We

are going to open a hotel a little bit

more often than once every 16 hours

in 2017, which gives you the scale

of the size of this, and of course we

need to make sure that those hotels

each open as close to flawlessly

as possible, and that entails an

extraordinary amount of work. It

means motivating and empowering

people who are set up around the

world; not from decisions that are

made at the centre. Obviously, we

need to get that day-to-day stuff

right, in addition to the operation of

the approximately 6,000 hotels we

have operating today. But beyond

that we have to make sure we pull

together the loyalty programmes

WE ARE GOING

TO OPEN A HOTEL

A LITTLE BIT MORE

OFTEN THAN ONCE

EVERY 16 HOURS

IN 2017.

– Marriott Rewards and SPG - in a

way that causes that community of

almost 100-million unique members

to like the programme as it evolves

going forward and to intensify their

loyalty to our portfolio of hotels.


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 5

F THE DECADE

Marriott International

Why was it so important to acquire

Starwood?

It really starts with this loyalty

programme. We obviously want to

be able to deliver to our customers as

broad a range of choices as we can,

and we want to be able to say to

them, “You really don’t need to look

anywhere else when you are thinking

about booking a hotel today”.

We’ve got tremendous distribution

in the luxury area, tremendous

distribution in lifestyle, strong

distribution in select service. As a

consequence, no matter what you

want to spend, no matter where you

are going, no matter what kind of

sensibility you want from the hotel,

we have a place for you to stay. And

we think we can create an ecosystem

of loyal customers who look to us

for their place to stay and look to us

directly for booking their experience,

sharing their experience, planning

their travel… we want to be relevant

in all those spaces. And we think by

being bigger, by having that many

more choices, by having that much

bigger ecosystem of customers, we

create something that is just that

much more powerful than we could

have done on our own.

Beyond the loyalty programme, we

do believe that there is a long-term

advantage of having the kind of

distribution in luxury and lifestyle that

the combined platform gives us. We

had great momentum in those spaces

before, in particular with Ritz-Carlton

in the luxury space and in lifestyle with

recent launches like Edition and Moxy,

but Starwood obviously had, with St

Regis, and W, and Luxury Collection,

and Aloft, and Element, strong cred in

the lifestyle space particularly. And by

bringing the two together we think we

are really sizeable in the place which is

the most emotionally appealing.

What are your thoughts on IHIF?

It is THE European industry gathering

that I think is the most important

on the annual calendar, bringing

together hotel owners, operators,

franchise partners, lots of other folks

who support the industry, for an

opportunity to talk about issues of

common concern, and to think about

where we are going as opposed to

where we have been.

What’s next on your roadmap?

I think all hands-on deck right now

are focussed on bringing these two

companies – Starwood and Marriott –

together. A lot of that is around the

loyalty platform we have talked about.

We are excited about the stuff that’s

“coming down the pike”!

BY BEING

BIGGER, BY HAVING

THAT MANY

MORE CHOICES,

BY HAVING THAT

MUCH BIGGER

ECOSYSTEM OF

CUSTOMERS,

WE CREATE

SOMETHING THAT

IS JUST THAT MUCH

MORE POWERFUL


EVENTS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 7

20+ MINISTERS GATHER @ ATM

Tourism and economic growth under the spotlight at UNWTO

& Arabian Travel Market Ministerial Forum 2017

Over 20 Ministers and industry

leaders will gather at the

Ministerial Forum to discuss how

tourism can play a role in the

future of the MENA region.

Visitors to the Middle East and

North Africa (MENA) region

will total 195 million by 2030,

growing at a rate higher than

the world average, according

to figures by the World Tourism

Organization (UNWTO).

This translates into 195 million

international tourists by 2030,

meaning between 25 million

and 50 million new jobs will be

required in the region over the

next decade.

The rapid development of the

sector will form part of the

discussion at the UNWTO &

ATM Ministerial Forum at the

Arabian Travel Market, taking

place on April 24 in the Dubai

World Trade Centre, United

Arab Emirates. The Forum, an

official event of the International

Year of Sustainable Tourism for

Development 2017 returns to

ATM this year, with a particular

focus on the contribution

of tourism to sustainable

economic growth and economic

diversification of the MENA

region.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition

Director, ATM, says the Middle

East has experienced huge

changes since the UNWTO

Ministers Forum was last held

at ATM back in 2015: “This year

will reflect the pace and level of

that development, uniting more

than 20 ministers with industry

leaders in the MENA region to

consider methods of capitalising

on tourism growth and building

a sustainable ecosystem for the

sector to unlock its potential

within each country’s National

Agenda. Specific areas of

focus will include GDP growth

and economic diversification,

innovation, entrepreneurship

and productivity, job creation,

human capital and infrastructure

development, investment and

export promotion.”

ATM 2016

ILTM ARABIA LAUNCHES

IN 2017 AS OUTBOUND

TRAVEL MARKET SET TO BE

WORTH $165 BILLION BY 2025

For the first time, ILTM Arabia will take place on

the first two days of the four-day ATM (Monday

24 and Tuesday 25 April).

The event coincides with news that, according

to the World Travel and Tourism Council,

expenditure on outbound travel from the Middle

East is expected to reach $165.3 billion by 2025.

ILTM Arabia will target high net-worth travellers

from throughout the GCC and wider Middle East

region, with buyers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia

and Qatar expected to have a particularly strong

presence


EVENTS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 9

© World Tourism Forum Lucerne - Herman Darnel Ibrahim

Talent boost,

WTF Lucerne

WORLD TOURISM FORUM – LUCERNE

Where global leaders in travel, tourism & hospitality meet

the next generation

The 5 th World Tourism Forum

Lucerne will be held in central

Switzerland from 3 to 5 May

2017. Staged every two years,

the global event will again

attract top decision-makers

from the travel, tourism and

related fields.

Recent years have seen the

World Tourism Forum Lucerne

intensifying its international

focus – a successfully tried

and tested concept set to

continue. Alternating with

this event staged every two

years, the WTFL Think Tank

and Talent Boost events will

continue to be held outside

Switzerland.

The 5 th World Tourism

Forum Lucerne in May 2017

will be held under the title

«stay relevant in uncertain

times!» It will focus on how

to stay successful in the face

of changes and challenges

in today’s often turbulent

times. Experts from the fields

of marketing, branding,

leadership, politics and

financing will explain along

with best-practice examples

how to achieve goals but also

to exceed aims. The 2017

topics will be discussed the

day prior to the opening of

the Forum by the WTFL Think

Tank – a high focused toplevel

body comprising some

65 ministers, CEOs, investors

and academia.

One of the key objectives of

the World Tourism Forum

Lucerne is to highlight

the importance of global

tourism. Martin Barth, WTFL

President & CEO: “The

potential for world tourism

is a highly significant factor

in the development of many

destinations. But tourism

means more than filling beds.

Run-of-the-mill marketing

is no longer sufficient. A

real strategy is required – a

strategy which must be broadbased

and coordinated.”

To focus on the economic

importance of tourism, the

May 2017 Forum will feature

presentations on the “power

of tourism”by international

opinion leaders.

A number of top decision

makers will be at the forum

as speakers. They include

internationally acclaimed

branding expert Simon Anholt

who has already advised

more than 50 countries on

their “Competitive Identity”;

best-selling author Dr Jason

Fox on how to achieve

more meaningful progress;

Simon Lehmann, since 1

November new president of

Phocuswright; Rasoul Jalali,

General Manager Uber;

Isabel Hill, Director National

Travel & Tourism Office, US

Department of Commerce;

Ann Sherry, Executive

Chairman Carnival Australia;

John Perrottet, Senior Tourism

Specialist with the World

Bank; Chinese investor Teo Ah

Khing and Jürg Schmid, CEO

Switzerland Tourism

RECENT

YEARS HAVE

SEEN THE

WORLD TOURISM

FORUM LUCERNE

INTENSIFYING ITS

INTERNATIONAL

FOCUS – A

SUCCESSFULLY

TRIED AND

TESTED

CONCEPT SET TO

CONTINUE


EVENTS

HITEC 2017

The world’s largest hospitality technology show

moves to Canada

Historically hosted annually

in a different city throughout

the United States, the largest

event by HFTP (Hospitality

Financial and Technology

Professionals) this year heads

for the first time to Toronto,

Canada, June 26 – 29, with

6,000+ attendees, four days

of education and three expo

days.

Headquartered in Austin,

Texas, USA, HFTP is a

global non-profit hospitality

association, with several

thousand members and

stakeholders across the globe,

and this year, the organisation

decided to break tradition by

hosting a total of three HITEC

events all taking place outside

of US borders – in Toronto,

Amsterdam and Dubai.

The Hospitality Industry

Technology Exposition and

Conference (HITEC) is the

world’s largest and oldest

hospitality technology

exposition and conference

brand. HITEC offers a unique

combination of top-notch

education strands, and brings

together the brightest minds

and hottest technologies from

across the globe to one place.

The unparalleled event offers

attendees essential education,

access to top hospitality

technology industry experts

and the resources to find costeffective

ways to improve

company bottom lines.

Combined with the intimate

opportunities to connect with

fellow professionals, HITEC

has everything to enhance

one’s career.

HITEC Amsterdam — Building

on the expertise of planning and

producing the world’s largest

hospitality technology show,

HFTP is producing a European

counterpart on March 28–30,

2017 at the RAI Amsterdam

Convention Centre. The

program will begin with preconference

programs on March

28, including the successful

E20X competition, followed

by the full event from March

29–30 featuring exhibits with

up to 60 booths, two keynote

presentations, 16+ educational

sessions and a networking party.

HITEC Toronto — The largest

event with 6,000+ attendees,

four days of education and

three expo days. HITEC Toronto

is June 26 – 29, 2017 at the

Metro Toronto Convention

Centre.

HITEC Dubai — Co-produced

with Naseba, HITEC Dubai in

Autumn 2017 will follow the

HITEC Amsterdam format with

an education program and

exhibits. In addition, HITEC

Dubai will feature a summit

with one-to-one business

meetings that have become

the hallmark of Naseba’s

platforms. Hoteliers attending

the summit portion of HITEC

Dubai will be pre-qualified

to confirm their purchasing

authority, budgets, timelines

and solutions of interest

Frank Wolfe,

CEO, HFTP at HITEC 2016


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 11

I AM PROUD TO HAVE HEADED

A PROJECT THAT HAS ENHANCED

THE ROLE OF TOURISM AND THAT

HAS POSITIONED THE SECTOR AT THE

CORE OF THE AGENDA 2030 AND THE

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

Taleb Rifai

Outgoing Secretary-General,

UNWTO

UNWTO SECRETARY-GENERAL:

THE RACE IS ON

Exclusive interview with outgoing UNWTO Secretary-General,

Taleb Rifai

This is Taleb Rifai’s

final year as UNWTO

Secretary-General.

In this exclusive interview

with Mr Rifai, we began by

asking him what he saw as

being the most important

factors affecting the global

tourism market today.

At UNWTO, we have three

major priority areas that

coincide with the concerns that

the sector faces: technology

and its impact in tourism, safe,

secure and seamless travel

and sustainable tourism. This

latter receives a particular

attention as we are celebrating

the International Year of

Sustainable Tourism in 2017, a

unique opportunity to advance

towards a more responsible

sector.

You have often spoken

in the past about the

importance of opening

borders. The world seems

to be taking a different

direction today. How do

you feel about that?

Building walls will lead us

nowhere. We have witnessed

a great development of new

technologies and security

measures and these should

be put at the service of all of

us so that we travel in a more

secure, easy and fast manner.

At UNWTO we advocate the

role of tourism in bridging

us all and in promoting

intercultural exchanges, so

needed in current times.

Moreover, closing borders will

have negative impacts first

and foremost on those opting

for isolationism.

How is the Silk Road project

impacting tour operators

today and what does the

future hold?

The Silk Road is not a recently

created invention. It is a

cultural, economic and social

Route that has existed for

centuries, linking peoples

from different backgrounds. It

is currently very alive because

all humans are seeking for

the values that this Route

promotes. Our Silk Road

Tourism Programme is very

strong and is working with 33

countries to advance issues

of visa facilitation, product

development and marketing

of the Silk Road.

This is your last year as

Secretary-General of the

UNWTO. What do you hope

to have left as a legacy, and

what is your vision for the

future of this industry?

I am proud to have headed a

project that has enhanced the

role of tourism and that has

positioned the sector at the

core of the Agenda 2030 and

the Sustainable Development

Goals. This is actually what

UNWTO had in its objectives

for the last decades but

we had to advocate the

relevance of tourism in current

economies in order to get the

overwhelming response that

we are getting during this

International Year


EVENTS

UNWTO SECRETARY-GENERAL:

Candidates make their final pitches in an effort to take the top

The UNWTO’s current

Secretary-General, Taleb

Rifai of Jordan, has

served in the position

since January 2010 and

is stepping down at the

end of this year. The

organisation’s 33-nation

executive board is thus

meeting to choose a

nominee in May - to be

voted on by its General

Assembly later this year

- to serve as Secretary-

General for the 2018 to

2021 term.

By the deadline on 11th

March, seven candidates

had postulated,

supported by their home

nation’s government. On

average, each candidate

delivered a CV and a

Statement of Policy and

Management Intent

averaging 9 pages; each

with major ambitions for

the organisation – each

highly different from

the other. Following are

some selected highlights

of the candidatures*.

*The abovementioned extracts

should in no way be seen as being

representative of each candidate’s

submission, and are solely indicative.

For full details, please consult http://

cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/pdf/

ce105_10_recommendation_by_

the_ec_to_the_ga_of_a_nominee_

for_the_post_of_sg_en_final_0.pdf

ARMENIA

Vahan

Martirosyan

Born in 1962 in Yerevan,

Armenia, Mr Martirosyan

has most recently been

working in the position

of Minister for Transport,

Communication and

Information Technology in

Armenia.

Mr Martirosyan points

out the possible adverse

effects of tourism on

environmental conservation,

cultural enrichment and

socio-cultural authenticity,

causing “considerable

environmental and cultural

heritage damage”. This,

he says, poses enormous

responsibility along

with challenges and

opportunities for a global

multilateral agency such

as the UNWTO to “remain

relevant, offer leadership

and serve the very purpose

for which it was created”

BRAZIL

Márcio Favilla

Lucca de Paula

Mr Favilla Lucca de Paula is

currently Executive Director

for Competitiveness, External

Relations and Partnerships

at the UNWTO. He has been

in this position since January

2010. From 2007 to 2009,

he was also Vice Minister of

the Secretariat of Institutional

Relations of the Presidency

of Brazil and was Brazil’s

first Vice Minister of Tourism

(2003-2007) where he played

a key role in the structuring of

the first exclusive Ministry of

Tourism in Brazil. In defining

the agenda for 2018-2021,

Mr Favilla Lucca de Paula

states that UNWTO’s activities

must be geared towards two

clear strategic overarching

objectives: competitiveness

and sustainability

COLOMBIA

Jaime Alberto

Cabal Sanclemente

Mr Sanclemente Colombia’s

Ambassador to Austria and

is the country’s permanent

representative to the United

Nations and other international

organisations based in Vienna.

He says he is aiming to introduce

and bring to life different

aspects of “renovation, change

and modernisation” in the

organisation. Sanclemente calls

for a more “open, inclusive and

democratic” UNWTO, achieving

a “modernised UNWTO with

higher efficiency and enhanced

synergy with the United Nations

Organisation”, a UNWTO

that “achieves a more agile

interpretation of the challenges

faced by the global tourism or

the present and future”, one that

“promotes new support tools for

the strengthening of the tourism

sector of countries and regions”


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 13

THE RACE IS ON

spot at the World Tourism Organisation

GEORGIA

Zurab

Pololikashvili

REPUBLIC

OF KOREA

Dho Young-shim

SEYCHELLES

Alain

St.Ange

ZIMBABWE

Walter

Mzembi

Georgian Minister of Economy

in 2009-2010, Mr Pololikashvili

currently serves as resident

representative of Georgia at

UNWTO and is Ambassador

of Georgia to Spain. In his

submission, Mr Pololikashvili

says it is “time to usher in a

new era of applied initiatives”.

He says the UNWTO will

undertake “a new feat of

supporting countries not just

on the national or regional

level, but will become more

approachable to provide

guidelines on management

and marketing for different

types of tourist destinations

in order to ensure further

growth and competitiveness”.

He adds that the organisation

will “consequently become a

reference point for destination

marketing and management

organisations, both on

national as well as local level”

Already Chairperson of the

UNWTO’s Sustainable Tourism

for Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP)

Foundation, Ambassador Dho

promotes tourism, sports and

education to fight poverty in

the world’s least developed

countries. Ms Dho says that

“in these times of continuous

change and turbulence, the

UNWTO needs to reassure and

inspire its members, and to

stand out as a stable, mature,

pragmatic and efficient

institution”.

One of her key aims would be

to establish an international

convention on tourism. She

claims the UNWTO must

“become swifter, not slimmer

and its action should be

more member-focused”. If

elected, Ms Dho would be

the first woman – and also

the first Asian to hold the top

position

Former Minister for Tourism for

the Seychelles, Alain St.Ange

was largely responsible for

re-launching Seychelles as a

tourism destination after the

economic difficulties of 2008

in the island’s main tourism

market. Mr St.Ange states that

while the tourism industry has

made and continues to make

real achievements in growth,

“we still have to recognise

there is much work to do

in quality and standards.”

The former Minister cites

challenges faced by the

industry – involving both

natural and man-made crises,

stating “insecurity and the

loss of safety labels is a new

category of crisis that remains

with tourism destinations

for longer durations, and

the effects drag on with no

solution in sight”

Mr Walter Mzembi has been

a member of parliament in his

country since 2004 and since

2009 has held the Tourism

and Hospitality portfolio. He

has already been a member of

the UNWTO executive council

and held two successive terms

as Chairman of the UNWTO

Regional Commission for

Africa. In his submission, Dr

Mzembi claims there is a

clear need for “reform and

renewal” of the UNWTO as

the overseer and custodian of

global tourism. A fundamental

element of his vision is to “work

towards universal membership

of the organisation and to

actively engage those nations

which remain outside the

UNWTO to consider joining or

re-joining”


© Arabian Travel Market

Sheikh Mohammed,

Vice President and

Prime Minister of the

United Arab Emirates,

and Emir of Dubai and

Sheikh Hamdan bin

Mohammed bin Rashid

Al Maktoum, Crown

Prince of Dubai, United

Arab Emirates visit ATM

2016

EVENTS CALENDAR

19-21 APRIL 2017

World Travel Market (WTM) Africa

International Convention Centre (CTICC),

Cape Town, South Africa

http://africa.wtm.com

20-23 APRIL 2017

Shanghai World Travel Fair (SWTF)

Shanghai Exhibition Center, Shanghai,

China

www.worldtravelfair.com.cn/en/

21-23 APRIL 2017

International Luxury Travel Market

(ILTM) Africa

International Convention Centre (CTICC),

Cape Town, South Africa

www.iltm.com/africa/

24-27 APRIL 2017

Arabian Travel Market (ATM)

Dubai International Convention and

Exhibition Centre, Dubai, United Arab

Emirates

http://arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com

25-27 APRIL 2017

Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

(AHIC)

Madinat Conference Centre, Dubai, United

Arab Emirates

www.arabianconference.com

25-28 APRIL 2017

Travel Week Sao Paulo by ILTM

Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil

www.travelweeksaopaulo.com/en/home

3-4 MAY 2017

Australasian Hotel Industry Conference

and Exhibition (AHICE)

Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Australia

http://ahice.com.au

3-5 MAY 2017

World Tourism Forum Lucerne

Luzern, Switzerland

www.wtflucerne.org

8-9 MAY 2017

3 rd UNWTO World Forum on

Gastronomy Tourism

Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain

http://affiliatemembers.unwto.org/

event/3rd-unwto-world-forumgastronomy-tourism

10-12 MAY 2017

ITB China

Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and

Convention Center, Shanghai, China

www.itb-china.com

16-18 MAY 2017

IMEX - Worldwide Exhibition for

Incentive Travel, Meetings

Frankfurt Messe Congress Center,

Frankfurt, Germany

www.imex-frankfurt.com

17-18 MAY 2017

China Hotel Investment Conference

(CHIC)

Fairmont Peace Hotel on The Bund,

Shanghai, China

www.chinahotelconference.com

5-8 JUNE 2017

ILTM Asia

Shanghai Exhibition Center, Shanghai,

China

www.iltm.com/Asia/

CLEVERDIS

PARTNER

11-13 JUNE 2017

CityFair 2017 (ETOA)

Old Billingsgate, London, United Kingdom

www.cityfair.travel

25-27 JUNE 2017

The Hotel Show Africa

Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand,

Johannesburg, South Africa

www.thehotelshowafrica.com

CLEVERDIS

PARTNER

26-29 JUNE 2017

HITEC Toronto (Hospitality Financial

& Technology Professionals)

Metro Toronto Convention Centre,

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

www.hftp.org/hitec/toronto/

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ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 15

© The Brando

THE GROWING

IMPORTANCE OF

LOCAL FLAVOURS

This edition of the Hotel &

Tourism SMARTreport coincides

with the 2017 edition of the

UNWTO World Forum on

Gastronomy Tourism – this year

returning to its origins in San

Sebastian, Spain. Like the 1 st and

2 nd World Fora on Gastronomy

Tourism, this forum provides

an opportunity for leading

experts in gastronomy tourism

to discuss the current situation

and challenges in Gastronomy

Tourism worldwide. Indeed,

the role of local “flavours”

is becoming an increasingly

important part of the tourism

equation, as each country and

region strives to differentiate

via every means possible, while

at the same time, more and

more travellers are seeking

authentic cultural, personal and

gastronomic experiences. In the

following pages, we spotlight

several excellent examples that

we hope will inspire you in your

planning!

The Brando - Sunset Dinner


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

Following on from last issue’s feature with the head of the world’s

top luxury travel network, we continue to look at key trends

in the trade. Cleverdis editor-in-chief Richard Barnes asked

Matthew to explain his concept of “Return on Life”…

The user experience guys in our

digital team talk about the “mental

model”. Consumers have a mental

model, and the idea is how to

present something, understanding

the mental model somebody already

has, so that you can basically canoe

downstream…

For example, the biggest problem

with online booking and the internet

is that the core mental model of

booking online is price, then come

speed and convenience. So for us,

the whole idea of multi-year planning

comes down to the creation of

language and branding around how

this industry. When I met our first

attorney, who quit his law practice to

become a Virtuoso advisor, I thought

“Wow, this is incredible.” Here I am

seven years later and it’s become

“Huh, another attorney?”

As I mentioned in our last chat,

what’s happening is that this

whole idea of our generalists being

“specialists in you” comes from the

fact that in a world with so much

information and brand confusion,

who can one trust today? That’s

where you need a specialist in the

client, and where the Virtuoso

network comes into place.

IT’S ALL ABOUT RETURN O

Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch on (sometimes unu

Matthew D.

Upchurch

Chairman & CEO,

Virtuoso

to communicate what we do as a

value to different population sets

that already possess a certain mental

model. With multi-year planning, we

own a trademark called “Return on

Life” (eds: a registered trademark of

Virtuoso). Return on Life is the way

we present what a great Virtuoso

advisor does for people who already

have wealth advisors. What we say

to them is, “Why would you have a

wealth advisor to help you optimise

and manage your financial assets, but

not have somebody in your life to help

you optimise and make the most out

of your most valuable non-renewable

asset: your free leisure time.”

What makes your advisors

different?

I am incredibly proud of the amount

of new talent we have brought into

Multi-generational travel

continues to be on the rise.

How do your advisors work with

people in these cases?

Indeed, we have grandparents today

funding big multi-generational trips,

literally saying, “I am going to leave

you less money than you probably

would have had before, because I

believe that our time together as a

family, to share ideas, to connect,

and also to show you the world, is a

competitive advantage that you will

have for the rest of your life.” And

something interesting is happening,

where we will have a Virtuoso advisor

set-up a Skype call on a Smart TV at

the grandparents’ home. They have

a skeleton itinerary, and then they

have a family gathering, where they

literally do a live call with the people

out in the field: “The kids want to do


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 17

© Virtuoso

N LIFE

sual) trends in the luxury travel trade

this, the grandkids want to do that…” It’s

an evolution in the way you can service

a client.

What enables Virtuoso’s travel advisors

to thrive?

We did an interesting study about what

drives loyalty versus repeat business.

I’m not talking about loyalty as in, “I’m

going to give you points”, but I mean

loyalty through relationship; realising

that loyalty is created on two planes: the

structural, and the emotional. The single

most important thing that we have been

told by consumers that differentiates a

transactional travel agent from a trusted

advisor is the conversation after the trip.

The guy who did the research for us

came up with a great one-liner: “Only

debrief 100% of the clients you want

to keep.” This goes full circle to what I

was talking about – that generalisation

is not generalisation, it’s specialisation in

the client. What happens is that as an

individual advisor builds a relationship

of trust, language, style, etcetera, and

as they talk to the client after each

trip, it becomes a learning relationship.

That client is basically investing in this

structural and emotional bank account of

this relationship, which makes the advisor

stickier and stickier.

Another important point is that really

great advisors are never working solely

on the next trip. They’re working two

years out. There’s a larger context, and

that’s also one of the reasons they are so

valuable to their clients. It’s a multi-trip.

They might say, “You realise that your kids

only have three more summers with you,

and you still haven’t done that African

safari”

THE SINGLE

MOST IMPORTANT

THING THAT WE

HAVE BEEN TOLD BY

CONSUMERS THAT

DIFFERENTIATES A

TRANSACTIONAL

TRAVEL AGENT FROM

A TRUSTED ADVISOR

IS THE CONVERSATION

AFTER THE TRIP.

At Virtuoso Travel Week, the industry

discovers insider travel insights


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 19

In The Field

with evelyne gaudin

THE “INSIDE LINE” ON WHAT’S HOT IN THE FIELD OF TRAVEL ADVICE

PART 2

WINE & GASTRONOMY

TOURISM

HOW TO

ORGANISE

TRAVEL THAT

DOESN’T LEAVE

A BITTER

AFTERTASTE!

Since 1989, Evelyne Gaudin has

been impassioned with the travel

industry – working in every aspect

of the industry – in airlines, hotels,

cruises, TO and advisory roles,

with a passion to “always deliver

the best experience”. In this

feature, she unveils the secrets to

successful planning in the field of

wine & gastronomy tourism.

Aside from the traditional visits to

well-known regions or countries such

as France, we are seeing a new way

of exploring these regions. This is due

to the time element. Most Americans

do not have a lot of vacations – or at

least not as much as the Europeans

or Australians have. And in order to

maximize their vacations, the trend in

River Cruising has grown, and now

along with the interest clients had

in food and wine of these various

regions. The Wine Cruises

have been offered more

than before combining

gastronomy

experiences

and vineyard

visits. They are

expanding in France,

but also in Spain,

Germany and Austria. The

wine river cruises are very

different from a “typical” river

cruise. People of course get to visit

the region but also the wineries, and

will be offered on board specially

organised meetings with experts and

vineyard owners.

Another emerging idea is that of

cycling day-tours while on a river

cruise, stopping to visit wineries and

picnicking in idyllic settings. One of

my favorite “ultimate experience” is

that of ballooning over the Burgundy

region. In terms of gastronomy,

clients will reserve their two or three

Michelin star lunches or dinners before

even buying their air tickets. When it

comes to wineries, certain companies

specialise in giving you access in

smaller wineries that are not normally

open to the public.

CLIENTS

WILL RESERVE

THEIR TWO OR THREE

MICHELIN STAR LUNCHES

OR DINNERS BEFORE

EVEN BUYING THEIR

AIR TICKETS.

CHILE – TRENDING WINE

DESTINATION

While France, Spain and Italy are always

“solid” favourites, in South America

and in particular in Chile, we are

seeing the emergence of a number of

wine programs – new hotels , “Wine

Resorts” – only 2 hours from Santiago

that are absolutely magnificent. I had

the good fortune to visit some: the

combination of wine, food and

culture here are amazing.

The fascinating beauty

of Chile can also be

combined with

Mendoza, the

wine region in

Argentina, which

has also enhanced

their wine programs.

The magic is that a Wine

Tour in Chile and Argentina

can easily be arranged with

a visit to Northern Patagonia in

order to create the ultimate trip and

experience.

The advice I would give to other travel

advisors when working with clients

on these kinds of tours is, as always,

to listen to what the customer wants.

Not to try to direct them only towards

what they themselves like or know ,

but more importantly to listen to their

clients wishes, to do lots of research

based on their budget. It is essential

to take into consideration the age of

their clients and how active they want

to be. The more questions the advisor

will ask, the closer one can get to

making a dream a reality

SEE YOU AGAIN IN THE NEXT EDITION


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

WHEN PACIFIC

CULTURE

MEETS

FRENCH

SAVOIR FAIRE

Once simple, today

increasingly “foody-friendly” –

Polynesia’s top resorts deliver

delectable dining experiences

French Polynesian food is known globally because of its

exotic fruits, fresh fish and vegetables, prepared with a

strong French influence underlying the Tahitian ingredients.

Restaurants in French Polynesia’s top resorts are today

among the world’s most highly respected establishments…

Here are just a few…

“OHIRI” GOURMET

DINING AT THE

TAHA’A ISLAND

RESORT AND SPA

In an intimate atmosphere,

the Chef delights guests with

exquisite French-Polynesian

fusion creations, not to forget

a well-appointed selection

of wines selected by the

Sommelier. The setting is

cosy, perfect for a romantic

dinner, and the restaurant

can be privatised for families

or groups and special events.

Meanwhile, for breakfast at

the “Le Vanille” restaurant,

suspended among the island’s

trees, guests enjoy a daily

selection of juices, Danish and

pastries, tasty tropical fruits,

as well as fluffy omelettes or

delicious French crêpes, not

forgetting the Le Taha’a “pain

perdu”! The dinner menu

offers local and international

specialties, and vegetarian

options are available. Every

Tuesday, a folkloric show with

fire dancing transports the

visitor to ancient Tahiti.

La Plage Restaurant: Guests

enjoy lunch “al fresco”,

right on the beach - with

feet in the sand! The Chef’s

specialties include tantalizing

fresh, colourful salads, grilled

fish or meat, sashimi and

of course Tahitian’s well

renowned “poisson cru”, a

salad of raw tuna marinated

with vegetables, lime juice and

freshly squeezed coconut milk

BORA BORA PEARL BEACH RESORT & SPA

TEVAIROA

RESTAURANT

Tevairoa features international cuisine

with a creative French-Polynesian

touch. The highest elevation point at

the resort, breakfast is served buffet

style with peaceful views of the

dazzling lagoon and Mount Otemanu,

while dinner gives the visitor the

option to dine under the starlit sky.

Every Monday, guests enjoy a vibrant

live Polynesian show.

MIKI MIKI BAR

& RESTAURANT

Lounging by the pool or on the beach,

guests do not have to go too far for

a delicious lunch! From tasty grilled

fish or meat to the island’s specialty

“poisson cru”, paninis, colourful

salads or tasty pasta and pizzas,

options at the Miki Miki Restaurant

abound for the palate’s pleasure.

TAUREAREA SUSHI BAR

The Taurearea Sushi Bar opens every

evening. Guests enjoy a selection of

Maki, Sushi and Sashimi.

SMARTreport Commercial Content


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 21

© Le Pigonnet

GASTRONOMY

BRINGS

TRAVELLERS

INTO CLOSER

CONTACT

WITH LOCAL

TRADITIONS

AND CULTURE

“Fresh” is the word – at Le Pigonnet

in Aix-en-Provence, France

A CULINARY

JOURNEY IN THE

MOST BEAUTIFUL

GARDENS OF

AIX-EN-PROVENCE

In France, each region is more like a

country in its own right when it comes to

cuisine, as differences in style and flavours

can be huge. Very much in vogue today

is the incredibly delectable and original

cuisine to be found throughout Provence,

where the freshness and flavour of the

locally sourced fruit, vegetables and sea

food are without equal.

Le Pigonnet – an historic establishment

in Aix-en-Provence, frequented over the

years by the likes of Cezanne, Picasso,

Serge Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve

– was purchased a couple of years back

by actor Christophe Lambert and a friend,

Michel Halimi. The latter is a strategist

and real estate investor, who launched his

career with a dream: to introduce the “so

French crêpe” in Boston. So, little wonder

Le Pigonnet’s restaurant is “shining”!

The bistro-gastro restaurant “La Table du

Pigonnet” offers a Mediterranean cuisine

highlighting the best seasonal products

and local flavours. The dishes can be

enjoyed indoors or outdoors, overlooking

the hotel’s garden and the century

chestnut tree alley.

Magic occurs in the kitchen with the Chef

Thierry Balligand. Known to be one of

the finest tables in Aix-en-Provence, the

chef offers an original and creative cuisine

that focuses on seasonal products, in

particular respecting the region

According to the UNWTO, over

88% of destinations consider

gastronomy a strategic

element in defining their

image and brand, and the

World Food Travel Association

estimates that gastronomy

tourism generates an economic

impact of $150 billion

annually.

Today’s travellers are more

experienced and worldly, have

more disposable income and

more leisure time to travel.

Many tourists are looking

for new kinds of visceral

tasting, touching and learning

experiences that allow them

to feel fully immersed in the

novelty of the culture of the

destination. Food is more

instinctive and immersive,

and this is where gastronomy

tourism can provide a wealth

of unique experiences

showcasing the distinct

flavour of the destination.

Food tourism is a form of

cultural preservation and

should, says the World Tourism

Organisation, be configured

around the quality and

authenticity of the product

and territory


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 23

FEELIN’ GREAT – IN THE SUNSHINE!

MEA emerges as a high-growth wellness destination

After Asia and Europe, the Middle East turning into the new kid in the block for wellness

tourism. With 9 million trips and revenues of US$8.3 billion in expenditures, the spa and

wellness activity is making its mark in the Middle East.

© The Ritz-Carlton

The “Global Wellness Economy Monitor,

January 2017”, by the Global Wellness Institute,

considered the leading global research and

educational resource for the global wellness,

gives a close-up on the state of the industry.

And while Asia, Europe and North America

represent the bulk of the wellness and spa

tourism activity, representing 91.2% of all trips

in 2015 and 92.4% of all expenditures around

the world, the Middle East is an attractive

emerging wellness and Spa destination. For

2015 (the latest available year of the Global

Wellness Economy Monitor), the Middle East/

North Africa region registered 9 million wellness

and spa trips which generated US$8.3 billion of

expenditure. This is a respective market share of

1.3% of all trips and 1.5% of all expenditure.

The number of spas in the Middle East region

reached 4,465 in 2015 (3,889 spas in 2013)

while Thermal/Mineral springs reached a

total of 324 establishments in the same year

(compared to 315 back to 2013).

Spas are gaining ground due to a growing

middle class with high purchasing power.

According to the Global Wellness Economy

Monitor, UAE and Qatar have benefitted

from significant investments in new hotels

and resort properties equipped with spa and

wellness facilities markets in anticipation of

Expo 2020 and the FIFA World Cup 2022,

although external factors such as lower oil

prices, currency depreciation, and economic

slowdown in key tourism source countries such

as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China have slowed

the pace of growth in demand.

Wellness and spa activities come generally as

a second motivation in the region. Wellness

travellers are keen to incorporate well-being

activities while travelling in the region for

business or leisure. Visitors have come to

expect extensive spa and fitness facilities in

both city and resort hotels in the Middle East.

Top countries for wellness travellers to the

region are Morocco (2.5 million), followed by

the UAE (1.7 million), Israel (0.9 million), Iran

and Tunisia (0.5 million). When looking at top

destination per spa facilities, the five winners

are Morocco (1,785 spa facilities), the UAE

(687 facilities), Israel (375), Egypt (362) and

Saudi Arabia (352)

Bahrain Spa

WELLNESS

IN THE REGION

IS GROWING

THANKS TO LOCAL

CONSUMING

MIDDLE CLASS WITH

HIGH PURCHASING

POWER.

MIDDLE EAST/

NORTH AFRICA:

FASTEST-GROWING

WELLNESS TOURISM

MARKETS (2012-2017)

Ranked in order, 1-10, based on a

combinaison of total trips added and

annual percentage growth.

Wellness Trips Wellness Trips Wellness Tourism Wellness

2012 2017 Tourism Overall Growth Times

annual growth annual growth Higher

UAE 779,444 1,772,796 17.9% 8.1% 2.2

Israel 630,847 1,478,719 18.6% 7.2% 2.6

Morocco 837,942 1,663,645 14.7% 6.6% 2.2

Jordan 339,298 619,735 12.8% 5.9% 2.2

Tunisia 481,930 755,192 9.4% 4.5% 2.1

Saudi Arabia 221,198 429,553 14.2% 9.3% 1.5

Barhain 179,955 267,026 8.2% 4.1% 2.0

Iran 96,058 151,117 9.5% 3.8% 2.5

Algeria 55,813 109,563 14.4% 6.7% 2.2

Oman 78,050 130,817 10.9% 4.8% 2.3

Source: Global Wellness Institute & Euromonitor. International & domestic trips combined.


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

THE TRUE

POLYNESIAN

EXPERIENCE

Pearl Resorts of Tahiti take Polynesian

hospitality and authenticity to the “Nth

degree”!

TAVAI SPA AT

THE BORA BORA PEARL BEACH RESORT & SPA

Surrounded by a beautiful

lily pond and lush tropical

gardens, the Tavai

Spa offers authentic

Polynesian treatments and

rituals in calm seclusion.

Featuring an exclusive line

of eponymous products

made in Tahiti with

natural ingredients, the

menu includes traditional

and hot stone massages,

exfoliating body scrubs,

facials and nail and hair

care. Highlights of the spa

include the couple’s openair

Vichy showers, the

signature “avae taurumi”,

and the Royal Spa Suite

with a private Jacuzzi

and bath. Saunas are also

available, in addition to a

spacious Fitness Center

complete with cardio

and strength machines.

Poised on Motu Tevairoa,

only a ten-minute boat

ride from the airport and

fifteen minutes across the

lagoon from the village

of Vaitape, the Bora Bora

Pearl Beach Resort &

Spa combines heavenly

location and proximity to

the mainland.

a

BEING PAMPERED AT

THE TAHA’A ISLAND RESORT & SPA

b

At the Taha’a, the

Tavai Spa is nestled in a

beautiful exotic garden,

overlooking the calm

resort’s interior laguna

and surrounded by

bamboo groves. This

little haven of peace is

a true escape to a world

of colour, energy and

deep well-being. A wide

range of massages as

well as body exfoliations

and wraps are available.

Massages may as well

be enjoyed right on

the lagoon as sun sets

over Bora Bora, and

balneotherapy is a great

ally against jetlag after a

long flight.

Monoi, the sacred

traditional Polynesian oil

infused from coconuts

and flowers is used for

most treatments. This

gift from earth feeds

one’s imagination,

transporting the visitor

to be in perfect harmony

with nature: reward for

all senses. Guests can

indulge in a Polynesian

or hot stone massage,

or prepare their skin

for the sun with a body

exfoliation under a Vichy

shower.

Le Taha’a Island Resort

& Spa is quite a unique

resort in its kind.

Exquisitely blending in

the islet’s vegetation, Le

Taha’a is considered by

many one of the most

serene and romantic

resorts anywhere on the

planet: a feast for all the

senses

a b Bora Bora Pearl Beach

Resort & Spa

c Taha’a Island Resort & Spa

c

SMARTreport Commercial Content


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 25

© Michael Martin

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

MEETING

THE CHALLENGES

Africa and the Middle East continue

to struggle with challenges to tourism

growth, but despite some adverse

times, the UNWTO predicts that visitors

– at least to the MENA region – will

total 195 million by 2030, growing at

a rate higher than the world average.

Tourism is an increasingly important

sector to support the economic

diversification of the region. In addition

to generating foreign exchange

earnings and creating jobs, tourism

promotes trade and investment

and significantly contributes to the

development of other sectors of the

economy - such as construction,

manufacture, retail and financial

services.” said UNWTO Secretary-

General, Taleb Rifai.

While much still has to be done to

ensure that economic growth due

to tourism leads to the sustainable

and inclusive development of host

communities and the transition

towards a green economy, the outlook

for the industry continues to brighten.

In the next pages, we cover key trends

– and highlight some “rare pearls”!

Arakao, Sahara


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA / AIR TRANSPORT

TIMES CHANGING FOR M.E. AI

Middle East carriers face a challenging 2017

The international Air Transport Association IATA is predicting a drop in profitability for UAE carriers in

2017, and the recent ban from the USA and UK on large electronics devices on board could further add

to Middle East airlines woes for the time being.

Qatar Airways

offers passengers

a replacement

laptop on all

flights to the US

in response to the

Electronics Ban

“UAE carriers will have a year

that is probably below 2016,”

IATA Director General and Chief

Executive Alexandre de Juniac told

reporters in Abu Dhabi, adding

that low-cost, long-haul services

could also soon start to take hold

in the region.

IATA previously said Middle East

airlines are likely to see profits fall

to $300 million in 2017 from $900

million last year in part due to

high capacity and limited demand

growth.

The UAE is home to many carriers.

Emirates, based in Dubai, is the

world’s largest long-haul airline,

but faces increased competition

from its rival based in Abu Dhabi,

Etihad Airways.

The UAE has also two home-based

low cost carriers: flydubai and Air

Arabia, based in neighbouring

Sharjah. AirArabia is a very

important player in the budget

travel segment. The airline serves

some 50 destinations out of

Sharjah including Europe (Kiev,

Istanbul & Rome).

All these carriers have regularly

been among the most profitable

from the region, but times are

changing due to a series of factors

that are squeezing profits. Earlier

this year, Emirates President Tim

Clark spoke of a “flat” 2017 for

the airline, as external factors

impact its business.

Emirates in fact reported a 75%

drop in net profit in the first half

of the 2016-17 financial year

compared to the same period of

2015; the equivalent of US$214

million. Air Arabia and flydubai

reported lower full-year profits

for 2016 and while Etihad has not

yet reported its results at time of

writing, it has said it is undertaking

a review of its business.

WILL ELECTRONICS

BAN PARTIALLY

DERAIL GROWTH

OF MIDDLE EAST

CARRIERS?

A new problem emerged recently

with the ban by the United States

and UK of electronic devices in

cabins of selected airlines, all from

the Middle-East and North Africa.

Close to 750 flights per week (400 to

the UK, 350 to the USA) are affected

by the ban according to IATA.


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 27

RLINES

IATA president Alexandre de Juniac says

the ban will have a “significant impact” on

airline revenues as it will encourage some

passengers to seek indirect routes to avoid the

inconvenience of flying through Abu Dhabi,

Dubai, Doha, Istanbul, Kuwait or Cairo.

Britain also includes Tunisia but excludes UAE

airports.

US officials said the measure was intended

to avoid possible terrorist attacks on airlines

with explosive devices hidden in consumer

electronics.

“The current measures are not an acceptable

long-term solution to whatever threat they

are trying to mitigate,” said de Juniac. “Even

in the short-term it is difficult to understand

their effectiveness. And the commercial

distortions they create are severe. We call on

governments to work with the industry to find

a way to keep flying secure without separating

passengers from their personal electronics.”

Meanwhile, affected airlines are working on

solution to soften the possible impact of the

US ban on bookings. Airlines such as Emirates

and Turkish allow passengers to keep their

electronic device up to the boarding gate.

Airlines affected by the U.S. ban on electronic

devices are finding ways around the measures,

introducing free Wi-Fi, tablets and laptops

aboard US-bound flights as an alternative.

US officials explain the directive will run

until October 14, 2017. But it could still be

extended for another year. It will depend very

much of Middle East carriers’ persuading skills

over American authorities

EMIRATES

ANNOUNCES A380

SERVICE TO THE

FRENCH RIVIERA

Emirates has announced the

launch of a daily A380 service

to Nice, gateway to the French

Riviera and Provence. The daily

A380 service will start on 1 st

July 2017, just in time for the

beginning of the summer holiday

season. After Paris, Nice becomes

Emirates’ second destination in

France to welcome the iconic

double decker, further stimulating

demand for travel to the region.

Nice is currently served with a

daily flight operated by a Boeing

777-300ER. The deployment of

an A380 represents a capacity

increase of 44% on the route.

With 3633 weekly seats in each

direction, Emirates will offer

more seats to the Middle East

and beyond than any other

international airline, highlighting

Nice’s importance as part of the

airline’s global network. Enabling

an increase in passenger

numbers will also result in

additional tourism revenues for

Nice and the wider region, which

in turn will mean boosting the

local economy and job creation.

As of 1 st July, EK77 will be

operated by an A380, leaving

Dubai at 0845hrs and arriving

in Nice at 1340hrs, while EK78

will depart Nice at 1540hrs and

arrive in Dubai at 0010hrs the

next day (local times). Passengers

travelling to or from the following

cities will enjoy optimal A380

to A380 connections in Dubai:

Auckland, Bangkok, Hong Kong,

Mauritius, Seoul, Shanghai,

Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, and more


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA / AIR TRANSPORT

ABU DHABI

INTERNATIONAL

AIRPORT VOTED

BEST AIRPORT

IN THE MIDDLE

EAST AND MOST

IMPROVED AIRPORT:

MIDDLE EAST FOR

2016

Airports Council International (ACI) has

announced Abu Dhabi International

Airport (AUH) as the winner of “Best

Airport in the Middle East”, and “Most

Improved Airport: Middle East”, in its

annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ)

Awards.

The ASQ Awards recognise airports

around the globe that demonstrate a

commitment to providing an excellent

customer experience and they are given

on the basis of passenger surveys that

are supervised by ACI.

In the last year, Abu Dhabi Airports, in

conjunction with the Ministry of Interior,

and Abu Dhabi Police, launched its

Smart Travel System at AUH, which

allows passengers to check-in and move

through immigration and security in

within fifteen minutes, interacting only

with cutting edge technology.

The pioneering system consists of selfcheck-in

and baggage drop facilities,

automated passport control gates, and

smart boarding gates. Smart Travel has

significantly enhanced the passenger

experience by decreasing processing

times within the airport by up to 70%,

meaning more time for travellers to enjoy

the airport’s retail, leisure and food &

beverage facilities

NEW ENHANCED

BOOKING SYSTEM

FOR ETIHAD

© AIRABUS S.A.S. 2014 - photo by master films / P. MASCLET

Etihad Airways has

successfully implemented

a new booking standard

driven by the International

Air Transport Association

(IATA) that enhances the

level of information flow

between travel agents

and airline reservation

systems.

The New Distribution

Capability (NDC) booking

standard has been

made possible following

successful testing by

Etihad Airways with

Sabre Airline Solutions in

partnership with Sabre

Travel Network, one of the

largest global distribution

systems. As a result, the

airline has secured a Level

1 certification from IATA.

The certification paves the

way for travel agents to

have greater functionality

with an improved

shopping experience in

the future that will enable

them to access images

of products, services and

seat maps directly from

Etihad Airways’ host

reservation system


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA INBOUND

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 29

TRENDS & FIGURES

Wadi Bani Khalid,

Sharqiyah region,

Muscat, Oman

UNWTO statistics show that Africa (+8%) enjoyed a strong rebound in 2016 after two troubled years,

adding 4 million arrivals to reach 58 million. Sub-Saharan Africa (+11%) led growth, while a gradual

recovery started in North Africa (+3%). The Middle East received 54 million international tourist arrivals

in 2016. Arrivals decreased an estimated 4% with mixed results among the region’s destinations.

EMIRATES ON RISE

The United Arab Emirates saw a rise

in all key visitor markets in 2016,

with India still topping the list and

Saudis in second position in terms

of visitor numbers to Dubai. The

biggest rise in percentage terms

was from Chinese visitors, up 20%

year-on-year to 540,000, now in 7 th

place.

SOUTH AFRICAN

TOURISM RECOVERS

IN 2016

A weak Rand in 2016 combined

with simplified conditions to obtain

a tourist visa had a positive impact

for tourism in South Africa last year.

The country saw tourist arrivals

jumping by double digit figures and

surpassing the 10-million visitors’

mark.

2015 had been a bad year for

tourism activities in South Africa

as total arrivals of overseas tourists

fell from 9.5 million in 2014 to 8.9

million in 2015. However, 2016

has seen a wave of optimism with

a welcome turn around. According

to the latest release from South

Africa Office of Statistics (Stats SA),

total arrivals to the country passed

the 10-million mark, representing

a growth of 12.8%. Arrivals from

Overseas markets progressed

even stronger, jumping by 18%

compared to 2015 to reach a total

of 2.53 million travellers. Europe

remains South Africa largest

overseas source with a market share

of 61% – equivalent to over 1.5

million visitors.

According to Tourism Minister

Derek Hanekom, the more than

encouraging figure relies on a few

positive factors: the weak rand

currency – it stood last year on

average at ZAR16 to 17 for one

Euro and at ZAR 15 to 16 to one US

dollar, the end of the Ebola disease

from the African continent and

last but not least the easing of visa

restrictions, had all positive effects.

In 2015, South Africa new visa

regulations indeed caused an

industry storm, as embassies and

consulates required that prospective

tourists submit travel documents in

person as well as unabridged birth

certificates for children travelling

with them. Some 20,000 travellers

were consequently denied aircraft

boarding on their way to South

Africa while the effect on potential

travellers was obvious, especially for

China and India


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA INBOUND

Najib Balala

Cabinet Secretary

for Tourism, Kenya

10.4% GROWTH IN ARRIVALS FOR KENYA

Airport expansion and infrastructure improvement go hand in hand

with tourism growth

Throughout last year, Kenya witnessed a growth trajectory which the

government hopes to maintain this year, holding all other factors constant.

We asked Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala to give us the

latest details…

The total consolidated arrivals for 2016

closed at 1,307,351, a 10.4% growth

over 2015 that recorded 1,183,847. Our

domestic segment continues to grow

posting a total of 3.6 million bed nights

being taken up by Kenyans in 2016

compared to 3.1 million in 2015, a 14.6%

growth.

How is tourism infrastructure evolving?

Infrastructure evolution is going hand

in hand with the evolution/ growth

in the tourism business. Some of the

infrastructure development that has

direct impact on tourism includes the

expansion and modernisation of the Jomo

Kenyatta International Airport. This will

ease congestion at the airport by meeting

its current and future demand. Traffic at

the airport is growing at a rate of 12%

per annum, and is expected to hit the

25 million mark by 2025. In the coastal

part of Kenya, Malindi Airport is being

expanded to enable flights to land directly

into Malindi. The government has also

commissioned Isiolo International Airport

to handle heavy commercial flights and

open up the northern part of the country

to tourism and other economic benefits.

Several air strips leading to tourism hot

spots across the country are also under

expansion and face-lifts.

What is being done to counter poaching

and foster wildlife conservation?

Kenya’s commitment to stopping

poaching has been demonstrated by the

government’s destruction of the largest

stock-pile of ivory in the world. Kenya,

at the end of the year 2015 destroyed

over 100 tones of ivory to underline

its war against poaching. As such, the

government has taken measures to curb

poaching with the deployment of more

resources including rangers to combat

poaching as well as embracing technology

in the monitoring of animal populations

especially those of threatened species.

The campaign includes the promotion of

alternative incomes for communities living

around game parks and wildlife reserves

to ensure they are not a threat to natural

habitats and expand the system of direct

benefits to locals to include National

Parks

KENYA, AT THE

END OF THE YEAR

2015 DESTROYED

OVER 100 TONES

OF IVORY TO

UNDERLINE ITS WAR

AGAINST POACHING


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 31

ABU DHABI: EVER MORE

DIVERSE AND EXCITING

The emirate opens its doors to the world with new

attractions and promotional activities

Abu Dhabi, which is set to welcome the $1 billion Warner Bros.

theme park at Yas Island in 2018, is seeing a major push by the

Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority to market the emirate as

a destination perfect for leisure vacationing, for both families and

couples. The emirate saw a rise of 8% in hotel guests in 2016, with

4.4 million visitors.

HE Saif

Saeed Ghobash

Director General,

TCA Abu Dhabi

VISIT ABU DHABI

MOBILE APP WINS

AT THE RECENT

WORLD GOVERNMENT

SUMMIT AWARDS

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

(TCA Abu Dhabi) has won top honours

at the ‘Best Mobile Government Service

Awards’ at the World Government

Summit Awards for the new, improved

version of its Visit Abu Dhabi mobile

application.

The latest Visit Abu Dhabi app version,

which allows users to gain instant

access to all that is new in the emirate

via their mobile phones and tablets,

won top spot in the Tourism category

at the prestigious ceremony, which was

held in Dubai on Tuesday, February

14 th as part of the World Government

Summit 2017

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS

CAST NEW LIGHT ON ABU DHABI’S

EARLIEST INHABITANTS

Remarkable discoveries by

archaeologists from Abu Dhabi

Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA

Abu Dhabi) at ancient sites on the

island of Marawah and in Baynunah

have revealed new information on

Abu Dhabi’s earliest inhabitants,

evidencing a rich history stretching

back over 7,000 years.

Artefacts excavated from a village

on the island of Marawah and in

Baynunah indicate that during this

time, a sophisticated and highly

skilled population were able to trade

and thrive in challenging conditions

and adapt to the changing

environment around them.

Commenting on the latest

discoveries, HE Mohamed Khalifa

Al Mubarak, Chairman, TCA Abu

Dhabi, said: “These important

discoveries signify Abu Dhabi’s

advanced construction methods

from the Neolithic and the influential

role it had in early long-distance

maritime trade. The expertise of

our team of archaeologists allows

us to build a narrative of the

Emirate’s development and history,

piecing together an intriguing and

intricate story of the earliest known

inhabitants of the Emirate of Abu

Dhabi. We are encouraged to assign

more excavation works, and our

aim is to conduct extensive studies

to further understand our ancestors

and our land, and our mission is

to share these findings with the

world”

An aerial view of the

outline of the Stone

Age house found on

the island of Marawah

© Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA INBOUND

TRENDING HOTELS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 33

EXPERIENCING ONE OF MALAWI’S

LAST TRULY UNEXPLOITED

WILDLIFE AREAS

ACCORHOTELS

EXPANDS LUXURY

FOOTPRINT IN

AFRICA WITH

FAIRMONT

ROYAL PALM

MARRAKECH

AccorHotels has signed a management

agreement with New Mauritius Hotels

Limited, relaunching the existing

Royal Palm under the Fairmont Hotels

& Resorts brand in May 2017. The

reflagging marks a major step for the

luxury brand in Africa.

The award winning Tongole

Wilderness Lodge is set deep within

the beautiful Miombo woodland of

the 1,800 km² Nkhotakota Wildlife

Reserve. Tongole is the only luxury

lodge in the reserve, drawing those

who seek an exceptional wilderness

experience in one of Malawi’s last

truly unexploited wildlife areas.

News over the past year comes

in the fact that one of the world’s

largest elephant translocations,

500 elephants, commenced to

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in

2016 and continues in 2017.

With populations of elephants

across Africa under serious threat,

African Parks, in cooperation with

the Department of National Parks

and Wildlife, has undertaken to

move up to 500 elephants from

Liwonde National Park and Majete

Wildlife Reserve, where populations

are too high for these conservation

areas to sustain, to the 1,800

square kilometre wilderness of the

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

PEMBA ISLAND & THE AIYANA

HOTEL COMPLEX

Located just 12 kilometers from the

bustling city of Marrakech, Fairmont

Royal Palm Marrakech is nestled

within the heart of a century-old

olive grove, spanning 231 hectares

with uninterrupted views of the Atlas

Mountains.

Featuring 134 guestrooms including

five Presidential Suites, one Penthouse

Suite, and 10 Prince villas, the resort

currently also offers 94 private

residences consisting of two, three

and four-bedroom villas. Subsequent

phases of the development will include

both Fairmont Royal Palm Residences

and Fairmont Royal Palm Estates,

joining Fairmont’s exclusive portfolio of

branded private residences

Pemba is becoming a popular

destination close to Zanzibar: a

natural starting point for a unique

experience. Some of the villages,

especially the more remote ones are

still largely untouched by modern

way of life, with attractions such

as the Ngezi Forest, Baobab Forest,

Mangroves, Njau gap, diving,

kayaking and biking.

59 kilometres from Pemba airport,

the Aiyana hotel complex is based on

sustainable principal to ensure that

the resort has a minimum impact

on the surrounding environment by

using solar power, LED lighting etc

The Aiyana Public Area

- Pool, bar and beach


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA OUTBOUND

TRENDS & FIGURES

MIDDLE EAST OUTBOUND

TRAVELLERS

A high-spending, fast-growing market

According to latest available data, the

Middle East total outbound market

last year reached 39.5 million, up from

37.91 in 2015. from 2012 to 2016, total

outbound trips grew by 24.6%, the

equivalent of an average growth rate of

4.9%, higher than in other parts of the

world.

GCC Nationals represent the bulk of all

travels from the Middle East. In 2015,

close to 21 million of all Middle East

travellers came from a GCC country,

representing a market share of 55%.

Within the GCC, the largest market

is Saudi Arabia -which has also the

GCC largest population at 31.5 million

inhabitants- followed surprisingly by

Kuwait (4.5 million outbound travellers)

and the UAE (3.3 million).

The fastest emerging markets in the

region are however Turkey and Iran

which already generate the highest

number of outbound travellers. In 2015,

total outbound from Turkey reached 7.8

million visitors while estimated travel

from Iran reached over eight million. The

lifting of sanctions for Iran plays a positive

role in both inbound and outbound as

visa restrictions have been gradually lifted

for many countries while air capacity

between Iran and the rest of the world

is on the increase- particularly to Europe

and Asia.

Middle-Eastern markets are of great

interest for many countries as local

population usually takes one long holiday

each summer to a long-haul destination

to escape the heat in the Middle East. This

long holiday, which can last six to eight

weeks, is supplemented by short breaks

to short-haul destinations during the rest

of the year. Potential thus still exists in the

Middle East for many destinations.

The Middle East’s most promising factor

for destinations is the high spending by

local travellers. Expenditure on outbound

travel from the Middle East is expected to

reach $165.3 billion by 2025, according

to the World Travel and Tourism Council,

a performance which is doubled as

large as total revenues spent in 2015 at

US$77 billion in 2015. Growth is being

driven by international luxury travellers.

Saudi Arabia’s outbound expenditure

represented close to US$21 billion in

2015, followed by the UAE with US$15.1

billion, Kuwait at US$12.3 billion and Iran

with US$7.6 billion.

Compared to the rest of the world, GCC

Nationals spend 260% more on airfares

and 430% more on accommodation

according to studies. Between 40 and

60% of all GCC Nationals travel business

class


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 35

Dr Irfan Ahmad

CEO and Founder, Irhal.com

110 million Muslims will travel in 2017 and 70% will make their

travel decision online. But just where will the Gulf Arab spend

his $9,920 travel budget in 2017? We caught up to Dr Irfan

Ahmad, CEO and Founder, Irhal.com at the recent ITB Berlin

Convention as he gave his presentation on this topic, asking

firstly how the “Halal Tourism” market is evolving this year…

2010 by creating a website with

Arabic language city guides.

Unlike anyone else, we also

offered information on Halal

restaurants, prayer timings and

mosque locations for each of the

UNTAPPED RESOURCES

How to reach the millennial dominated $140bn Halal

tourism market

With President Trump’s

threatened travel ban, the

significance of Halal Tourism

will become more important

because countries in Europe

and Asia will be actively trying

to attract Muslim travellers

who will be spending upwards

of $150 billion in travel related

expenses in 2017. Interesting

times!

More and more Muslim

travellers are buying online.

How is this evolving? What

are the key trends?

Credit card usage in the

Middle East is rising. But more

importantly, for many travellers

from the GCC (Saudi Arabia,

UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and

Bahrain), visa requirements are

being relaxed. Both these factors

are contributing to the increase

in online travel purchases. If a

visa is required, travellers prefer

to go through a travel agency

because they help with the

paperwork. Now it is easy for

someone to book a flight and

a hotel online and a last minute

decision to spend a weekend

in a foreign country becomes

possible.

You have developed some

very useful apps for Muslim

travellers. How do these

work?

Muslim travellers, particularly

Arab travellers were

handicapped because there was

very little Arabic travel content

on the internet. We started in

90 cities that are listed on our

website. By 2014 we realised

that our visitors preferred an

offline solution while traveling.

So we launched the Irhal mobile

apps both for iOS and Android.

We now have over 1.5 million

unique users of our website and

apps.

Irhal.com users prefer to visit

non-Muslim countries because

of what a destination offers in

terms of culture, entertainment

and nature. By providing Halal

food, the destination will

become more attractive. So,

hotels and tourism boards should

be highlighting this aspect of

their offerings to attract more

Muslim tourists


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA OUTBOUND

© Atout France - Robert Palomba

FRANCE DEVELOPS NEW TOOLS

FOR TAs & TOs IN MEA…

AND BEYOND

This regular “favourite destination” just became even

more exciting - thanks to new ideas from Atout France

Since the 1980’s, France has boasted of

being the #1 global destination in terms

of tourist arrivals. For many around the

world, it’s a place that must be experienced

at least once in a lifetime. In 2015, France

welcomed 84.5 million international visitors

(a record) and 83 million in 2016, while the

goal is to eventually host 100 million visitors

by 2020.

This success is of course due to the

extremely positive image enjoyed by France

on the international scene. A strong image,

which distinguishes this nation from other

European destinations, but also thanks to

the implementation of promotional material

and professional training that aims to create

a real “desire for France” among even the

most demanding travellers. For this, the

government has created what it terms

“Pôles d’Excellence” (promotion by themes)

and “Destination Contracts”, aiming to

promote key internal destinations that will

add true value to the overall offering.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The “Pôles d’Excellence” have a role of

highlighting the best ways to experience

and enjoy the destination in different ways.

The following “theme holiday” ideas are

thus officially being included as an official

part of the promotional activity by Atout

France, the Government’s destination

marketing organisation:

cruising

wine tourism

eco-tourism, national parks, bike routes

gastronomy

iconic cultural heritage,

a living heritage: capital of fashion, design,

festivals, major expos...

night tourism

mountain tourism

They specifically highlight the major vectors

of tourism in France and help answer the

first question: Why France?

In parallel to this, “destinations reloaded”

(Destination Contracts) efficiently

complement the arsenal of tools that add to

the diversity of the French offer. These are in

line with the “destination brands”, a great

promotional success story driven by Atout

France for several years, launching veritable

global brands with a reputation abroad

that even exceeds that of the France itself

in some countries. Champagne, Bordeaux,

SMARTreport Commercial Content


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 37

Alps Mont Blanc, Provence, Biarritz... their

names often lead one to dream… and the

experiences they offer add to France’s brand

thanks to their uniqueness.

These 16 “destination brands” have been a

key general promotional vector for France

for several years and can offer visitors a

multitude of experiences:

Skiing or hiking in the Alps,

Staying at a winery in Bordeaux or

Burgundy and becoming initiated in

oenology,

Golfing in Biarritz and the Basque country,

Relaxing with a “wellness” holiday in

Brittany,

Discovering the monuments and museums

of France’s cities,

Attending a festival or major sporting

event,

Discovering regional specialities or dining

at the table of a “starred” chef...

On the basis of this experience and

this success, Atout France has created

“Destination Contracts”, which allow to

develop new territories, to continue this

momentum and thus bring new destinations

to attract international visitors.

There are currently 22 such “destinations

reloaded” that are especially designed to

help professionals respond to the growing

expectations of their clients for authenticity,

new experiences within the destination

itself and revealing the different faces of

France.

A Destination Contract brings public and

private stakeholders together from the

same destination in order to pool human

and financial means, search for economies

of scale… and this over several years. It

simultaneously covers the structuring and

development of tourism, the quality of

hospitality, promotion on one or several

markets as well as a process of collective

intelligence.

A GREAT ONLINE PORTAL

These two exceptional tools benefit

from the incredible “booster” effect of

france.fr, the internet portal of destination

France, created in 2015.

A true showcase of French tourism, the

site allows users from around the world to

find all information on the experiences to

live in France and its various destinations,

and this, in 17 languages in the 31 markets

covered by the international network of the

operator.

Specifically highlighted on the site:

global brands and destinations reloaded,

discovery themes (culture, gastronomy,

shopping, well-being, etc.)

major events that bring a destination to

life,

and of course the practical information on

travelling to and around France in the best

conditions.

Content from the france.fr site is regularly

relayed on social networks managed by

the agency (more than 5 million followers)

- another key element in the strategy of

Atout France.

At the same time, Atout France collaborates

very closely with embassies in all its markets,

allowing it to conduct promotions in

70 countries. To this end, Atout France

conducts around 3,000 actions annually

to promote “destinations reloaded” and

theme holidays.

Read the full

SMARTguide online

The multichannel marketing strategy of

France’s tourism development agency aims

both to raise awareness among the general

public (campaigns, press inserts, actions on

social networks, e-newsletters...) and the

press / influencers through conferences and

the hosting of journalists and bloggers...

Travel professionals are at the heart of the

concerns of Atout France who organise

workshops for the presentation of

destinations, during which the organisation

promotes meetings between French

suppliers and travel agents from around

the world. Atout France is also present

at shows, conducts its own events and

organises regular fam tours in France

TRAVEL

PROFESSIONALS ARE

AT THE HEART OF THE

CONCERNS OF ATOUT

FRANCE


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 39

© iStock Photo - HAKINMHAN

THE GATHERING

OF EXCELLENT

MINDS

Every

year at this time, the world’s

top hotel technology experts and

suppliers gather together for the

annual “Mecca” – better known

as HITEC (see details page 8). As

is now customary, we take this

occasion to create a Cleverdis

Virtual Roundtable, at which

some of the world’s veritable

“thought leaders” impart their

current and future sentiments

regarding the state of play. Yet

again it is highly valuable for

us to have this input which we

believe will serve in many ways

as a “rudder” – helping others

guide their decisions for coming

months and years. Indeed, as

time moves on, technology

becomes an increasingly essential

element in each hotelier’s plan –

and reading what the best have

to say is not only helpful, but

vital when it comes to running

an establishment today and

planning for tomorrow.


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

HOTEL TECHNOLOGIES:

CURRENT “BURNING ISSUES”

Thought leadership from some of the industry’s top “tech brains”

In this virtual roundtable, we ask six of the world’s top industry

specialists what they see as being the key issues of the moment

and how they are dealing with them.

Floor Bleeker

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER,

MÖVENPICK GROUP

Christopher Chan

GENERAL MANAGER, RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY,

THE HONG KONG AND SHANGHAI HOTELS,

THE PENINSULA HOTELS

Our biggest challenge in hospitality IT is to accelerate

innovation to digitise customer and employee

touchpoints in a cost-effective way. The expectations of

hospitality IT are sky high, because other industries have

done it so well. The travel, transportation, entertainment

and banking sectors have all managed to create digital

customer and employee experiences that are user

friendly and cost effective, and this is now expected

from us as well. That said, IT spending in hospitality is

far lower than in any of the other industries, making

this an even bigger challenge. At Mövenpick Hotels

& Resorts we looked at the entire guest journey and

are now working on digitising key touchpoints and

processes such as check-in and payment

The burning topic for us right now is how do we integrate

smart home automation into guest rooms. This includes

everything from wireless connectivity to voice commands

as well as getting to the point where all the controls of a

rooms are done by the guest’s phone or through other smart

devices. It’s a question of using these kinds of ideologies

to streamline the use of power consumption in the guest

room, to providing information as to how the guests are

actually moving from one location to another inside the

room, or in the hotel.

The other issue is big data: using this as a way to learn more

about our guests, such as where they are spending their

money, what they ask for first when they arrive, or how they

use our guest room technologies


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SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 41

C. Scott Hansen

DIRECTOR, GUEST

TECHNOLOGY,

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

Christian

Lundén

DIRECTOR

OF FUTURE BUSINESS,

NORDIC CHOICE HOTELS

For my work, specifically, the area of focus is not dissimilar than

that of my colleagues I would imagine – which is intelligently and

strategically identifying operational platforms that are able to

accommodate future growth and opportunity. How do we make

the right decisions around integration points with current systems?

Where do we invest our time and resources to deliver long standing,

scalable products for years to come? I will give you a practical

example – and a focus of mine currently. Several years ago, a hotel

television was just a screen connected to an antenna – delivering

entertainment content. Today, we are implementing net connected

appliances to all our television. To provide entertainment? Yes

– but more importantly to deliver relevant messaging to guests

about their loyalty level, preferences, trip/hotel information, etc. All

of this requires us to create the right back-end environment that

provides the TV – the same information that the guest receives on

their mobile device, website etc. There are no standalone systems

anymore – everything is integrated

Co-creating with others is one of the most important issues

I now see in our industry. So many things are happening

right now in so many different areas, it is impossible to be

on top of everything ourselves, and we need to get help

from others. Together with other well-known companies

and start-ups we can create a much better guest

experience than if we try to do it ourselves. It will often

be a much better solution and we can move faster if we

start partnerships and cooperation’s with others. From a

guest point of view, it is also better to utilise the platforms

and solutions our guests already have at home, instead of

trying to encourage them to use similar kinds of “parallel”

services

Monika Nerger

GLOBAL CHIEF

INFORMATION OFFICER,

MANDARIN ORIENTAL

HOTEL GROUP

I think that one of the most critical issues we face at Mandarin

Oriental Hotel Group is striking the right balance between enabling

innovation and managing the increasingly complex security and

data privacy landscape. Consumer technologies designed for

home and personal use are challenging to provide in a hotel

room occupied by many different guests. We are approaching

this pragmatically, with a view to providing as much technological

innovation outside of the core systems, using an enterprise services

bus methodology. This ensures that our operational technologies

have the right layer of protection without limiting innovation on

the periphery. It also ensures that we can adapt our environment

to a faster pace of change, and implement new technologies as

they evolve in the marketplace

Josh Weiss

VP - BRAND & GUEST

TECHNOLOGY,

HILTON WORLDWIDE

Building on the success we’ve had, it’s mobility. Guests

want to have control from their app, not only building an

experience, but making it an outstanding experience. We

have put tremendous resources behind making sure our

app not only has the right functionality, but is also highly

useable, globally relevant, responsive, fast, free from

glitches, and really delivers an outstanding experience to

the guest. We have deployed room selection, so now guests

going to any of our hotels worldwide can choose their room

from an interactive map. We are the only ones who have

that and guests love it because it gives them choice and

control. We then added on the digital key, which is now

available in more than 1,200 hotels, and growing rapidly.

The focus remains on ensuring that the mobile experience

and door unlocking are totally intuitive and secure


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

GAZING INTO TH

WHERE WILL WE BE

IoT (Internet of Things)

Floor

Bleeker

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER,

MÖVENPICK GROUP

Beacons will be common-place

and will be used for different purposes

like asset tracking, security, guest

recognition, optimisation of space, energy

management and guest loyalty. Today,

adoption is slow because of the high

cost per beacon and the need to have

many different apps to enable different

functionality. Both of these factors will

change in the future, making it cheap to

acquire and easy to implement and use.

We are currently working on our global

Mövenpick recognition program and

we will make sure that it’s future-proof

and can be used with beacons when we

decide to implement them

Christopher

Chan

GENERAL MANAGER, RESEARCH

& TECHNOLOGY, THE HONG KONG

AND SHANGHAI HOTELS,

THE PENINSULA HOTELS

IoT is going to be everywhere – on

smaller devices – such as wearable devices

that can be used by staff without having

to carry a laptop or tablet, enabling us

to know where people are. It will also be

increasingly important in security, and in

the guest room itself. Here we will be able

to monitor such things as the air quality,

or automating some of our robotics – for

cleaning carpets and windows. Sensors

and beacons will also be used in such a

way that as a guest approaches areas such

as the spa, boutiques, bar or restaurants,

they receive relevant location-sensitive

messages with promotions for these

places

C. Scott

Hansen

DIRECTOR, GUEST TECHNOLOGY,

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

With the cost of retrofitting hotels

with some capability of communicating

with some larger management entity,

I don’t see significant impact in just the

next 5 years. Remember – we have about

6,000 hotels globally today. I do think

conceptually it makes a lot of sense and

real economic benefit can be gained by

understanding if a water leak triggers

a sensor or temperatures in a hotel can

be adjusted based on predicted weather

data. I do know that the challenges

will come with ensuring full network

coverage in a hotel (front and back) as

well as vigilance of the massive amounts

of data that have the potential to be

produced. But yes, automation creates

economic efficiencies that we will not be

able to ignore


Brought to you by

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 43

E CRYSTAL BALL:

IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

© iStock Photo - NicoElNino

Christian

Lundén

DIRECTOR OF FUTURE

BUSINESS, NORDIC CHOICE

HOTELS

The new hotel rooms we build are

totally connected and know who you

are and what you like. Finally, we have

really gotten the hang of personalisation,

and based on this knowledge, the room

adjusts itself to your preferences.

You can control most things with just

your voice. Just tell the digital room

assistant when you want to have a cab,

turn off the lamps or just want a fresh

cup of coffee right from your bed. Thanks

to the broader rollout of 5G we will start

to test out how things around us talk to

each other in a totally new way. This gives

hotels new possibilities and services that

we couldn’t do just five years ago

Monika

Nerger

GLOBAL CHIEF INFORMATION

OFFICER, MANDARIN ORIENTAL

HOTEL GROUP

Our industry has already adapted to

smart door locks and thermostats which

are integrated with guest preferences,

but this is just the beginning of IoT. We

are on the cusp of fully understanding the

potential of voice communication in the

guest room. While there are a few early

adopters of Amazon’s Alexa, I believe

that this technology will morph into

avatars, with a human ‘face’ developed

for Siri, Alexa, Cortana and other

voice technologies, which will control

connected devices in the hotel room and

beyond. The guest room avatar will equip

guests with the means to control and

enjoy their hotel experience in ways that

go beyond voice commands to request

extra towels or order room service

Josh

Weiss

VP - BRAND & GUEST

TECHNOLOGY, HILTON

WORLDWIDE

A growing number of devices will

of course become compatible with

common IoT standards. In energy

management, it’s all about helping our

hotels use data to be as efficient as they

possibly can, while also delivering a

great guest experience. It’s great if you

turn off the lights and HVAC when the

guests are not there, but if it’s boiling hot

when they get back, then you haven’t

really delighted them, even if you have

saved energy. I can see a world in a

few years where IoT devices work very

smartly together and centrally to help

hotels optimize how they power down

rooms and HVAC systems, detect issues

when they arise and solve them before

they spur a guest complaint


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

••• GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL:

WHERE WILL WE BE IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) + Machine Learning

Floor

Bleeker

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER,

MÖVENPICK GROUP

At Mövenpick we are currently

testing speech recognition technology to

enhance the in-room guest experience.

We want to keep it simple to start with.

One of the first features we will test with

customers, is the replacement of the inroom

phone by a voice operated device

such as Amazon Echo. On the one hand

this will reduce the investment cost to us,

while providing our guests with a new

cool experience at the same time. There

is still a long way to go and platforms like

these are a pre-requisite to benefit from

real AI or machine learning

Christopher

Chan

GENERAL MANAGER, RESEARCH

& TECHNOLOGY, THE HONG KONG

AND SHANGHAI HOTELS,

THE PENINSULA HOTELS

This will be in parallel with IoT. AI

and Machine learning will enable us to

give guests suggestions or even learn

about their behaviours and adjust their

environment to their liking – such as

knowing what temperature they prefer

for a room, including algorithms that

take into account what the outside

temperature is. For example, some people

like a room to be very warm when it’s cold

outside, and very cool when it’s hot. AI

is going to be especially important with

such things as voice commands – and

giving people information immediately

when guests ask for it

C. Scott

Hansen

DIRECTOR, GUEST TECHNOLOGY,

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

This is an area I am interested in

but have done very little research in as it

relates to hospitality. Ultimately, the value

here would be in predictability. How can I

take all the data I know about a guest and

predict how best to serve that guest based

on past collected information? If we can

get our systems to begin to recognize

patterns – I think we can create programs

and offerings that better meet our guest’s

expectations. Marketing engines already

do this to some degree on-line. Perhaps

it will go along with the robotics – face

recognition from past stays or Facebook/

LinkedIn profiles and real time, proactive

customizations of service based on your

tastes and need can be created


Brought to you by

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 45

© iStock Photo - Jirsak

Christian

Lundén

DIRECTOR OF FUTURE

BUSINESS, NORDIC CHOICE

HOTELS

We have finally found a smarter way

to do things. The bots and AI solutions

we had back in 2017 are gone, and we

can now start to see the benefits in a

bigger scale. Voice is the most commonly

used UI in these services and we do not

need to text everything we need to ask

Monika

Nerger

GLOBAL CHIEF INFORMATION

OFFICER, MANDARIN ORIENTAL

HOTEL GROUP

Our industry has already adapted to

smart door locks and thermostats which

are integrated with guest preferences,

but this is just the beginning of IoT. We

are on the cusp of fully understanding the

potential of voice communication in the

guest room. While there are a few early

adopters of Amazon’s Alexa, I believe

that this technology will morph into

avatars, with a human ‘face’ developed

for Siri, Alexa, Cortana and other

voice technologies, which will control

connected devices in the hotel room and

beyond. The guest room avatar will equip

guests with the means to control and

enjoy their hotel experience in ways that

go beyond voice commands to request

extra towels or order room service

Josh

Weiss

VP - BRAND & GUEST

TECHNOLOGY, HILTON

WORLDWIDE

Hilton is focused on harnessing

the power of speech recognition and

cognitive learning to enable us to deliver

even better and more customized guest

experiences. If a guest asks, “What

vegetarian meals are on the menu?”, this

requires not only a voice interface, which

you could do simply with an app, but

also necessitates the ability to understand

what the guest wants, and the ability to

give an intelligent response, listing the

options that are available now, with prices.

Language translation assistance for our

global guests is another example of how

speech recognition can help us become

even more hospitable. There’s a whole

realm of service delivery that we can

make more elegant by leveraging artificial

intelligence. We are already leveraging

AI with interactive chat features on our

website and mobile apps. As it gets more

intelligent and predictive, an increasing

number of clients will use it, and it will be

an integral part of improving the guest

experience


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

••• GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL:

WHERE WILL WE BE IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

Robotics

Floor

Bleeker

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER,

MÖVENPICK GROUP

Robots will be used on a wide scale

in hotels’ back-of-house areas for tasks

that are physical or risky. We have already

seen robots that clean the exteriors of tall

buildings and this will extend to other

heavy-duty areas such as kitchens and

outdoor facilities. The front-of-house is a

different story. Human interaction is one

of the key differentiators of our industry.

Only once robots and other cognitive

technologies like speech recognition

mature, could they potentially be used

to replace some of the human-to-human

interactions

Christopher

Chan

GENERAL MANAGER, RESEARCH

& TECHNOLOGY, THE HONG KONG

AND SHANGHAI HOTELS,

THE PENINSULA HOTELS

It depends a lot on the hotel itself.

It will be replacing manpower in a lot of

the lower-end three or four star hotels,

because they will provide services like

checking-in and checking -out, cleaning

of the back of house area or even front of

house, serving meals and so on, they will

be a huge hit. For five star properties, a

lot of what you pay for is the service – the

human touch. I do see 5* hotels using

robots in back of house areas, working

on simple cleaning and tasks that can be

completed overnight without requiring

the use of staff

C. Scott

Hansen

DIRECTOR, GUEST TECHNOLOGY,

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL

I have not done a lot of research in

this area but have seen some examples of

robots in hospitality with towel delivery

to rooms and luggage management in

the lobby. Again – efficiencies create

opportunities so we will continue to

review, but for the vast majority of our

hotels it will be some time before physical

robots will greet you at the front door.

Much of the automation will be driven

by user mobile devices interacting with

on property systems. Perhaps in those

markets where labor costs are significantly

burdensome you may see opportunities

arise more quickly


Brought to you by

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 47

Christian

Lundén

DIRECTOR OF FUTURE

BUSINESS, NORDIC CHOICE

HOTELS

A majority of the processes we do

in back office will be automated and

handled by “robots”. Less time is now

spent on repetitive and boring tasks

which gives staff more time to give a

better and more personalised service.

This is used in many different areas

within a hotel chain such as accounting,

revenue and call centres. But we also use

it in guest contacts to make the booking,

check-in and other parts of the guest

journey related processes

Monika

Nerger

GLOBAL CHIEF INFORMATION

OFFICER, MANDARIN ORIENTAL

HOTEL GROUP

Without a doubt, the use of robots in

the hospitality industry will become more

viable in the next five years. Robots will

be used to augment human skills, and

will be supervised by workers. This will be

especially true of repetitive physical tasks

such as mowing grass for more efficient

landscaping, or vacuuming guest rooms,

meeting rooms and corridors. These

technologies are already being seen in

the consumer space. What I think is most

interesting is the evolution of robots

with “empathy”. While I don’t envision

that robots will fully take the place of

hospitality workers any time soon, robots

that understand guest reactions and

sentiments and can react to them could

certainly upend our industry in years to

come

Josh

Weiss

VP - BRAND & GUEST

TECHNOLOGY, HILTON

WORLDWIDE

No doubt we will see an increasing

presence of “wow”-type guest-facing

robotic experiences in limited brands

and geographies, with more practical

applications of guest-facing robotics in

limited places – where the client base

is more familiar with these kinds of

interactions. The focus should remain

on helping hotel team members take

outstanding care of guests.

Several valuable applications for

robotics, however, will likely be in

places like engineering, operations and

maintenance. Here, again, they will not

be replacing staff, but will be used more

and more in helping team members

deal with problems, assisting with

detecting issues and repairs to systems,

vacuuming, window washing, or even

cleaning parking lots


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

SAMSUNG: A MAJOR

PARADIGM CHANGE

The global electronics giant plans to invest directly into the

development of the hospitality industry at large

Nicolas Mercier is Practice Lead – Hospitality & Travel at Samsung

Electronics. We asked him how the Korean electronics group is evolving

in the hospitality sector…

Nicolas Mercier

Practice Lead – Hospitality & Travel,

Samsung Electronics

In 2017, we are looking at a very major

paradigm change at Samsung Electronics,

in that rather than being a service and

equipment supplier to the hospitality

sector, we now aim to be at the heart

of the sector’s development in a number

of ways. Indeed, last year, we already

made some big changes through the

fact that we were evolving very much

into becoming a service partner of the

hotelier, rather than just being a TV and

display sales organisation. That spirit of

service continues to evolve, but much

more importantly, Samsung has decided

to become a key element in moving the

industry forward: in “growing the pie”.

How do you mean by that?

As the industry leader, we decided to

take our responsibility to heart and to not

just sell devices and supply services, but

to actually create the means for all the

players in the industry to do more and

better business. For this, we are launching

a Hospitality Center of Excellence and are

developing specific tools and activities

that will help to inform, educate and

instruct industry professionals, wherever

they may be around the globe.

Can you be more precise?

It’s all about getting better at

understanding the vertical, getting

more people within the organisation

being exposed to hospitality, and from

there, extending our offering in terms

SAMSUNG HAS

DECIDED TO BECOME

A KEY ELEMENT IN

MOVING THE INDUSTRY

FORWARD (…)

of products and solutions to the vertical.

There are a number of external initiatives.

One of the projects is the creation of an

Advisory Board, which will bring together

the best minds in the hospitality market

all together around one table. It’s a

mix of hoteliers and technologists and

some integrators as well; all the actors

that are currently involved in hospitality

technology. The aim of the advisory board

is to identify “pain points” across the


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #34

2017 Spring Edition 49

industry and try to find solutions to them,

as well as thinking together about the

future guest experience – what it’s going

to be like in two or even five years from

now.

As much as possible we will be trying to

align our offering to the market’s wishes.

They will be meeting face-to-face at least

once or twice a year and we’re aiming to

have the first meeting up and running in

Q3 this year

Who is leading the initiative?

The visual display division is leading the

initiative, but we will be bringing people

from mobile and appliance divisions,

as well as those representing the cloud

solution from our memory business.

Why is it so important to bring this

group together?

From in the past just asking us to provide

products, the hoteliers are now completely

rethinking the entire guest journey,

putting technology at the centre of it,

and to make sure we are on target with

what we deliver, we need this consultative

approach.

Tell me about the Centre of Excellence.

The Centre of Excellence is a collection

of activities and projects including

the advisory board, but we are also

implementing an internal hospitality

steering committee. Through this initiative

we will be able to align product planning,

R&D, and other groups, to ensure we

have a converged approach to the hotel

vertical market. The group will meet on a

regular basis working on finding synergies

between products and solutions. An

example is the idea of bringing together

people from the visual display division

with those from the memory team who

have been working on a new cloud

platform allowing interconnectivity of

thousands or, moving forward, even

millions of devices.

Another activity will be our commitment

to the industry to release white papers

on a regular basis that will be informative

tools for hoteliers. Samsung decided to

invest in ways to bring useful information

about technology to hoteliers via specific

reports and studies. The first one should

be released this summer.

We understand Samsung is also

planning to invest in the future in a

different way – through education…

Exactly, in a more direct educational

role, we are developing the “Samsung

Innovations Chair”. This will consist of the

sponsoring of, and input into, a series of

WE ARE IN

THE PROCESS OF

CREATING THE

“SAMSUNG CENTRE OF

EXCELLENCE”, WHICH

WILL HAVE NUMEROUS

ACTIVITIES AND GOALS

educational courses in collaboration with

some of the world’s top hotel schools,

helping to explain how technology is

impacting the hospitality business. This

is a key to plotting an intelligent course

for the years to come, and also through

which we hope to foster and develop

creative thinking that will also help the

entire trade to move in the right direction.

Another educational activity is the

organisation of client specific Innovation

Workshops. This is a consultative exercise,

bringing together our best minds from

various disciplines to work hand-in-hand

with a client on a dedicated project or

problem. The output can be impressive,

often leading to a 12- to 24-month

roadmap and global deployment


In The Field

with David Esseryk

THE "INSIDE LINE" ON WHAT'S HOT IN HOSPITALITY TECHNOLOGIES

PART 17

HOW NETWORKING

TECHNOLOGIES FIT INTO

THE HOTEL ENVIRONMENT

STREAMING

CONTENT

VERSUS DIRECT

INTEGRATION

The new role of the system

integrator and the tv

manufacturer

In this edition’s regular

instalment from David

Esseryk, the “in the field

hotel tech expert” takes a

closer look at the evolution of

in-room entertainment taking

into account the changing

habits of millennials and

business travellers.

In the past, the first thing a guest

would typically do when he or she

walked into a hotel room would be to

turn on the TV. Now, people bring their

entertainment with them: tablet-based

devices, accounts and memberships

like Netflix, Amazon Prime and

Hulu Plus, and they want to

be able to use them. All

system integrators are

developing systems

SAMSUNG

NOW HAS

TECHNOLOGY

THAT ALLOWS THE

SMART TV TO MIRROR

EXACTLY WHAT’S ON THE

GUEST’S ANDROID

that let travellers

consume

entertainment

the way Millennials

do — via the Internet,

frequently through

subscriptions they already

have and use at home, either

through Wi-Fi or a direct cable

connection between their laptop or

tablet and the guest-room television

set. Different types of hotels have

different policies regarding Internet

access. Many less expensive hotels

offer it free, while more expensive

ones still often charge for it. What’s

expected to happen next, speaking

broadly, is that using the Internet for

e-mail will be free, while many hotels

will charge for uses requiring a lot

of bandwidth, like downloading or

streaming videos, with the cost tied

to the amount of bandwidth required.

Hotels will have the opportunity to give

customers more short-form content at

very attractive prices, affinity packages

of sports channels, just-missed TV, or

DEVICE WITHOUT

DOWNLOADING

AN APP

video games. Systems integrators thus

no longer simply provide television

equipment in exchange for videoon-demand

fees. Instead, they will

increasingly offer hotel owners lease

financing for TVs, freeing capital

to invest in product and service

improvements.

From providing new types of

content to letting guests

stream their own Netflix

shows onto the TV,

manufacturers at

the recent HITEC

hotel technology

conference in Amsterdam

said they were finding new

ways to appeal to the modernday

traveller.

Samsung now has technology that

allows the Smart TV to mirror exactly

what’s on the guest’s Android device

without downloading an app. Guests

can look at e-mails and photos. If

they have Netflix, Hulu, or other

subscriptions, they can watch that

content. Guests can either push

content from the mobile device to the

TV or pull content from the TV. They

can then watch that content anywhere

on the property.

This “accessing my own content” is

something that growing segments of

travellers want, and it will continue

to get both more pervasive and more

elegant from a process standpoint.

I think there are solutions now that

make it easier. It’s getting there!

SEE YOU AGAIN IN THE NEXT EDITION

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