In another five years hotels may be a bit different, with more companies like BrewDog and Nutella opening their own hotels or pop-up hotels. Properties composed of shipping containers and other upcycled materials will be more popular, and space hotels may not be much further behind, Dan Kubacki writes.
The unprecedented devastation from Australia's bush fires has extended to tourism, bringing losses estimated at $690 million as of Thursday. "People have basically stopped travel," said Simon Westaway of Australian Tourism Industry Council as the sector called for government help.
Xie Zhu, a Chinese technology startup that uses artificial intelligence to manage hotel systems such as air conditioning, lighting and locks, raised $37 million in its Series A funding round. The company will use the new capital to further develop its technology, expand in Southeast Asia and position itself for an initial public offering this year.
Work to expand the Island Resort & Casino in Harris, Mich., is expected to start in June with completion set for 2021 after the Hannahville Indian Community Tribal Council approved the project. The $30 million expansion will feature a pool with water park features, a high-end dining venue and convention space and more than 100 new hotel rooms.
Hyatt-branded hotels will offer wellness programming to guests and employees in a partnership with the Headspace meditation company. Options will include access to meditation content through in-room TVs, and meeting planners will also be able to incorporate Headspace programming into their events.
Variations on the traditional sommelier role are turning up at hotels around the world. For instance, staffing at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach in Florida includes a water sommelier, the Hilton Playa del Carmen in Mexico has an on-site tequilier and Bourbon University at the Kentucky Castle inn in Lexington has a "bourbon steward-in-residence."
Predictive personalization, expanded artificial intelligence, more channels for reaching customers and the advent of 5G are all on hotels' technology horizons, according to business travel company Egencia.