This week in hospitality news, US hoteliers reacted to the announcement of a renewed relationship with Cuba, Skift reported on changes to Chinese travel trends, and big tech weighed in on wi-fi jamming practices.
US Hoteliers See Opportunity in Cuba
The re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba represents a huge opportunity for US-based hotel developers. Some of the bigger brands like Marriott, Hilton, and Best Western are already expressing excitement about the opportunity. “Cuba was once a compelling Caribbean destination for Americans,” Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, wrote in a statement. “It still is so for travelers from many countries in the Americas and Europe. We expect it will again be a popular destination for American travelers when travel restrictions are lifted. When permitted by our government, we look forward to having hotels there to welcome visitors from around the world.”
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2015 Chinese Travel Trends
This week, Skift reported on some trends to expect in Chinese travel in 2015, according to Gary Bowerman, author of the recent business book, “The New Chinese Traveler: Business Opportunities from the Chinese Travel Revolution.” Some of the notable trends include a wider set of destinations available to Chinese travelers with Visa-free access, the rise of the Chinese hotel brand, and the end of the UnionPay monopoly in China.
“China has been having a transformative impact on the way the global travel industry operates, finances, and markets itself, and 2015 promises to be a year where brands and organizations marketing to Chinese start looking at them as travelers, beyond just shoppers,” writes Skift’s Rafat Ali.
CLICK HERE to read the full article on Skift.
Microsoft and Google Fight Hotel Wi-Fi Jamming Practices
Skift also reported this week that Microsoft and Google have both filed comments with the FCC with regard to wi-fi jamming practices. re/code first reported on the latest filings, noting “Microsoft and Google don’t agree on much, but they’ve presented a united front against the hotel industry, which is trying to convince government regulators to give them the option of blocking guests from using personal Wi-Fi hotspots.”
“Consumers increasingly rely on Wi-Fi and VoIP technologies to make calls when carrier voice service is not available, and this includes calls to emergency services,” Google states. “Especially in a place of public accommodation, disconnecting network connections on which users rely puts health and safety at risk.”