What travelers are looking for in hospitality today

Plus: Trends in wellness, the $1.5B hotel investor's playbook & more

Good morning. Today, we’re looking at:

  • Trends: Travel writer Rafael Peña shares what guests are looking for in hospitality today

  • Trends: What’s happening now in wellness in hospitality

  • Technology: The first airline to introduce kiosks is now getting rid of them

  • Investment: A $1.5 billion hotel investor explains his playbook

Let’s jump into it…

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Travel writer Rafael Peña shares what guests are looking for in hospitality today

A few weeks ago, Rafael Peña introduced me to the story that has been the most popular this year, with his article on Hotel Revival in Baltimore (link below).

Because Rafael’s work spans such a wide range of topics, I wanted to understand what's on his mind today. In today’s episode, we cover some of the best hospitality he's experienced, hotels versus short-term rentals, culture, storytelling, and much more.

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Trends in Wellness and Well-being in Hospitality

What’s going on: The pandemic has turned our attention to health in new ways, and attention to high-tech preventive care is only intensifying.

Why it matters: This year, trips that focus on holistic well-being such as yoga retreats, are forecast to reach $29.3 billion, and according to a recent Hilton report, 50% of travelers would like to address their physical or mental wellness while traveling.

In their words: “Players in the hospitality industry should keep addressing these emerging needs to stay among the first to benefit from this realm of opportunities.“ - Lionel Saul, Research Assistant at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)


The First Airline to Introduce Kiosks is Now Getting Rid of Them

What’s going on: In a bid to declutter the travel experience, the Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is waving goodbye to those self-service computer stations in airport lobbies. Starting soon, you'll no longer see kiosks for printing boarding passes or choosing seats in their five major hubs.

Why it matters: As traveler expectations are often set by airlines, hospitality providers should take note to this innovative brand.

In their words: “We realized the majority of our guests were doing most of the kiosk actions on their own phones, and we could reduce the congestion in our airports.” - Charu Jain, SVP of Innovation and Merchandising at Alaska Airlines


Jake Wurzak Explains His Investment Playbook

What’s going on: Jake Wurzak is the Founder and CEO of DoveHill Capital Management, and recently explained how he creates an exceptional hospitality experience, how his company underwrites investment opportunities, partnering and learning from Barry Sternlicht, and how they add value to different types of hotels.

Why it matters: Since founding DoveHill in 2011, Jake has led the investment in over $1.5B of hospitality projects across the United States.

In their words: “The biggest thing is revenue management - setting your daily rate and the strategy around that. The next is automation. How can you automate certain things inside of your hotel and standardize certain operating line items? Then it’s about maximizing what people like about the hotels. If you're serving free breakfast, it better be the damn best free breakfast that you can get.” - Jake Wurzak, CEO at DoveHill Capital