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Showing posts from September, 2017

Can Airbnb help hotels increase revenue?

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It is commonly believed that the growth of Airbnb has made a significant negative impact on the hotel business. There are also empirical studies that have documented Airbnb's negative impacts on hotels. That makes sense. As a substitute of the traditional lodging products — hotel rooms— every transaction on Airbnb means a loss of revenue for hotels or online travel agents (OTAs), such as Expedia and Priceline, which also sell hotel rooms. Thus, it is not surprising to see hotels, Airbnb and OTAs are firing up for a new war. Hotels, for example, are finding every possible way to stop the growth of Airbnb, even though hotels' book-direct strategy might push OTAs to work closely with Airbnb. Meanwhile, Airbnb is aiming big and wants to become a full-service travel company to compete with both OTAs and hotels. So, it is really not a question of whether Airbnb has become a big threat to local hotels or OTAs. The question is: In what way does Airbnb make a negative impact on the tra…

Travel is good for us, but do we need scientists to tell us so?

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Among all the articles I shared on my Facebook page last week, one of them received substantially more attention than the rest from my network. This post reached three times more audience than the "least popular" update of the week. So, what was this popular article about? It was a post published by Jordan Bishop on Forbes' website, entitled "Science Says Travel Makes You Smarter." In his discussion, Bishop summarized a few research studies and concluded "travel may actually make us smarter." When I first read his discussion, I thought, "This seems like an interesting topic. Let me share it and see what people in my network think." I guess I had made the right decision if my goal was to get people's attention. Yet, after I put more thought into the topic, I began to wonder why we need anyone to tell us (or to confirm for us) that travel is good for us. Let's see what Bishop summarized for us from three different studies: Travel makes …

The unemployment rate is going down and the minimum wage is on the rise --- A blessing or a curse?

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Impeccable service can only be delivered by a well-trained, friendly staff. Accordingly, the service industry is labor-intensive and employs a large number of skilled and unskilled workers. The recent employment report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also suggests that food services and drinking places (or restaurants), professional and business services, and healthcare are the three key sectors that contribute to the employment growth in July. Yet, what may seem to be an exciting update for the labor market turns out to be concerning.Some critics pointed out that the job market was unhealthy because "too many" people were working in restaurants (the number increased by 53,000 in July 2017). The leisure and hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, added 62,000 jobs in July and a total of 313,000 over the year. What are the concerns?Restaurant jobs are growing at a faster pace than healthcare, manufacturing or construction jobs.For decades, restaurants …