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Will COVID-19 be a catalyst for more hotel mergers and acquisitions?

COVID-19 has put many restaurants and hotels out of business. A recent example is the permanent closure of the iconic Hilton Times Square Hotel.Several restaurant chains recently rolled out new store designs to embrace the contactless self-service and delivery trends demanded by customers. Additionally, when more schools and businesses are reopening, the restaurant industry has already shown signs of recovery. There was a 2% increase in spending year-over-year in the week ending August 30. The outlook for hotels, however, is not as optimistic.The hotel industry is still struggling.According to the latest U.S. hotel performance results for the week ending August 29,·The occupancy was 48.2%, a slight decline from the 50% level two weeks ago.·The weekend occupancy of August 28 and August 29 was 54.7%.·Luxury and upper-upscale hotels continued having a low occupancy of 36.9% and 33.6%, respectively, whereas economy hotels continued running above the 50% level, at 54.3%.·The room demand de…
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Contactless self-services are here to stay after COVID-19

The new COVID-19 cases finally showed signs of declines across the U.S., but definitely, we should still take cautionary measures to avoid another wave of infections. Now, some people have already claimed that this pandemic would forever change the travel industry.Because the coronavirus is primarily transmitted through direct or indirect close contact with infected people via mouth or nose secretions, social distancing and frequent sanitation are highly recommended. It is not surprising to see consumers demand services with minimum human contact, which in turn promotes contactless self-services.RestaurantsMobile ordering, for example, has been introduced to the market way before COVID-19 hit, but all of a sudden, it became the safest method of payment during the pandemic as it requires little or no human contact. A recent analysis of 100,000 reviews in Apple’s App Store revealed that there was a 36% year-to-year increase in the number of reviewers saying that it was their first time …

Baby boomers deserve big attention from businesses too

Jill Filipovic argued in her new book - OK Boomers, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind - that millennials have been going through tougher economic circumstances than any other generations since the Great Depression. I am neither a millennial nor a Boomer, but the media coverage about Jill’s arguments got my attention.The fact is no matter if we are in the position of supporting or challenging Jill’s propositions, we cannot deny that we need Boomers to boost post-pandemic consumption. Besides millennials and Gen Zers, Baby Boomers also deserve big attention from businesses.
Boomers have time and moneyBoomers, now aged between 56 and 74 (or 77, depending on which cutoff point we are using), composed of 71.6 million of the U.S. population, according to the July 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center. Boomers are now behind the millennials, whose population had reached 72.1 million. While the COVID-19 has pushed more people to delay retirement, about h…

The 7 Ps marketing mix of home-sharing services: Insights from over one million Airbnb reviews

The 7 Ps marketing mix framework is a widely used managerial tool that helps businesses identify the principal components of a service product. The 7 P elements include Product, Promotion, Price, Place, Participant, Physical Evidence, and Process.The 7 Ps framework can assist marketers in making decisions regarding segmentation, positioning, and differentiation. Even for the same type of products with different brands, marketers can still drive higher sales through the improvement of a product’s marketing mix.  The empirical study about 7 Ps of home-sharing servicesBuilding upon the 7 Ps marketing mix framework, I led a research team in a big-data, supervised machine learning analysis of over 1.14 million English reviews of 37,092 Airbnb listings in San Francisco (SFO) and New York City (NYC). We aimed to discover new meaningful business intelligence through the analysis of an immense quantity of online review information that is created by consumers in the cyber marketplace.We publis…

Recovery is when Gen Zers and Millennials travel for business

Gen Z and Millennials are key to travel industry’s recoveryThat was the headline of a Travel Pulsereport, which quoted a GlobalData survey. The survey suggests that younger and wealthier travelers would be the first to resume international leisure travel when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Both generations belong to the younger group of travelers, with the oldest Millennials just turning 39 this year.That assumption is probably right, but Gen Zers and the Millennials have their concerns too. For example,  
Gen Z – “A worried generation”Gen Zers are those who were born after 1996 or 2000, depending on where the line is drawn. Even using the cutoff line of 2000/2001, Gen Zers make up 32% of the world population, above the Millennials at 31.5%.Gen Zers have never lived without terrorism since the 911 Attack. They grew up from the Great Recession. As a result, they are less likely to take risks than previous generations. Some even called Gen Zers “a worried generation.”During COVID-…