November will be the travel industry’s “Darkest hour before the dawn” –
This COVID -19 virus has been a tsunami for the travel industry as millions have been laid off and airlines, hotels, car rental companies, entertainment venues, restaurants, and bars have gone into a depression never seen before in my lifetime. It appears the month of November is seeing, even more, shutdowns across the world to put a check on the virus. As I have said before, travel for the rest of the year is toast. But history also tells us that the darkest hour comes before the dawn. November will be the darkest hour for travel businesses worldwide. But it will also be the prelude to the dawn of December and the New Year. Two things are about to turn the darkness to dawn. 1)This morning the world learned that we are just weeks away from a new vaccine with promising results. 2) Testing is also becoming widely available and will be the preamble to travel too much of the world. Our motto of #SurviveThenThrive is about to change in December to #Let’sGetReadyToRumble!
How can airplanes be so packed when air travel is down over 50%? – My friend Robert Polk said he was flying United last week and all the flights were full. How can this be? Well, the airlines have removed thousands of flights to right-size from the pandemic. Basically, as demand shrank (passengers) the airlines shrank supply (flights and seats). I think you will continue to see full flights from now through 2021 as the airlines appear to be very cautious of adding more flights ahead of demand picking up. I also think airline ticket prices will start increasing in 2021.
You are about to see five big changes inside your hotel room within 12 months – Hotel rooms are about to undergo major changes caused by COVID and the concern for cleaning combined with the application of personal assistants (think Alexa, Google home, etc) in the hotel room. I am anticipating a new hotel personal assistant that marries artificial intelligence with voice recognition will be installed in new hotel rooms in 2021 that will replace much of the electronic devices in a hotel room. Here is a list of 5 things that should be replaced by this new hotel personal assistance device.
- Alarm clock – The new hotel personal assistant will have a small LED display that lights up to show the time and temperature in the room. To set an alarm you will simply say “set a wake-up call at 6 am” and the personal assistant will confirm that via voice. Easy Peasy!
- Phone – These are such a dinosaur! They have two dozen buttons and type so small that no one can read them. The new hotel personal assistant will allow you to simply say, “call front desk” and it will connect you to the front desk. If you are hungry you simply say, I need to order some food”, and it will ask you if you want room service and offer to read the menu. You will also be able to order food outside the hotel using Uber eats or simple things like pizza delivery. All of this will be done with simple voice commands.
- TV remote – This thing has more germs than even your cell phone and will be one of the first things to go with the new hotel personal assistant. All you have to say is “Turn on the TV” and you can ask for your favorite show or even just a menu of shows. Once again all of this is with voice commands.
- Thermostat – These things are such a frustration for travelers as some of them are so complicated to operate. The new hotel personal assistant will tie into your thermostat via wi-fi so all you will do to change the temperature is say, “turn the temperature to 72 degrees” and that will adjust the temperature in the room.
- Light switches – With the new hotel personal assistant it will be able to sense movement in the room and turn on lights for you or you will simply be able to say “turn on lights in the bathroom”, etc.