Alta blog

Alta Thoughts (June 2023)

By Rakesh Patel

Top travel executives were in a bullish mood in their 1Q results announcements. The CEOs of TripAdvisor, Marriot, Hyatt, Hilton and Airbnb commented that 2023 is expected to be a strong year, and in particular they point to international demand led by China reopening and the European summer break.


“…summer travel intent is already significantly higher than last year at this time…” Matt Goldberg, CEO, TripAdvisor


“…we do expect a stronger and stronger return of international demand in China through the balance of the year” Tony Capuano, CEO, Marriott


“…business in Europe has been just astonishingly strong. This is really the breakout year for Europe” Mark Hoplamazian, CEO, Hyatt


“And finally with China opening up, while it’s not back anywhere near where it has been, international travel is really on a steep up slope” Chris Nassetta, CEO, Hilton


“And we saw international travel from other regions to Asia-Pacific increase 160% during the quarter compared to this time last year” Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb


Further 1Q comments here. (link)

Below are a few of our recent thoughts posted on LinkedIn. As always, good to hear your feedback and exchange ideas. You can follow us directly on LinkedIn and go to our website.


1Q STR global hospitality sentiment survey

The 1Q STR global hospitality sentiment survey reflects overall optimism in the sector, whilst recognising some of the challenges.

The strength in the rebound of leisure travel has come off slightly and is offset by increased guest spending and more group event demand.

There remain challenges around costs, particularly labour supply (global) and energy (UK and Europe). Whilst Asia is still impacted by airlift constraints.


Health x AI

AI is all the Chat (GPT) now! What is the future impact and benefit for Health x AI?

Apple is of course in the mix of this evolving ecosystem. “Project Quartz” goes beyond the smartwatch, into personalisation using AI and multiple data-sourcing.

Alongside Apple, there are others looking to aggregate health data and utilise ChatGPT functionality to curate personal, real-time, AI health assistants.

As Fitt Insider notes, most experts expect this AI revolution not to replace real person health coaches and nutritionists, but rather empower them with more effective tools.


Outbound Rebound 2023: The Return of Chinese Travelers

Probably the largest dial-mover in terms of travel in 2023 will be the return of the Chinese tourists. As they return, their travel behaviour patterns may well shift, after three years of restrictive lockdowns.

This survey of 2,000 affluent Chinese by Finn Partners and Consumer Search Group, highlights some well-established behaviours, plus some emerging trends.

This segment still values luxury and brands, but is also now willing to spend more on experiences over tangible products. They also plan longer, slower travel, with a focus on nature and well-being. Lastly, they want to immerse themselves into local culture. The affluent Chinese segment is evolving from mass tourist to discerning traveller.