Alta blog

Alta Thoughts (May 2024)

By Rakesh Patel

We have gone from restricted travel to overtourism, in the space of two years. Local residents and organisations in travel destinations around the world, are back lobbying local governments against mass tourism.

Action and impact is mixed. On a recent trip to Venice, there was no visible policing of the new €5 tourist tax. Maya Bay, Phi Phi Island in Thailand is just as busy, though mercifully the tourist boats are banned from mooring on the beach. And Japan has just built a screen to block an Instagramable view of Mount Fuji.

No easy answer here. Most countries want to grow their international visitor numbers and revenues, but don’t want the local population backlash and the environmental impact that goes with it. Can you have your cake and eat it too? Some sensible insights and ideas here from NatGeo and the WEF.

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


Novel proteins: Consumer appetite for sustainably made ingredients

Are novel ingredients the future of food? Will consumers try them and pay for them? Some companies certainly believe this, with $4 billion invested over the past five years, to develop novel ingredients ranging from mycelium proteins to animal-free eggs. This McKinsey survey helps us understand consumer appetite in this food evolution.

More than 50% of consumers are open to try novel ingredients, believing that compared to traditional foods, they are healthier, tastier, and more sustainable. To encourage further adoption rates, consumer food companies should continue to educate and innovate.

As part of this, food transparency and labelling is important. When surveyed, interesting that consumers responded more positively to labels like “sustainably made” and “consciously made”, rather than the more usual vegan and vegetarian language, that does not seem to influence consumer behaviour.


Hotels’ performance results for the first quarter of 2024

How did the large hotel brands do in the 1Q? Given their breadth globally, there are a lot of data points and strategic aims to absorb.

Overall for Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Wyndham, RevPAR grew yoy, with the US largely flat, but Asia and EEMEA up strongly from 9-17% yoy. Despite economic uncertainty, the outlook remains optimistic for the full year.

Strategically, there is a shift to lifestyle for Hilton (Graduate and NoMad), and for Wyndham, a focus on more international expansion and new build. Conversions remain a focus for all (IHG in Germany with NOVUM), and Marriott continues to tout the strength of Bonvoy.


Global Real Estate Perspective May 2024

Global real estate snapshot from JLL, as we move through 2024. Overall a mixed picture, with some brights spots.

No surprise that the outlook on global interest rates is driving sentiment. As rates reduce into 2025, expectation that momentum will pick-up.

Wider bid/offer spreads reflect this, though more realistic price discovery in the US and UK is leading to transactions.

By sector, there is a gradual improvement in office leasing, logistics is cooling, and continued robustness in retail and hospitality.