Girlahead feels that the entire state of the industry was summed up in a superb International Finance Corporation IFC presentation 24th February (it was specifically on Africa, and the Middle East, which was a reminder of the sensational greenhouse restaurant, above, at Franshhoek’s Babylonstoren farm-vineyard-resort, owned by that Napster-Tencent legend, Koos Bekker). The IFC session, oh so professional, was introduced by Sérgio Pimenta, VP Middle East & Africa IFC, and moderated by BBC World’s Lerato Mbele. Participants were Mary-Jean Moyo, IFC Regional Industry Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services, Middle East & Africa; Mahmoud Abdellatif, Vice Chairman, Travco (owned by the Chiaty family, who recently sold on their Deutsche Hospitality); Philip Åkesson, CEO, Travelstart; Aboudi Asali, Senior VP, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, MENA; Olivier Baric, Africa Aviation Director, Egis; Wayne Godwin, Senior VP, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Olivier Granet, CEO, Kasada Capital Management.
So, what evolved? For the first time, travel has seen both source and destination markets affected, globally (it will never again be taken for granted). Opportunities, however, include a near-complete reset. The sector needs to work together more and be more proactive, to concentrate increasingly on technology, authenticity, sense of place and offering products that are healthy and fun, with an awareness of environment and communities. And there is even a chance for major cities, to switch from travel destination emphasis to become ideal working locations. For its part, IFC, the outgoing investment arm of the World Bank, will partner more on education and training, said the Bank’s senior private sector specialist markets and technology, Hannah Messerli.
Also yesterday, Girlahead was told that philanthropist-designer John Hardy, who is behind the Radical Innovation design award, is now partnering with Quebec’s Omega Park, a 2,200-acre wildlife facility in the Outaouais region. This already has a First Nations Trail showing history and culture of colonization as well as animals. Girlahead opens eyes and mind to how this can be radically innovated – over to you, John Hardy.
There is, actually, so much radical innovation going on in the entire world of luxury hospitality. From his Dubai base, Jumeirah CEO José Silva shares unique and widely appreciated thoughts on making restaurants and bars work, for everyone, owners, designers, operators and customers. Hear it again, here: