Next week – Monday and Tuesday, 26 and 27 October – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosts a hybrid industry conference, the Future of Hospitality Summit. Organiser is Bench Events, led by its founding Chairman Jonathan Worsley. The two-day session has a brilliant programme, opened by Minister of Tourism for KSA, Ahmed Al Khateeb. Think of every name in global hospitality. They are all listed – and Girlahead has the great honour of moderating the plenary session on ‘Experience as a driver for travel’, with Jumeirah CEO Jose Silva and Quintessentially CEO Annastasia Seebohm. Also scheduled over the two days are such other eminent names as Arash Azarbarzin, SH Hotels; Keith Barr, IHG; Sébastien Bazin, Accor; Filip Boyen, Forbes Travel Guide; Christian Clerc, Four Seasons; John Defterios, CNN; Gloria Guevara Manzo, WTTC; Anthony Mallows, WATG; Chris Nassetta, Hilton; Alexandre de Juniac, IATA; Jerry Inzerillo, Diriyah Gate Development Authority; Geoffrey Kent, Abercrombie & Kent; John Pagano, Red Sea Development Co; Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital, and Arne Sorenson, Marriott. https://futurehospitalitysummit.com
One of the above-mentioned ‘giants’, Sébastien Bazin, seems to announce a new partnership weekly, if not daily. This very day it was revealed that Accor is co-branding a Visa credit card with the world’s eighth largest bank, BNP Paribas. It happens, incidentally, to be a specially busy time for BNP Paribas’ CEO, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, a former engineer. He just had time to say how delighted he is by this Accor partnership preparing to fly to Valletta. He, and his Chairman, Jean Lemierre, were ordered yesterday to give evidence before Malta’s highest court in defence of a smear campaign brought by financier Jacob Agam that alleges anti-Semitism and corruption and, says Bloomberg, there will be questions over the bank’s alleged involvement with Electrogas, the Maltese power company embroiled in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder controversy.
Global advertizing giant Ogilvy surveyed 7,000 in 14 countries on how important wellness is for them now and what actions they expect brands to take to help them improve their wellbeing—and not just for more obvious sectors like food or travel but even for cars and financial services. Among the many interesting findings are:
- 77% of people say wellness is very or extremely important to them.
- 80% want to improve their wellness.
- Only 46% feel that brands prioritize their wellness; the number is 41% for the food sector and 53% for skin-care brands.
- 67% say there should be more wellness options, regardless of what they’re shopping for; more than 50% expect car, banking, airline and snack-food brands to offer wellness options.
- 59% agree it’s worth paying more for wellness options.
- 73% say all brands need a wellness strategy as part of their core mission.
The report’s authors conclude that “wellness remains an opportunity for double-digit growth” by closing the pronounced “wellness gaps” that exist between what consumers expect and what brands are delivering. Wellness will continue to drive companies to remake their businesses and strategies. It all means new opportunities for “actual” wellness brands to forge new partnerships and provide some needed health and wellness expertise. Thank you, Global Wellness Institute, for releasing this information.
To get the latest behind-the-scenes news on global luxury travel, see the current WORLD TRAVEL ESSENTIAL podcast, https://anchor.fm/agwte