Amazon has been interested in the travel sector for years, and next year there is a possibility that this company will enter it through the big door. With Expedia currently in a mess and still looking for a new CEO and CFO, after the duo stepped down in early December, a deep-pocket company like Amazon could buy the Expedia Group and its travel companies “cheaply” companies. Amazon buys Expedia, TripAdvisor joins Trip.com Airbnb will indeed launch some sort of flight-related service in 2020, but it will do so in their own way. After all, Airbnb has hired Fred Reid, the former CEO of Virgin America, as the global director of air transport to help achieve that goal. Given that the company plans to launch a public offering in 2020, Airbnb intends to show investors that there is room for growth and intends to become a “more complete” travel solution. Also, Expedia has had problems with Google, and Amazon is the best example of a company that can stand up to Google. Hotel brands are gradually disappearing Meanwhile, Ctrip, which was rebranded as Trip.com Group, entered into a joint venture with TripAdvisor in 2019 to expand into markets outside of China. TripAdvisor continuously develops its tours, activities and restaurant reservations and has top-notch user-generated content. However, their hotel reservation system is used rather poorly. Ctrip could greatly expand its global image and brand and “use” TripAdvisor, according to Skift. Ever since Airbnb introduced the word “flights” in its presentation back in 2016, it has been speculated that the company’s entry into the flight market is just around the corner. Airbnb launches a flight booking service Another decade is behind us, and Skift’s team of editors and journalists outlined predictions and expectations in the tourism and travel sector for 2020. Although some of them may be unusual and difficult to achieve, the most interesting and relevant ones will be presented in this article. Source / photo: Shift; Pixabay People will think more about the number and necessity of travel We have not witnessed a large consolidation of catering companies since 2016 when Marriott International bought Starwood Hotels & Resorts and thus became the largest hotel company in the world in terms of number of rooms. Accor also rocked things that year with the purchase of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel brands and a stake in the 21c Museum Hotels boutique brand. The French hotel giant bought Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts last year, which has 90 properties worldwide. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that Marriott or the InterContinental Hotels Group will try to buy Accor. What’s going on here? We are far from the time when passengers had very few options where to stay on the trip, and now there are too many of them. Marriott has 30 brands, and Accor as many as 39, and it is predicted that next year we will witness the overlap of certain brands and the consolidation of hotel companies. Certain types of travel industry clients are expected to target quality rather than quantity. This could manifest in several ways: people will set the upper limit on the number of trips per year, consider alternative ways of traveling, or combine business and private travel to reduce the number of flights. Travel has so far been largely exempt from conscious consumerism because actions like buying organic vegetables or cycling to work contribute to someone’s quality of life, that is, inspire. On the other hand, not going on vacation seems like a big sacrifice to wealthy consumers. However, with the rise of the so-called “shame of flying”, awareness of environmental issues and taxation of frequent flights in the UK, this will begin to change. People will still want to travel, but will think more deeply about the number and necessity of travel. Passing that awareness on to your friends and companions will become more widespread – and status in itself.
– urges youth to preserve environment for futureUnderscoring the importance of the Guiana Shield – which is considered to be the lungs of the earth— President David Granger has expressed alarm at events within this critical area that result in the destruction of the much-needed preserved forests.President David Granger with Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, Minister of State Dawn Hastings-Williams, Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George Norton and the participants of this year’s YNR apprenticeship programmeAccording to the Guyanese Head of State, the Guiana Shield is not only essential to enriching and replenishing the world’s biodiversity, but is also consequently essential to the planet’s survival.“This is all we have and we have to protect and preserve it… [So] there’s justifiable alarm in what is taking place in other areas in the South American continent; when so many trees are being cut down or burn to the ground,” the President asserted.The Guiana Shield encompasses some 270 million hectares of forests, covering Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela and small parts of Colombia and northern Brazil. It is home to exceptional biodiversity and plays a key role in the fight against climate change, by alone storing over a billion tons of carbons and mitigates the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.The Guiana Shield is located to the northwest of the Amazon rainforest, 60 per cent of which is located within the borders of neighbouring Brazil. However, currently the Portuguese-speaking nation is experiencing its most intense forest inferno in almost a decade.Fires have been ripping through the Amazon at a record rate for weeks. While the Amazon usually experiences wildfires during the dry season (July-October), experts say that the blaze has intensified as a result of deforestation and a practice called ‘slash and burn’— which clears the forest to make way for agriculture, livestock, logging, mining and other developmental activities.Figures provided by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) show more than 87,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of 2019, compared to 49,000 in the same period last year.While the inferno is a direct concern of countries around the world, it is particularly worrisome to the Amazonian countries which include Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.Last week, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman told reporters that while concerns are brewing over the blaze across the border, no direct impact has been identified to Guyana’s own forests. Nevertheless, he noted that the country is taking precautionary measures to protect against any such occurrence in its dense forest.With the Amazon fires stirring fears around the world, President Granger has underscored the need for Guyana to continue to intensify preservation practices that would keep the rainforest and its biodiversity intact, not only for the benefit of current population, but future generations as well.He was at the time delivering the feature address on Friday at the closing ceremony for the third Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship Programme, which saw 28 young people being exposed to Guyana’s interior regions to learn about the Natural Resources Sector and job opportunities in these industries.According to the Head of State, with over 75% of Guyana’s territory covered by forests, Guyana continues to be a global front runner in the promotion of environment conservation. Pointing out that the biggest threat to this is the extractive industries, the President charged that steps be taken protect the environment from this.“We must take measures to ensure the sustainability of our resources and also the protection of our population. We must not believe that environment damage is a victimless crime… The extractive industries, particularly mining and logging, despite their immeasurable economic benefits, are associates of mid-air pollution, biodiversity loss, fresh water and maritime contamination, greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation and resource depletion. These industries must be developed in a manner that protects the environment,” he contended.President Granger went on to outline that this generation is merely a trustee and custodian of the environment and its natural resources, and as such, cannot bequeath a “damaged legacy” to future descendants.“There is need now to arrest the destruction of the environment by some of the most ruthless extractive industries,” he asserted, adding that he is not blaming anyone except the “bad guys”.However, Granger further commended the Natural Resources Ministry for undertaking the Youths in Natural Resources (YNR) programme, which exposes young people to the prospect of involvement in the extractive industries as an honourable vocation if done sustainably and with due regard for the environment.“It involves young people in the protection and preservation of the environment. Youth in Guyana can look forward to a bright future in the Natural Resources sector. Guyana of necessity must continue to support farming, logging and mining which are the principle occupations which sustain the population. These sectors will remain the main stays of the economy and the providers of employment,” he stressed.