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Theme Parks Benefit From Unexpected Investors

Tottering theme parks may find new life in corporate venture capital, largely for knowledge-transfer reasons. And while it may be too early to identify a trend, we are intrigued by the announcement that China’s Fuson Group will be buying a minority stake of the Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch park in Nagasaki, Japan. Details of the … Continue reading Theme Parks Benefit From Unexpected Investors

Riyadh Drills for ‘White Oil’

Tourism has never been a priority in Saudi Arabia, ostensibly because of visitors’ lack of sensitivity to local customs. Peripatetic businessmen are one thing; individual or group travelers wandering about the country are quite another. Better to focus government energies on Muslim arrivals at Jeddah, en route to Mecca and Medina. All that is about … Continue reading Riyadh Drills for ‘White Oil’

‘They Have a Credit Card or They’re Paying Cash’

Medical tourism is a cutthroat business. According to US-based Patients Beyond Borders, some 14 million patients worldwide visited overseas hospitals and clinics in 2016. The commercial intensity has much to do with the cash infusion at stake. So there is little surprise that Tucson—home to medical science-oriented University of Arizona—wants to get into the game. … Continue reading ‘They Have a Credit Card or They’re Paying Cash’

For Investors, Hotels Become Utilities

Shareholders may soon shift their attention from electric companies to hospitality-management firms for income considerations. Hoteliers have long mothered their profits to accommodate capital investment. Yet in a curious turn of tradition, InterContinental Hotels Group, the UK-based owner of the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, declared a special dividend this week for investors based … Continue reading For Investors, Hotels Become Utilities

Hoteliers Hit Privacy Wall

Companies embrace technology because it helps them to cut costs. But there may be limits to hoteliers’ ability to integrate artificial intelligence into their product mix. Realigning room-service overhead by using bots to process breakfast orders is straightforward, but tapping into multiple data sources to offer length-of-stay customization may be a bridge too far. One … Continue reading Hoteliers Hit Privacy Wall

Cruise Industry Propelled by Geopolitical Unrest

As tourists rethink their itineraries amid terrorist concerns, the cruise industry is seeing a revenue windfall. The three major stocks—Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line—have registered impressive double-digit gains over recent months. Analysts soured on the sector across most of 2015-2016 because of capital-spending plans. The trend favoring new and refurbished ships is exorbitantly … Continue reading Cruise Industry Propelled by Geopolitical Unrest