Fred J. DeMicco, Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies have seen the future, and it's space elevators, robotic cleaning crews, condos on cruise ships and 100 million new travelers from China.
DeMicco, ARAMARK Chair and chairperson of the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at the University of Delaware; Cetron, founder of Forecasting International, a company that predicted the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon; and Davies, a consultant for Forecasting International, have coauthored Hospitality 2010: The Future of Hospitality and Travel.
The authors foresee rapid growth in tourism, including 50 million Indian travelers and 100 million Chinese tourists a year by 2020. According to Cetron, whose Forecasting International provides trend information to Fortune 500 companies, the growing middle class in both Asian countries will buoy world tourism.
DeMicco said American fast-food chains already are opening at the rate of about one restaurant per day in China, and the Chinese are building airports, hotels and restaurants to prepare for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He said Hong Kong Polytechnic University's hotel program is receiving 39,000 applications for the 189 slots in its freshman class.
DeMicco said cruise travel, now at record-high levels, will grow to the point that some retirees will move to cruise condos, permanent homes aboard ship. The book discusses the perks that currently draw customers to luxury ships-stewards who spritz sunbathing patrons with Evian water, crews who study hundreds of mug shots so they can call every guest by name by the second day of the cruise and computers that remind bartenders how a guest liked his martini the last time he sailed with the line.
The authors said labor shortages will be a large issue for the hospitality industry as baby boomers are replaced with Gen-X workers, who may be less loyal to companies and more entrepreneurial, but automation will mitigate the shortage.
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