Business & Finance

Tourism 2017 is Breaking Records - But Could 2018 Be Even Better

HOSPITALITY EXPERT: SUSTAINABILITY AND PERSONALIZATION ARE A WINNING COMBINATION

TEL AVIV, IL. September 28, 2017 – With World Tourism Day today, September 27, Israel’s tourism numbers are shooting past old records. The statistics are impressive, such as the one listing a 26% increase in the first half of 2017 compared to the same time period in 2016. However, according to a leading luxury hospitality expert, this could just be the beginning of the trend. David Cohen, general manager of the InterContinental David Tel Aviv, thinks that Israel’s fierce individuality and commitment to sustainability – which also happens to be the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day – is a key combination which is striking a chord with travelers. Tourists are so pleased with what they’re finding in Israel that Cohen expects the upward trend to continue, potentially making 2018 an even higher record-breaking year.

The appeal is two-fold. On one hand, travelers are paying more attention to the effects their visits have on host countries, and are consciously making sustainable, responsible choices. Increasingly, tourists are demanding that tourism companies not only provide for their needs, but also be upstanding members of their communities – hire local workers, pay them fairly, host community events, and be environmentally sustainable.

Therefore, one aspect of Cohen’s strategy for the InterContinental David Tel Aviv is appealing to travelers’ sense of responsibility. “It’s really a great thing that people are increasingly aware of their effects on host countries when they travel. For instance, many more clients are asking to know what we do to preserve water. Of course, water is such an important aspect of our business and in Israel rain falls predominantly in winter, so we are constantly finding new ways to reduce water consumption. We have a particular method of tightly rolling the bathrobes in our hotel rooms, so that we can easily see whether they’ve been used or not thereby avoiding water wastage and unnecessary laundry.”

Even beyond environmental sustainability, clients are increasingly interested in how the hotel fits into the local social and economic fabric. Again, the environment around the hotel gives Cohen the opportunity to demonstrate his commitment, as the renowned high-tech and start-up city gives him the opportunity to support and explore local innovation. He spends time meeting with entrepreneurs and leaders in high-tech to see how he can incorporate new technology and innovation into their hotel sustainability and efficiencies projects.

“Not only do we support local entrepreneurs, but small local businesses too. We are also fortunate to be located in a perfect position in Tel Aviv to showcase the diverse cultural heritage of Neve Tzedek. To boost local economic growth, we’ve implemented unique programs such as the Senses of Tel Aviv Experience, wherein guests are taken on a customized local tour of the Israeli scene relating to their particular interest.” For example, a foodie might go with the hotel’s chef to the Carmel Market to shop for ingredients, and then cook an Israeli meal with him. Forging a personal connection with a local, learning Israeli customs and specialties, and getting off the beaten path, the guest ends up with an experience far more lasting and story-worthy than a series of photo-ops beside the big sites.

“As we celebrate World Tourism Day, we encourage travelers to experience Israel’s wonderful culture, heritage and beauty sustainably,” Cohen says. Certainly as the norms of hotel service are continuing to improve, more travelers will be doing so.

Inspired by its location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the InterContinental David Tel Aviv delivers elegant contemporary interiors and seasonal cuisine. The hotel offers 555 guestrooms (39 of which are suites), including the brand-new Tel Aviv Suite and two elegantly appointed Royal Suites. Various dining options, including the Aubergine gourmet restaurant and the trendy CHE Cigar Bar & Lounge, serve excellent international cuisine to please all palates. Hotel amenities include the outdoor swimming pool with sun deck and pool bar, 24-hour room service, and an upgraded Spa and Fitness Center. The InterContinental David Tel Aviv also provides more than 3,400 square-meters of flexible meeting and event space – the largest, free standing hotel meeting space in Israel. Pursuant to the brand’s pledge of providing guests with exceptionally unique Insider Experiences, the InterContinental David Tel Aviv is dedicated to assisting guests in creating memories and experiences of a lifetime.

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.