Toward Understanding COVID-19's Lodging Impacts Through the Lens of Futurology
By Justin Taillon Department Head Hospitality & Tourism Management, Highline College | July 05, 2020
Futurology can be understood as the scientific study of the future. This forward-thinking idea first engrossed me in the mid-2000s. I have spent the better part of a decade and a half intrigued by the idea that we can study the future and subsequently through probability models identify most likely future scenarios. This would of course only be entirely possible if one were a time traveler.
Yet, effectively predicting the future of our industry during these COVID-19 times is particularly integral to succeeding in our industry's new reality. Those who limit guesswork in their business operations, and move in a more reliable and scientific direction to understand the future of hospitality, will be best-suited for successful operations in our new paradigm of travel.
I became Chair of HFTP's HITEC 2019 based in part on my interest in futurology. The conference is consistently the world's largest hospitality technology conference. For example, the 2019 annual convention attracted approximately 7,000 attendees by featuring an exhibition hall and education modules based entirely on futurology and technology in the hospitality industry. I am also serving as Chair of HITEC at 2020 in San Antonio.
As one could imagine, as we progress toward a 2020 conference some things lack clarity. I am muddling through that clarity as we prepare for HITEC 2020. For example, COVID-19 and related subjects have emerged as the only topics worthy of discussion. Few things are more futurist than consumer-centric technology that aligns with re-opening post-COVID-19.
In my role as Chair of HITEC I have been privy to think tank findings arising from brainstorming sessions, discussions with industry leaders with prestigious hospitality organizations, and general ideology. While working with hospitality industry leaders and organizations through HITEC I was able to complete a detailed theme analysis of what the future of hospitality likely entails in a post-COVID-19 reality. This article shares themes emanating from these discussions.
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