globalEDGE Blog

As global business practices become increasingly digitized, industry sectors are forced to constantly adjust to their transforming infrastructures. This is especially felt within the hospitality industry, where technological mainstays are driving business on both a domestic and an international scale. Technology has allowed for further integration and optimization of industry practices, accelerating overall efficiency. Outreach efforts have also expanded, attracting more consumers to the industry and continually changing their personal engagements with procedures for lodging and travel. Here is a closer look at the various ways technology is shaping the future of hospitality.

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Destination cities in South America, like Bogota and Columbia, have registered double-digit tourism growth in the past year. A positive impact of the currency devaluations is that the exchange rates across the South American region have allowed an affordable opportunity for foreign travelers to go to South America. Investments in infrastructure are also helping to propel the hospitality industry because the improvements help increase access to various markets and boost travel in the region.

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This week, the globalEDGE blog will be taking an in depth look at the global hospitality industry, looking at the present trends in various sectors of the industry, as well as looking toward the future. For our purposes, we will consider the hospitality industry to be the collection of companies and businesses that cater to the needs of travelers. Major sectors include hotels, restaurants, and recreational businesses, such as casinos, sports and tourist attractions.

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China’s central bank, known as the Peoples Bank of China, or PBOC, is cracking down on the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, as part of their latest attempt to stem China’s capital outflow amidst the decline of the Yuan. The Chinese Yuan is currently under immense pressure due in part to the slowdown of growth in the Chinese economy and increasing uncertainty about its future prospects. The currency depreciated 6.6% against the US Dollar in 2016, and in order to prevent a further decline, the PBOC was forced to sell around $26 billion foreign exchange reserves. This selloff, coupled with the comparative rise of the US Dollar caused China’s reserves to fall to a six year low of $3.011 trillion.

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File under: Africa, Oil, Global Economy, OPEC

Do you ever wonder how, or to what extent, your online activity is being tracked? While browsing the internet, ads often pop up on the sides of webpages that are suspiciously similar to recent searches or website visits; this happens because internet activity is tracked and gathered through cookies placed by first or third-party trackers. Third-party trackers first appeared in 1998, and their presence has been steadily increasing ever since. Are cookies placed by trackers something we should be worrying about?

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Sarah Singer, assistant director at the International Business Center at Michigan State University and manager of globalEDGE, was recently interviewed by Open to Export to discuss how globalEDGE can assist in market research for exporters. Highlighted in the discussion were especially useful resources for exporters on globalEDGE, such as our risk comparator tool, country trade statistics, and country indices. Sarah also offered advice for exporters who want to research potential new markets, and how globalEDGE can be an important tool for this research.

A link to the interview is available here: http://opentoexport.com/article/market-research-focus-globaledge/

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Have you visited the globalEDGE Business Beat recently? In last week's segments, Tomas Hult discussed a wide range of topics, including the refugee crisis and its impact on Turkey, Israel's relationship with the United States, and the current dynamics between the United States and Cuba. The Business Beat is hosted by Dr. Tomas Hult of the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, and consists of brief audio segments that drive into current topics impacting the international business world. You can view past segments by date or by specific speaker on our page featuring the Business Beats.

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As winter vacations come to a close, the global workforce is underway again, and there are several questions business and corporate travelers have regarding their upcoming costs of travel and stay. Among the many factors, the future of international business travel remains uncertain due to the prolonged set back in the Chinese economy, the United Kingdom’s monumental vote to depart from the European Union, the controversial U.S. Presidential election, and increased security concerns across the globe. However, despite the uncertainties, global demand for air travel remains at a record high.

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