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The globalEDGE team is proud to announce that we have revamped our website with a completely new design. We hope the new website will be easier for our users to maneuver while also better highlighting the sections of the site we feel are most useful. The new panel on the home page is part of this effort, and each week we will use this area to direct users to different areas of the site.

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China was able to achieve a 6.8% economic growth rate in the last quarter of 2016, which marks the end of its constant declining growth after more than 2 years. This boost was fueled by higher government spending and record bank lending. Overall, the economy grew at 6.7% in 2016, which is within the government’s growth target but still the slowest in 26 years.

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Many companies all over the world are concerned with the challenges of the hospitality industry including the threat of Airbnb, as well as social responsibility and liability complications. Airbnb is seen as an increasing threat to the hospitality industry and researchers predict that the company will eventually become a replacement for extended stay hotels, bed and breakfasts, rental sites, and corporate apartments. As Airbnb is continuing to grow, hotels are having a hard time maintaining their nightly and occupancy rates that they had the year before. Not only are companies like Airbnb a threat to the hospitality industry, but other challenges include liability alleviation and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

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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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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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