Travel & Hospitality

Market shifts, microtrends and expert opinions that signal significant change for global travel and hospitality companies and consumers.

Need to Know
02 : 05 : 23

Tag Heuer turns to refreshing entertainment and Ryan Gosling in a new ad, LVMH rolls out an AI-powered authentication tool, and Johannesburg is Africa's wealthiest city.

Tag Heuer unveils five-minute advert starring Ryan Gosling

The Chase for Carrera by Tag Heuer, Switzerland

Global – Luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer has enlisted Ryan Gosling for its new ad campaign, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the iconic Carrera watch.

Created by the DDB Paris agency, the five-minute clip is somewhere between a comedy and an action movie, in which Gosling attempts to steal a Carrera watch on set. The tone of voice is light and humorous, almost goofy, featuring stunts, car chases and CGI, far from the visual language typically used in luxury watch ads. ‘We decided to choose a very different tone of voice for this commercial because Tag Heuer has always been a ground-breaking brand, one that dares to do things differently,’ explains Alexander Kalchev, executive creative director at DDB Paris. ‘We wanted to pay homage to this spirit by creating communication that is as bold as the Carrera, and goes beyond advertising and beyond traditional watchmaking tropes.’

This highly creative and impactful ad signals change ahead in the watch market, racing – quite literally in this instance – to court new generations of luxury shoppers.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how to strengthen your content marketing strategy with entertaining ads that could be watchable as just a piece of content on different platforms

Luxury house Patou launches AI-powered authentication system

Patou and Ordre, France Patou and Ordre, France
Patou and Ordre, France Patou and Ordre, France

France – LVMH–owned fashion house Patou has introduced Authentique Verify, an artificial intelligence (AI) authentication system developed by fashion tech specialist The Ordre Group. The new AI-powered tool, launched in April 2023 as part of a bag collaboration between Patou and stylist Sita Abellán, will train the system to detect imperfections found in fakes that even the naked eye couldn’t spot.

To make this possible, Patou must photograph specific parts of each item during production to create a digital fingerprint unique to each product. Customers can then use the Authentique Verify app on their phones to check if a product is legitimate. Authentique will ask users to photograph the same area to verify the outcome. This makes the authentication process more reliable, faster and more cost-efficient as it removes the need to inspect products manually. Patou will also provide unique digital IDs for products that can be transferred to a customer’s phone on proof of purchase to establish digital ownership.

This concept is an evolution of Blockchain Fashion, using new technological advances to help brands and resellers shield themselves from the quickly growing fake market.

Strategic opportunity

Although the preloved luxury market is booming, uncertainty over product authenticity remains a consumer pain point. By implementing verification into the production process, fashion brands can help bring trust into the resale space

New York’s Renwick Hotel offers rain-insured stays

US – The Renwick Hotel in New York has announced that it will offer refunds to guests if it rains during their stay. New York is known for heavy downpours with an annual rainfall of 1,119mm (44 inches). The boutique property in midtown Manhattan has teamed up with climate risk technology company Sensible Weather to offer a weather guarantee that guests can pay for when booking their stay.

If a guest booking includes rain cover, every rainy day is free for them. The insurance applies if it rains for two hours or more between 9:00am and 7:00pm. Guests are automatically informed via text message if they are entitled to a refund based on forecasts made by Nasa, the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Guests cannot cancel ahead of time for the insurance to apply.

In our Adaptive Appetites macrotrend, we discussed how consumers and companies have rapidly adapted their food and drink behaviour to take account of inflation and supply chain fragility. The travel and hospitality sector will similarly adapt to changing climates, offering long-term solutions in the sustainability arena.

Renwick Hotel, US

Strategic opportunity

As climate change continues to disrupt the travel industry, businesses must consider how to appeal to a clientele affected by everything from heavy rain to storms and heatwaves. How can your guarantees, loyalty programmes or in-door entertainment respond to those setbacks?

Stat: Johannesburg confirmed as Africa’s wealthiest city

Caroline Mackintosh and Gavin Mikey Collins for Document Journal, South Africa Caroline Mackintosh and Gavin Mikey Collins for Document Journal, South Africa

South Africa – The World’s Wealthiest Cities Report 2023 has confirmed Johannesburg as the only city on the African continent to host 14,600 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). Published by international investment migration firm Henley & Partners and global wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth in April 2023, the study re-affirms the South African city’s status as the home of the largest number of dollar millionaires. Of 14,600 high-net-worth individuals, 30 are dollar centi-millionaires (individuals with investible assets of over £80m, $100m, €92m), and two are dollar billionaires.

Thanks to the city’s gold resources, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is also Africa’s largest stock market. Quartz reports that in 2021, its cumulative wealth stood at £188bn ($235bn,€216bn), topping Africa’s chart. But the city still faces challenges, including an energy crisis, rising inflation and a ‘greylisted’ status from the global anti-money laundering and terrorism financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force. The HNWIs in the city, although present en masse compared to the rest of Africa, have decreased from 16,000 in 2022.

To tailor to their needs, we previously looked at how South Africa continues to cement its reputation as a luxury travel destination with high-end hotel and museum openings while also looking to be more inclusive to intracontinental tourists.

Strategic opportunity

Players in the luxury industry should rethink their focus on Cape Town. New developments in Johannesburg are exciting a range of local HNWIs and intracontinental travellers seeking high-end services

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