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Terrorism, homeland safety and event management

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Terrorism, homeland safety and event management (PDF)
Source: International Journal of Hospitality Management

As the last attacks on Boston showed terrorism is based not only on speculation but also on surprise. Terrorists do not want to destroy or to kill everybody, their goal is aimed to inflict and administrate fear to the witnesses. The fact is that tourism and mega-events represented a fertile source to perpetrate terrorist attacks, not only for the casualties but also by the psychological effects on citizenry. This paper explores the nature of terrorism in the context of leisure as well as proposing a valid model to understand the connection among tourism, event management and terrorism.

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Slim by Design: Serving Healthy Foods First in Buffet Lines Improves Overall Meal Selection

August 20, 2014 Comments off

Slim by Design: Serving Healthy Foods First in Buffet Lines Improves Overall Meal Selection
Source: PLoS ONE

Objective
Each day, tens of millions of restaurant goers, conference attendees, college students, military personnel, and school children serve themselves at buffets – many being all-you-can-eat buffets. Knowing how the food order at a buffet triggers what a person selects could be useful in guiding diners to make healthier selections.

Method
The breakfast food selections of 124 health conference attendees were tallied at two separate seven-item buffet lines (which included cheesy eggs, potatoes, bacon, cinnamon rolls, low-fat granola, low-fat yogurt, and fruit). The food order between the two lines was reversed (least healthy to most healthy, and vise-versa). Participants were randomly assigned to choose their meal from one line or the other, and researchers recorded what participants selected.

Results
With buffet foods, the first ones seen are the ones most selected. Over 75% of diners selected the first food they saw, and the first three foods a person encountered in the buffet comprised 66% of all the foods they took. Serving the less healthy foods first led diners to take 31% more total food items (p<0.001). Indeed, diners in this line more frequently chose less healthy foods in combinations, such as cheesy eggs and bacon (r = 0.47; p<0.001) or cheesy eggs and fried potatoes (r = 0.37; p<0.001). This co-selection of healthier foods was less common.

Conclusions
Three words summarize these results: First foods most. What ends up on a buffet diner’s plate is dramatically determined by the presentation order of food. Rearranging food order from healthiest to least healthy can nudge unknowing or even resistant diners toward a healthier meal, helping make them slim by design. Health-conscious diners, can proactively start at the healthier end of the line, and this same basic principle of “first foods most” may be relevant in other contexts – such as when serving or passing food at family dinners.

Serving Up Diversity: Major trends in the food-services sector

August 7, 2014 Comments off

Serving Up Diversity: Major trends in the food-services sector (PDF)
Source:

The food-services sector is constantly evolving, as restaurants cater to changing consumer preferences, new lifestyle choices and demographic shifts. The trend toward health consciousness, coupled with an increasing interest in gourmet and high-quality cuisine, is inducing food-service operators to adopt value-added options, such as gluten-free foods, farm-to-table restaurant models and locally sourced produce. Additionally, as time-strapped consumers look to maximize their purchasing power without sacrificing food quality, they will continue to drive demand for niche food-service players like food trucks. Also, the ubiquitous use of smartphones has forced restaurants to cater to consumers that want timely service with minimum effort. Lastly, the changing demographic composition of the United States is giving rise to a wide variety of cuisine choices for US consumers. As a result, ethnic cuisine is expected to play a larger role in the food-services sector over the next five years, as industry players continue to alter their menus to accommodate ever-changing consumer preferences.

Xtreme Eating 2014

August 5, 2014 Comments off

Xtreme Eating 2014
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest

When we were screening candidates for the first Xtreme Eating awards in 2007, we were shocked to see 1,500-calorie entrées. This year, nearly all of our “winners” hit (or just missed) the 2,000-calorie mark. And a few doozies topped 3,000 calories. You could take half home and still overeat.

The sad truth is that it’s not hard to find Xtreme Eating winners. Virtually every chain has viable contenders. But this year, we’re giving a special XXXtreme Eating award to The Cheesecake Factory. It took three of our nine coveted spots…and, as usual, it could easily have filled all nine. Congrats!

Restaurants help feed job growth: how the leisure and hospitality industry fared after the recent employment downturn

August 4, 2014 Comments off

Restaurants help feed job growth: how the leisure and hospitality industry fared after the recent employment downturn
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The most recent employment downturn was historic in many ways, but most notably, in the substantial number of jobs lost.1 Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics (CES)2 survey show that total nonfarm3 employment fell by 8.7 million jobs between the employment peak in January 2008 and the employment trough in February 2010. In percentage terms, this was the largest job loss since the 1940s.4 Total nonfarm payroll employment did not make a full recovery until May 2014, a full 51 months after its employment low. During this recovery period, the leisure and hospitality industry gained more than 1.6 million jobs, accounting for almost 1 out of every 5 nonfarm jobs added during the recovery. (See chart 1.) Although other industries had similar or larger job gains, the leisure and hospitality industry is interesting because so many of the jobs were created in very few component industries. This Beyond the Numbers article examines recent trends in the leisure and hospitality industry and analyzes the concentrated distribution of job gains.

Deloitte Survey: For Millennial Travelers, It’s the Experience That Counts

August 1, 2014 Comments off

Deloitte Survey: For Millennial Travelers, It’s the Experience That Counts
Source: Deloitte

Two-thirds (66 percent) of millennial high-frequency travelers rate “unique rewards” as an important factor when choosing a hotel loyalty program, compared with just 43 percent of their older counterparts, according to a new Deloitte study, Winning the Race for Guest Loyalty.

Three-quarters (75 percent) of millennial respondents also indicate they would remain loyal to a hotel brand even if they lost all their points and status, compared with two-thirds (66 percent) among other travelers.

Additionally, the types of program benefits millennial travelers expect are no longer solely points-focused. Overall, 68 percent of frequent travelers indicate that they consider themselves loyal to the program where they have accumulated the most points. However, millennials highly value “soft” benefits such as VIP treatments and exclusive experiences more than other groups. Two-thirds (66 percent) of millennials indicate that unique experiences matter, compared with half (50 percent) of frequent travelers in other age groups.

The study also revealed that the average millennial traveler checks 10 online sources before making a travel purchase, and trusts advice from strangers online more than their own friends and family. Roughly one-quarter (24 percent) of millennials check social media or customer review sites before booking a hotel, whereas only 16 percent check with family.

wefi Reveals Top U.S. Locations for the Best Wi-Fi Connectivity During Summer Travel Season

July 22, 2014 Comments off

wefi Reveals Top U.S. Locations for the Best Wi-Fi Connectivity During Summer Travel Season
Source: wefi

Key travel considerations have changed dramatically as more and more people rely on their mobile devices to stay connected while away from home. With two thirds of Americans planning at least one leisure trip this summer, wefi, the market leader in delivering actionable mobile intelligence and network analytics, today revealed the top U.S. hotels, beaches and airports with the best Wi-Fi connectivity for these road warriors. As evidenced in wefi’s findings, not all destinations provide the same level of connectivity.

wefi collected data from more than 45 million hotspots based on the implementation of its intelligent network selection solution within multiple cable operators throughout the U.S. The metrics are based on a 45-day average of Wi-Fi speeds for each location starting from April 1 to June 15, 2014.

As mobile devices have become more and more essential to people on the road, it’s important to consider places with the best bandwidth connectivity. If traveling by air, consider that the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan offers the fastest Wi-Fi, closely followed by Denver International Airport in Colorado. For beach-goers, Clearwater Beach, Florida tops the list of beaches with the fastest Wi-Fi, while four of the top nine are located in California.

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