Guest Blogger: Woody Wade introduces "Hotel Yearbook 2036"

5 April, 2016
  • 5 min read
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This article was written by our guest blogger: Woody Wade, writer and publisher of "Hotel Yearbook 2036". Wade: "Ten years ago, I started a small publishing venture called “The Hotel Yearbook”. My idea was that every year, I would ask some of the hotel industry’s most experienced senior executives and respected thought leaders to write about their expectations for the year ahead. If you were a CEO of a luxury hotel group, I asked you to write about how concepts of luxury were evolving. If you were a consultant based in Hong Kong, I asked you to write about the near-term prospects for the Chinese hotel market. If you were a tourism professor, I asked you to write about the hot trends that would affect the way people travel in the next couple of years. All the authors focused on their particular expertise – a geographic focus, perhaps, or functional know-how, or knowledge of a specific segment of the industry. Over the years, more than 300 different people have contributed their ideas about the trends and developments that they thought would have an impact on their part of the hotel business in the near-term future. It’s been great fun. This year, though, I decided to try something very different."

Instead of publishing “Hotel Yearbook 2016” by inviting 30 or 35 experts to contribute an article about what they expect will be happening twelve months from now, I decided to skate way out on the very thin ice and publish a book about the much more distant future  – and I would write the whole thing myself. “Hotel Yearbook 2036” was born. In “Hotel Yearbook 2036”, the focus is not on next year, but on the hotel industry 20 years from now.  And instead of relying on experts, I would make it all up myself – and write it like a work of fiction. Yes, that’s right: fiction.  In "Hotel Yearbook 2036", it is already the year 2036, and the content of the book is made up of short eyewitness reports from dozens of hotel industry executives, academics, consultants, journalists, students, hotel guests, etc. – all supposedly living and working in 2036 - who "look back" on the many changes of the previous two decades (i.e. 2016-2036) and describe "what happened”.

The book is divided into four parts: Political Changes, Economic Changes, Societal Changes, and Technological Changes.  These are the four big categories of change that can occur over time and change an entire business landscape, so I wanted my future “eyewitnesses” to talk about things that had happened in each of these areas between 2016 and 2036, and how the hotel industry was affected. Take political change, for example.  One of my “eyewitnesses” describes how, in the early 2020s, North and South Korea finally reunited, following a “war” that lasted 15 minutes, without a shot being fired. Within a few years, the former North Korea became an industrial powerhouse, with booming demand for hotel construction.  And Pyongyang became the hottest new place to go gamble – kind of like Macau, only colder.  (In case you’re wondering what happened to Kim Jong-Un, he fled to Mongolia.)

Or technological change.  One “eyewitness”, a senior executive for a large chain, raves enthusiastically about the fantastic augmented reality-based eyewear that all their employees wear in the year 2036.  These glasses recognise the face of every guest who has ever stayed in one of their hotels.  Staff members see you and get a readout flashed onto their retinas, including your name and recent purchasing history, so they can greet you by name, see what you’ve spent money on… and upsell you!  (Another “eyewitness” – a hotel guest – isn’t so crazy about walking through the hotel and constantly being addressed by name every 30 seconds. “Sometimes I just want to scream at them all to effing leave me alone!” he shouts.  Technological advances are not always unambiguously beneficial…)

I wanted “Hotel Yearbook 2036” to be a thought-provoking book rather than a dry, white paper-type report.  But most of all, I wanted it to be fun: full of interesting ideas that are sometimes funny, sometimes outrageous… but always entertaining.  I would love for you to have the chance to read it, and let me know what you think.

Best of all, it’s free to download! Just go to this page and follow the simple registration procedure to grab the PDF:  

I hope you enjoy it and look forward to your reaction!  You can email me at

About the author

Woody Wade

Woody Wade, founder and publisher of the Hotel Yearbook, is a futurist and specialist in scenario planning, a technique that helps organizations visualize how their future business landscape could change, so they can spot opportunities and prepare a strategic response today. In 2012, his book “Scenario Planning: A Field Guide to the Future” was published by Wiley, the largest business book publisher in the USA. Two years later, its Japanese-language edition achieved bestseller status there and was voted the 14th best book of 2014 by readers of “Harvard Business Review” (Japan). Woody is the former marketing director of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and was an Executive Board member of the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Based in Switzerland, he has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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