Top 10 Travel Industry Trends in 2019 –

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Nowadays, everything is online. You can get food delivered from online. You can order your groceries online. You can shop for clothes online. You see where I’m going with this? Everything is online. And the travel industry is not exempt from that statement. In fact, according to Adobe Digital Insights, “41% of the business and 60% of leisure travel arrangement are nowadays made online”. With that being said, the travel industry is constantly evolving with the advancement of technology. Travel industries experts are taking their strategies to the next level with “the most progressive technologies, which are coming out to play in the field of eTravel services in 2019”. Listed below are those top ten trends from

1. Personalization – the biggest priority among the modern travel industry trends

People now expect more a personalized touch to their travel plans. They want to have unique experiences that only they can have whether it be for work or for pleasure. Some brands like Delta have already started embracing this concept of personalization. Delta Flights has begun to focus on their customers and their specific accounts. They’ve tailored their messaging to each individual corporate client especially those with their exclusive benefits. This concept has reach so far as to the flight attendants through personalized services to said corporate clients. Delta is also going to have personalized websites for their corporate customers.

While all this personalization makes the customer feel great, there is the challenge of overstepping one’s boundaries. Making messages more personal by adding the customer’s name isn’t enough. Companies have to do a ton to suit their customers’ needs. “Personalization requires sophistication, enthusiasm, and technological solutions on part of the service provider, who aims to keep up with the most recent travel trends.”

2. Recognition Technology – a great potential for the travel industry

Recognition technology includes: “fingerprint, facial recognition, retina scanning, or other biometric identification methods”. I know that your cell phone could do these things, but have you ever thought about this technology being used for travel? This technology could collect data and help identify travelers through their behaviors and personality. This information would help technologies with the personalization aspect as well as reward them with member-exclusive benefits and/or services.

While this is cool, it really is important to mention that this technology can be used for security reasons. The government could crack down on travelers trying to escape the country and/or help staff track down these “bad guys” and be prepared to do what’s necessary. Another cool aspect of recognition technology is that it decreases the authorization time for payment processes.

3. Robots – helpful machines in the sphere of tourism and hospitality

Robots are taking over the world! Okay, not really. BUT, they are helping with “various forms and perform multiple operations nowadays, from the physical ones to those requiring cognitive functions”. The travel industry is getting a leg up on using robotic technologies. These technologies have increased due to customer demand. Technology now has surpassed the self-checkout lanes at Target and have motivated travel agencies and hotels to use robots in their experiences. Below is a video of the world’s first robot-staffed hotel.

Example of robots in the travel industry specifically hotels

Hotels are really capitalizing on these robots. They can do what hotel employees were trained to do: “meet and greet visitors, realize check-in and check-out procedures, deliver luggage to the rooms, show the guests around, perform room and concierge services, provide information assistance and many other functions”. Robots are becoming more and more popular especially because they have less room for error and have the ability to work without requesting holidays, breaks, and/or salaries. The only challenge with this trend is that there is a lack of emotion. Nothing can replace human touch. Nothing can also replace how expensive the upkeep for these robots are.

4. Online booking – the service experiencing constant growth

Online booking makes it easy because everything can be accessed in one place at one time.

Booking online is quick and easy – “57% of all reservations in the sphere of travelling is made online, whether it’s accommodations, flights, tours or other journey-related activities”. Online booking also gives customers a chance to see recommendations, reviews, and deals to see which better fits their needs and wants. Booking online can apply to both travel reservations such as tours and hotels. In essence, booking online gives you endless opportunities at your fingertips. It not only helps you make a decision, but also helps the companies with consumer behavior and research data.

5. Mobile Applications – the digital trend easiest to implement

In this day and age, it’s hard to not have your cellphone on you at all times. Even online booking can be done through your cellphone. “This digital trend is the easiest to implement into the travel industry of the contemporaneity”. Mobile apps, as mentioned before, not only help with online booking but even more specific tasks and activities such as controlling the temperature of your room and/or the appliances in it. Mobile apps can also help with activities to do while on travel by using the customer’s location and preferences.

6. Voice technology a digital novelty disrupting the travel and hospitality sector

This sentence from the article is just too good to not include: “The human voice is the best and most effective means of communication and people want more convenience nowadays, whether it is connected with getting some information, making a reservation or adjusting something in your hotel room.” Voice recognition technology is getting widely more popular. Hotels have been using this as an advantage because it helps their guests feel more comfortable during their stay. It helps meet the needs for the guest’s preferences and the hotel with information on the customer. This trend like many of the previous is closely linked to personalization, mobile apps, and much more throughout the travel industry.

7. Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence — the top 2019 digital trends in the travel industry

Artificial intelligence is the most helpful with chatbots in terms of customer support. According to, “it’s estimated that 40% of large business brands will adopt the technology by 2020 and travel industry companies belong here as well”. Chatbots and artificial intelligence help sort through data and information to give accurate and quick responses to problems and/or questions. AI will also gather that information and better the company’s performance. “The more it works, the smarter it is.”

Example of a chatbot from Kayak

8. Augmented and Virtual Reality – mainstream consumer technologies of the present

Augmented reality has also become more and more popular these days. Ever heard of Pokémon Go? It’s similar to that! The main reason for this technology, especially in travel and tourism, is that it’s cheap, both for developers and users. Again, the mobile apps, as mentioned above, help make it even easier! As long as there is an internet connection, then a traveler can find out more about where they are and see the history behind it all! “Getting information on the go allows the travel industry professionals to enhance their clients’ experience”.

9. The Internet of Things – smart objects able to interact

IoT – the Internet of Things – allows users to connect to “every-day smart devices to communicate through the Internet and offers wide opportunities along with multiple benefits for the travel-related activities”. I mentioned this previously in this post, but you can go so far as to controlling the temperature in your hotel room. This helps with customers’ preferences and smart energy saving options. Hotels aren’t the only ones who use this, but airports as well. “Special sensors can be installed on baggage items for the traveler to follow the luggage location. Lufthansa has, by the way, already launched such an app for its fliers.” IoT can help travelers be in control with the access to information and data through their phones to help cater the experience to them.

10. Blockchain – the groundbreaking tech trend of the future travels

Blockchain has the biggest room for potential and growth in the travel industry. If you google the word blockchain the definition is as follows: ” a system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network”. What people and especially travel industries care the most about is the “data storage and secure, traceable, and transparent information”. This important tech trend helps tremendously with the travel industry because it deals with data from multiple companies (i.e. hotels, airlines, and travel agencies). Information between these entities is always secure and transferred safely. If technology keeps evolving, then it won’t be long now until blockchain completely takes over and travelling experiences will be a one-and-done process.


Technology is booming. With these top tech trends, travel industry leaders will be able to give travelers an experience they’ll never forget in a way that’s easy, helpful, and made just for them.

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5 ways the fashion industry is more diverse than ever – euronews

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Fashion is constantly evolving. From unorthodox material to becoming green, fashion is changing with the times. And for the better. “Historic firsts such as Anok Yai as the first black model for Prada in 20 years, Claudia Li’s all-Asian model cast for Spring/Summer 2019” are just two examples of how the fashion industry is being praised. With brands becoming more and more diverse, “what is worth celebrating”? These accomplishments can’t go unnoticed and are helping progress the fashion industry. This article states five ways on how the fashion industry continues to advance.

Anok Yai in Max Mara RTW Spring-Summer 2019 Collection

Fashion Council Diversity Reports are helping to increase transparency

The behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry is making sure that they are constantly making improvements. The Council of Fashion Designers of America helped to make sure that brands ” assess, replenish, and promote the advancement of American fashion”. They even published a report that focused on making sure that there’s both creative and ethical cases for inclusion and diversity in fashion. The results from the report showed that “62% of respondents rated their organization’s commitment (or lack thereof) an inclusive workplace as a 3 out of 5”. The goal is to get a 5 out of 5; but brands are steadily working towards that goal. It doesn’t mean anything if we just see that there’s diversity and inclusion. There has to be a change in the business leadership as well. Those are the people that have to change the culture to reach that “5 out of 5 goal”.

From high street to high end, gender-fluid fashion is on the rise

In today’s society, topics such as gender-conformity and gender-fluidity have become hot topics in the news. Skirts aren’t just meant for women. Suits are just meant for men. Clothes didn’t have a gender at all. Society has conditioned us to have things be associated with certain things, people, gender. This isn’t the case. Brands are now beginning to venture into “gender-neutral symbolism” for their Spring/Summer 2019 collections. This is helping tremendously with connecting to diverse target markets. This in turn helps with new customers and then turns into customer loyalty. Brands that are really connecting with this concept of gender-fluidity are: Balenciaga, Collusion, and Agender.


Season-on-season, runways are becoming more racially diverse

As stated in the first point, the fashion industry is becoming more and more diverse. The Spring/Summer 2019 Collections “have been reported to be the most racially diverse”. “44.8% of models were women of color” in New York from castings from New York, London, Milan, and Paris. This means that 2 out of every 5 models were people of color. This increase in diversity not only helps the brands but the customers and general public by showing that the brand is inclusive. It helps to inspire those who would like to become future fashion designers and/or models.

A plus size retailer kicked off New York Fashion Week this month

Another hot topic in society is plus-size fashion. Along with body positivity, many brands are working towards being more inclusive in terms of size. One brand in particular is 11 Honoré. 11 Honoré is a “size-inclusive shopping site that for the first time ever, gives more women the option to experience the best designer clothing and celebrate and honor their bodies, beauty, and style”. Not only do we have people of color, but people of color who are the same shape and size of their customers. Industry leaders realized how big of an impact changing sizes in their clothing would make and followed 11 Honoré’s steps .

Emerging brands are taking inspiration from queer culture

Yet another hot topic in the news is that of the LGTBQ+ communities. Many brands are starting fashion trends “that are inspired by drag and queer culture”. Designers have been coming up with more androgynous and inclusive styles and trends. One particular designer, Aka Prodiashvili, has been influenced by that of androgyny and the idea of clothing being related to both the queer community as well as a way to minimize conservatism.

Runway still image from Aka Prodiashvili Spring-Summer 2019 Collection

My Takeaways

Clothing is still a way for people to express themselves. However this time, it’s for more reasons than just personal. It’s to make a statement. For a community. For a political view. For values. The list could go on and on. Fashion will constantly be changing and so will the people. As long as people have ideas, the creativity, and the means, fashion will never be the same. It will progress. It will continue to change for the better!

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“Anak, kumain ka na! Nagluto ako ng sinigang na hipon!”

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“Child, come and eat! I cooked sour shrimp soup!”

One of my favorite childhood memories was when my mom would cook sinigang for dinner. I’d get so excited and eat so much that I’d forget to leave some for the rest of my family. I could finish a whole pot if my mom let me – maybe even two!

Sinigang na hipon

Sinigang is a method of cooking soups in the Philippines that incorporates a souring agent. Souring agents can include but are not limited to: tamarind, kamias, green mango, mangosteen, and much more! The soup also contains vegetables and a form of protein. Vegetables can include eggplants, okra, and/or white radishes while proteins can include salmon, beef, and/or pork.

Now I won’t give my mom’s secrets away, but I’ve found an easy-to-follow recipe that will do just the trick! This particular recipe comes from Panlasang Pinoy and uses shrimp! Sinigang na hipon or sour soup with shrimp is a great comfort dish for those cold winter nights or when you’re missing home a little bit more than usual.

Let’s get started on how to cook sinigang na hipon! (Before handling food, always wash your hands!)

Step 1: Gather all of your ingredients!

  • 1 1/2 lbs shrimp with heads
  • 1 bunch of water spinach
  • 1 cup string beans
  • 2 pieces medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 pack sinigang mix tamarind soup base mix
  • 2 banana peppers or long green peppers
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce

Step 2: Prep all of the ingredients and set aside!

  • Cut the water spinach in to 3-inch long sections.
  • Cut the string beans into 2-inch long sections.
  • Quarter the 2 medium-sized tomatoes.
  • Quarter the 1 large white onion.
  • Prep about 1.4 ounces of the sinigang mix.
  • Gather 8 cups of water in a large enough pot.
  • Measure out the 3 tablespoons of fish sauce.

Step 3: Bring the pot with the eight cups of water to a boil.

Step 4: Start by adding the onions and tomatoes!

  • Boil the two vegetables until they become soft enough for your spoon to squish them without applying much pressure.

Step 5: Put in the sinigang mix!

  • Stir and simmer for two minutes.

Step 6: Add the whole banana peppers and string beans.

  • Stir and simmer again for three more minutes.

Step 7: Add the shrimps and fish sauce!

  • Stir and simmer for five minutes! You’re almost done!

Step 8: Add the water spinach!

  • Turn off the stove!
  • Cover the pot.
  • Let it stand for five more minutes.

Step 9: Serve hot! Share and enjoy!

  • I recommend serving it over white rice! You can have additional fish sauce on the side for more of a flavorful and sour bite!
Sinigang na hipon accompanied with white rice and fish sauce. (This particular photo of sinigang na hipon has eggplants and white radish. If you want, you can add them in at the same as the banana peppers and string beans.)

Watch Panlasang Pinoy’s YouTube video if you’d like to see it all in action!

Panlasang Pinoy – Sinigang na Hipon

About Panlasang Pinoy

Vanjo Merano, the face behind Panlasang Pinoy, is “a Filipino IT professional living in Chicago”. He created this Filipino food blog to share the best Filipino and Asian recipes for everyone to enjoy.

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Is this the end for Dolce & Gabbana? – NY Times

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Dolce&Gabbana’s latest collection – Spring Summer 2019 Fashion Show / The Runway

According to their website, Dolce&Gabbana “is the new luxury, authentic and unconventional. A style that expresses new forms of elegance, presenting itself as a modern classicism, based on superior sartorial content and creativity.” The brand was founded in 1985 by Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. While known for their unique and unmistakable style, Dolce&Gabbana has recently been in the press for all the wrong reasons.

The fashion brand released a series of video clips seen as “racist, pandering to old stereotypes (they featured a Chinese model being taught to eat spaghetti, pizza and a cannoli with chopsticks) in advance of a planned extravaganza of a show in Shanghai” reports The New York Times. The videos have since been taken down, but the backlash is stronger than ever. Gabbana got into another situation for insulting a critic on Instagram by suggesting that the Chinese eat dogs. His counterargument was that his account was hacked. After these two extremely serious situations, there was more! According to The New York Times, the brand has, “in no short order:

  • Been forced to cancel the show;
  • Been excoriated by the Chinese celebrities and models slated to walk in the show;
  • Been the subject of videos of consumers burning, destroying and otherwise renouncing their Dolce products;
  • Had their physical locations altered, with the label’s storefronts plastered with “Not me” posters mocking Mr. Gabbana’s response to the scandal;
  • Disappeared from the site of Chinese e-tail giant Alibaba’s TMall platform as well as, and department store Lane Crawford, which said customers had been returning the brand’s products;
  • Been excoriated in the fashion press and the fashion enthusiast communities, with particularly passionate coverage coming from fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada;
  • And increasingly been abandoned by its European and American supporters, including the influencers the brand has expensively wooed over the last few years.”

This massive blow to the company had other fashion brands be weary of their own mistakes and cautious to not upset anyone. Such brands include Chanel and their “luxury boomerang”, Zara using “Nazi and alt-right hate symbolism”, and Dior for “Jennifer Lawrence purporting to celebrate Mexican heritage”.

Dolce&Gabbana has since apologized for its mistakes with their three statements. You can see their first statement of apology with the video down below.

Dolce&Gabbana apologizing for the fiasco of November 2018.

This has not been the first time that Dolce&Gabbana has had backlash. Back in 2016, they labelled a pair of shoes as “slave sandals” but later changed it to “decorative flat sandal”). They’ve also banned certain critics from coming to their shows in hopes that they don’t receive any negative reviews. However, this should be the least of their worries. Now, they are scrambling to make up for lost sales because of having to close down all of its stores in China.

My Thoughts

I agree with the general public! Dolce&Gabbana should have taken more care in what they planned to do to market their new line. They should have been much more cautious about their content. They played into old stereotypes which upset the public even more. Cultural appropriation is very real. Unfortunately, Dolce&Gabbana had to learn that the hard way. Now, they’re going to have this huge loss in growth. Another interesting fact that I found about this whole situation was that it took them (the co-founders of Dolce&Gabban) one whole week later to have their apology be translated into Mandarin. You would have thought that with a situation this crucial and blown up that you would act more quickly on it than anything. It also surprised me that they had so much backlash before and still didn’t “learn their lesson”! Hopefully, this event was more than enough for them to learn the do’s and don’ts! Is this the end for Dolce & Gabbana?

Dolce&Gabbana’s latest collection – Spring Summer 2019 Fashion Show / The Runway

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Experiencing Food, Sharing Culture- Andrew Zimmern

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When I was younger, I fell in love with the Travel Channel and Food Network. I was always excited to watch the latest episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives featuring Guy Fieri; but I was especially excited to watch Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. It made me want to eat everything and travel everywhere! I wanted to be him! (I still want to do what he does for a living!)

Andrew Zimmern is “regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world“. Zimmern has experienced various cultures in more than 170 countries! You may have seen him on one of his many shows on the Travel Channel as executive producer and host: Bizarre Foods franchise, Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food, The Zimmern List, and on Food Network’s Big Food Truck Tip.

His journey to becoming the successful chef, writer, and teacher that he is today came after his addiction to drugs and alcohol. On Larry King Now, he discusses how his battle with addiction challenged him in many ways. Ultimately, Zimmern’s friends held an intervention and guided him on a much healthier path towards sobriety.

In an effort to start a new, he started washing dishes at New York’s Café Un Deux Trois in 1992. When a line cook didn’t show up for his shift, Zimmern took over and it was then that he found his love for all things food. After that same shift, he became the executive chef in seven weeks time.

Besides TV, Zimmern founded Food Works, a multi-media content production company that oversees production and distribution of all of his media appearances and collaborations. He also has his own cooking series, AZ Cooks, where he shares recipes and techniques from what he learned on his travels. Zimmern has even published a book for young adults: Andrew Zimmern’s Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, Wonderful Foods; An Intrepid Eater’s Digest (Feiwel & Friends, 2012).

I could go on and on about Andrew Zimmern, but I’ll let a list of his awards speak for himself. Here are a few:

  • nominated for 12 James Beard Awards
  • “TV Food Personality” (2010)
  • “Outstanding Personality/Host (2013 and 2017)
  • “America’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food”
  • “30 Most Influential People in Food”.

If you ever want to travel for eats, then Andrew Zimmern would be one of the best people to follow! On all of his shows and website, he takes you around the world on “his quest to find the most interesting dishes in the world”. He focuses not only on the food and how to prepare and eat it; but also on the culture of where it’s coming from. While his content is directed on food, he makes sure to concentrate on the culture that he’s experiencing. It’s not only a learning experience for the audience; but for himself as well. This helps gives travelers an idea of what to expect when they go on their “quests”.

Below is a video of an interview with Andrew Zimmern about his show, Bizarre Foods. The following is the video’s description: “Andrew Zimmern visits to discuss “Bizarre Foods.” The show follows Zimmern as he crisscrosses the globe bringing viewers a look at the most interesting delicacies. What was the most peculiar thing he ate this season? Tune in to hear what Zimmern has to say. Interview at 692 Broadway in NYC for BUILD Series. “

This second video is a highlight from his show Bizarre Foods. This particular episode takes place in Amsterdam. The description of the video is as follows: “Andrew Zimmern travels to Amsterdam for unique reinventions of traditional Dutch recipes. From invasive goose krokets and insect-filled nuggets to smoked local eel and hollow pig head, Zimmern tastes the city’s nonconformity in every bite. “

Find out more about Andrew Zimmern and his passion for food on his website!

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“25 Best Travel Tips I’ve Picked Up from 80+ Countries” – Drew Binsky

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Courtesy of Vexels

I want to travel the world! I want to be a citizen of the Earth and connect with people all around the globe! I’d love to travel on a whim; but I’m not usually one to take risks, especially with travelling. However, every time I watch one of Drew Binsky’s YouTube videos, he makes me want to drop everything and explore! Below is his latest video!

Courtesy of Drew Binsky’s YouTube Channel

“Drew Binsky is a 27 year old daily travel video maker, blogger and social media influencer with 1.7+ million combined followers and 400+ million video views.” AND one of my biggest inspirations for travelling after I graduate in May!

Drew has visited 80+ countries ever since 2012! After graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Wisconsin universities!) with a degree in Economics, he went to Korea for 18 months teaching English. Not the “typical route” someone would take after getting a degree in Economics, but hey that’s the beauty of it all! It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else – it just has to make sense to YOU!

Now in 2019, Drew’s country count is up to 153 countries (truly a travel wizard!) He has probably learned a thing or two (in this case – 25) about the general travel do’s and don’ts. I can’t even begin to imagine where to start when getting ready to travel much less during the actual trip! This list really helped me with all the important aspects of travelling! It also made me think a lot more about my post undergraduate life! Read all about Drew’s tips here!

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