Keeping it real, like James Bond.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon ~ thetransitcafe.com
Wednesday, 27th December 2006
It's been a jolly good year all round for everyone - So what's out there on the horizon for 2007? Yeoh Siew Hoon turns to James Bond for a lesson or two.

Daniel Craig is the man I've been waiting for all my life... (Left picture)

So has it been a good year for you?

Ah. I hear a resounding YES. Everyone's had a good year and I am only talking about business, of course. I don't know all of you well enough to be able to get personal.

But business has been good, hasn't it? No. Forget good. It's been great. As I have travelled from place to place this year, I have seen nothing but good cheer in the streets, in shops, in restaurants, bars and cafes, in hotels.

Last week, I did a marathon trip – perhaps to make up for all the things I should have done this year. I did four cities in four days – Hong Kong, Macau, Nakhom Pathom and Bangkok. I felt I was on a rollercoaster of fortune.

Record hotel rates in Hong Kong. Record gaming revenues in Macau (US$5.51 billion in the first 10 months of 2006) which has now outstripped Las Vegas as gaming capital of the world. Healthy occupancies and rates in Bangkok despite political hiccup.

Back to Singapore where my hotel friends are complaining they don't have time for Christmas shopping because business shows no signs of slowing down for the usually low silly season.

It's great to end the year on a high, isn't it?

So not that I wish to burst your bubble and all that, but here are some random thoughts on what we should keep an eye on in the new year.

1. The weather

I don't know about you but I am seriously worried about the weather. I know it's always been unpredictable but it seems to have become even more unpredictable. Everywhere I've went, people have said "what unusual weather". Apparently, the autumn in Europe was so warm that the birds that should have flown to Africa hung around for a lot longer than they should. I know one swallow does not make a summer, but I fear this could do strange things to our planet.

In Singapore, as I write this, there's been 24 hours of non-stop rain that looks set to continue that even my dog is complaining. BBC will launch a new programme called "Climate Change" next year. The British government is talking about imposing personal carbon emission credits on its citizens. You emit, you pay.

2. Stars, The Moon and Mars

They tell us space travel is here. I won't hold my breath till I get myself on that first fam trip to space. Now they tell us that we will soon colonise Mars and set up a base there. Great, let's go spoil another planet. The idea is to put a few humans there first to check if it's livable out on Mars. Do I hear David Bowie asking, "is there life on Mars?" Soon, David, very soon.

3. People, people who need people

New airports, new aircraft, new hotels, new resorts, new everything – where will we find the right people to serve people who are increasingly becoming difficult, demanding customers to please?

4. I want to feel and I want it real

Take the new James Bond movie "Casino Royale". Other than the fact that the new 007, Daniel Craig, is the man I've been waiting for all my life, the reason this movie is good and has rejuvenated Mr Ian Fleming's franchise is because Bond plays a man who is haunted by his past, who makes mistakes, who feels when he kills (no man of steel is he) and who is willing to risk it all for love. You also understand why the poor man can never fall in love again.

Yes, touchy-feely is what it's all about these days, my friends. So infuse some of that magic into your business or, even better, life.

Lastly, I'd like to share a quote from my new hero, Clint Eastwood, who said, something like – playing it safe is the riskiest thing there is because then, you are guaranteed no outcome. Are you listening, Bond?

So go on, take a risk or two in the new year.

The SHY Report
A regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry by one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, Yeoh Siew Hoon.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her company's mission is "Content, Communication, Connection".

She is a writer, speaker, facilitator, trainer and events producer. She is also an author, having published "Around Asia In 1 Hr: Tales of Condoms, Chillies & Curries". Her motto is ‘free to do, and be'.

Contacts: Tel: 65-63424934, Mobile: 65-96801460

Yeoh Siew Hoon's other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com . Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.
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