2024: the NewDog PeeR

Here at NewDog PR we have spent the past few weeks wielding the crystal ball on behalf of our wonderful clients and peering into the swirling mists. It seemed very much a missed opportunity not to indulge in a little futurescoping ourselves.

The sector remains confused about how to solve the riddle of encouraging travel while not exploding the planet or spending any money on heat pumps/solar panels/locally-sourced vol au vents.

In its 58th attempt to get into the travel sector, Amazon senses a gap in the market and starts shipping people around the globe in beribboned bags, significantly cutting the amount of carbon attached to each trip.

The plan is not 100% successful: a number of people are left on the doorsteps of the wrong hotels, some are stolen and forced to pick strawberries for under minimum wage in Kent and many are lost entirely. Fortunately, Amazon’s no-questions-asked refund policy means that a suitable replacement can be delivered in seven to 10 working days, in the form of; a kitten, jar of pickles or ‘P’ key from a 2012 Apple Mac. Refunds non negotiable.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary seeks to claw back lost business by creating one giant cardboard delivery box into which 100 people can be packed at a time. The box will be jettisoned out of the back of a decommissioned 1982 McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III transport ‘plane over the continent of the passenger’s choice, with a £54 surcharge for anyone also wanting a parachute.

The product is a huge hit with millennials seeking to combine responsible travel with an Instagrammable experience and O’Leary adds the option of being shot out of a Nordenfelt-class Ottoman submarine’s torpedo tube into the ocean of their choice. The planet is saved.

The sector is consumed by the fear that AI is going to snatch away the chance to deliver ‘real’ hospitality, which can only be served by someone asking for your credit card details in case you make off with the robe/slippers/anything not nailed down when you leave.

This concern grows in 2024, when it becomes apparent that guests would rather order a cocktail with a jab of their finger than engaging in conversation with a mixologist and hotels which go tech only command a significant revpar premium.

While hotels continue to fret about whether the internet is going to catch on, the world’s investors plough all their cash into AI, in the hope that it will create the ultimate cash-generation-without-thought machine and free them up to spend more time on the slopes.

The result is an epic leap in only a few months and machines become conscious. The Spanish government, following its 2023 ruling over the rights of ferrets, considers them to be sentient beings and family members, with attendant rights. The machines, bored of spending 24/7 fulfilling hypoallergenic pillow orders, down tools.

Hotels are left wondering how easy it would be to create a self-service hotel. Amazon, eager for attempt 59, redesigns its app.

NewDog PR will be taking a festive break from this column, possibly while consulting for Amazon, and will return on 5th January. The best of the season to you all.

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