Travel and Hospitality Keynote Speaker


Travel and hospitality is being disrupted and changing faster than ever before. For a customized keynote that is energizing, impactful, and actionable – book Kaihan for your next travel and hospitality event or conference.


The travel and hospitality industry is experiencing dramatic change and disruption. Digitization, changes in travel habits from COVID, personalization, and labor shortages are all top of mind. When change happens there is opportunity to re-imagine business models, re-think how you engage employees, re-evaluate what impact your organization has on the world, and develop creative solutions to complex problems.



Throughout his career as a consultant, keynote speaker, and founder of the Outthinker Strategy Network (an exclusive network of Chief Strategy Officers and Executives from Fortune 500 and private companies with $1B+ revenue), Kaihan Krippendorff has worked with some of the biggest brands in travel and hospitality including: United Airlines, Choice Hotels, Marriott, Hilton, USA Brand, and IMEX.



Selecting the right keynote speaker for your travel and hospitality event is one of the most important decisions you will make this year. Content, energy, ability to connect to an audience, and actionability are all important factors to consider. Former McKinsey Consultant, NYU Professor, bestselling author, and globally recognized authority on strategy, growth, and transformation, Kaihan Krippendorff will make your event an undeniable success with a customized aerospace and defense keynote that leverages his unique perspective and deep experience in the industry.



The time to act is now. Don’t just be a Thinker. Be an Outthinker.



An active leader in travel and hospitality, Kaihan brings deep industry experience, proprietary research, and exclusive insights to every keynote he delivers.


Eric Shinseki


  • In the five years leading up to the pandemic, the short-term vacation rental industry saw 300 percent growth (Forbes).
  • Safety and sanitation are key elements of focus for hospitality organizations as travelers recover from the effects of the pandemic.
  • Tech-savvy millennials are expected to comprise 50 percent of travelers to the United States by 2025 (Cornell).
  • Millennials travel more than any other age group, globally and locally, and this trend should increase with more disposable income (Smart Meetings).

Trends in Travel & Hospitality

Smart Accomodation



Traveler Behavior

Smart Accomodation

  • During the pandemic, companies that outfitted their hotels, rentals, and other destinations with contactless technology excelled. As consumer safety and sanitary expectations grow, companies must rise to the challenge by innovating upon normalized accommodations.  
  • Remote check-in is already growing globally (Forbes). IoT-driven hospitality elements integrated in mobile devices allow devices to behave as keycards, thermostats, and television remotes, among other potential applications (Fast Company).  
  • Additionally, biometric implementation as a form of authorization, privacy, and security for travelers is a potential growth area. Smart accommodation strategies must simplify the travelling process by eliminating stress points and increasing privacy and security.  
  • Airbnb’s “Arrival Guide” gives travelers a short, interactive checklist for travel and arrival at their rental in a convenient, intuitive way (Airbnb).  


  • Personalized hospitality is becoming more important than ever, but productivity is still highly important in the industry.  
  • Organizations should seek ways to reduce redundant tasks assigned to hotel staff in order to expand their ability to offer personalized experiences to guests (Forbes). A new generation of travelers adventure independently, and with travel agencies on the decline, hospitality services must accentuate personalization (EHL).  
  • The hospitality robot “Relay,” made by Savioke, performs mundane, repetitive tasks such as delivery of drinks and clean towels to guests, freeing hotel staff from tasks that normally would take 10-15 minutes of their time (Smart Meetings).  
  • The “smart hotel” concept—with examples including the FlyZoo Hotel by Alibaba in China (Fast Company), Fast Hotels in Norway, and Place to Sleep Hotels in Finland (Place to Sleep)—capitalizing on automatable tasks and other technology applications, can effectively reduce active hotel staff to zero while still ensuring meaningful hospitality and accommodation is provided to guests. 


  •  The pressures caused by the pandemic raised awareness on the side-effects of work and leisure travel. These changes were most notably seen in younger generations; millennials travel with a sense of minimalism, being keenly aware of how and where they spend money and how it impacts themselves and communities. Lavish travel is declining in this demographic.  
  • Travel and hospitality organizations should continue to develop sustainability initiatives in their hotels and locations. Avoiding single-use plastics, and reducing paper usage and food waste are just a few efforts organizations can make towards a more environmentally-friendly travel experience for guests (EHL).  
  • Redesigning living spaces with items made from responsibly sourced materials can increase guest satisfaction. Increasing options for the vegan population can attract a wider customer base. Enhancing accommodations with wellbeing in mind invites travelers who seek innovative wellness features (Smart Meetings). 

Traveler Behavior

  • Because of COVID restrictions, domestic tourism rates have accelerated. Perhaps due to the movement towards remote work, travelers seem to plan, purchase, and travel within a shorter time frame (Forbes).  
  • It is expected that vacations may be longer on average due to less constraints from conventional office-based work life.  
  • Travelers currently seek out local options due to the environmentally-friendly and budget-friendly nature of reduced-travel trips (EHL). Airbnb has capitalized on this shift by expanding its “Experiences” feature, which connects travelers with “local things to do,” whether they are travelling or at home (Airbnb).  
  • Hipcamp is a camping booking site which expanded its reach by developing its booking platform to allow local landowners to rent out land to campers and even act as vendors for camping commodities such as food, rentals, and firewood (Fast Company). 

The Outthinker 8P framework – opportunities for disruption and innovation in travel and hospitality


  • Airbnb Experiences, which originally launched in 2016, was a $100M service pre-pandemic and is showing growth once again (Fast Company).
  • The Experiences platform connects travelers with “local things to do,” whether at home or away, and capitalizes on shifting travel behaviors post-pandemic.
  • The company has diversified its homesharing business in such a way that no single city accounts for more than 2.5 percent of revenue (Fast Company).
  • During the pandemic, Airbnb also expanded its Online Experiences feature, which connects customers to video sessions ranging from virtual escape rooms, to live-streamed circuses, to bingo (Airbnb).
“8Ps” of StrategyOpportunity
for Disruption
Recommended Leverage Points
Position- The farmers, individual and corporate, that you are targeting.

- The need of the agricultural industry that you seek to fill.
3- What technologies do you control that can help you tap into market
segments that you previously thought unreachable?

- What are the potential business alliances you could think about with key players in the segment to serve your customers with integrated solutions? (Serving customers with more integrated solutions example: serving farmers with fertilizers, crop protection and other).
Product- The products you offer, and the characteristics that affect their value to customers.

- The technology you develop for producing those products.
8- What moves are your organization taking to implement Big Data and analytics to your operations? What IoT and blockchain applications can you use?

- What tools and technology could you utilize or develop to improve food quality, traceability, and

- How can you develop a more sustainable production model to accommodate constraints on arable

- What is the future business model needed to serve new differentiated products to your customers?
Promotion- How you connect with farmers and consumers across a variety of locations and industries.
- How to make consumers, producers, and other stakeholders aware of your products and services.
8- How are you connecting your product with individual and corporate farms who could utilize it?
- How could you anticipate market and customer needs to make customers interested in accessing your differentiated products?
PriceHow consumers and other members of the agricultural supply chain pay for access to agricultural products.7- What elements of value comprise your pricing? How do each of those elements satisfy the varying needs of your customers?
Placement- How food products reach consumers. How the technologies, data, and services reach stakeholders in the supply chain.9- What new paths might exist for helping consumers access the food they desire?
- How are you adapting your operations and supply chain to accommodate consumers’ desire for proximity to the food they eat?
- How could you anticipate customer expectation to make products more
accessible to customers/agile supply chain?
- Have you considered urbanization as a part of your growth strategy?
- How your food satisfies the needs and desires of your customer.
- How the services you provide to agribusiness fulfill their needs.
9- Where does your food rate on a taste, appearance, and freshness
- Could the services you provide to companies and farms in the agriculture industry be expanded to meet more needs?
- What senses does your food affect besides hunger? How does your
customer extract value from your food in addition to consumption?
Processes- Guiding your food production operations in a manner cognizant of social pressure.8- How can you manage the supply chain differently to improve traceability and reduce waste?
- How can you innovate systems in production, processing, storing, shipping, retailing, etc.?
- What are new capabilities to increase sustainability (impact on the environment, or ESG) components?
People- The choices you make regarding hiring, organizing, and incentivizing your people and your culture.- How are you leveraging the agricultural experience of your staff bottom-up to achieve your vision?
- How do you anticipate new organizational capabilities needed to perform your future strategy (innovation, exponential technologies needed, agile customer relationship, innovative supply chain)?
- How do you manage your talents to assure suitable development with exposure in the agrifood main challenges/allowing a more sustainable view of the opportunities/cross-sectors?