The Future of the
Hospitality Industry

Highlights and Key Takeaways from GrowthLab #27

6 OCTOBER 2020

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Our community of practice is all about learning from each other and then applying these lessons and these practices to your own business cases. Targeting specific hurdles allows you to identify the issues you need to address by providing more clarity and focus on the whats, the hows, and the whys that are relevant in reaching your next level breakthrough. Referencing these hurdles has become common throughout our community potluck sessions and are central to today’s potluck on how to pivot Palawan’s hospitality industry into an innovative agritech hub. Think about your own business case, think about the struggles you and your team are having, and see which of these hurdles best apply to you. No matter how challenging your own business cases may be and even if you might not know what to do, these hurdles can steer you in the right direction.

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The Future of Palawan

Clara Day Herrera, Resort Owner of Salt & Sky

Breakthrough: Pivot hospitality business into an Agritech Research, Learning, and Development Hub for Organic Farming.

Our first serving starts at 19:13.

Back in 2017, we conceptualized an eco-resort in El Nido, Palawan. The plan was to launch by the end of 2020, however, Covid happened. The project has been temporarily put on hold and is affecting stakeholders such as our employees, clients and partners. But as the owner, I think we can develop solutions to accommodate our stakeholders. We don’t expect the hospitality and tourism industry to go back to normal any time soon. Therefore, our next level breakthrough is to pivot our eco-resort in Palawan into an agritech hub. Our company sees the purpose of being environmentally friendly, hence our company’s engagement in developing an eco-resort, promoting a healthy lifestyle, eco-living, organic farming, and hydroponics. This is what prompted us to transform our landscape into an agritech hub.

Because of this pivot to agri-tech, our stakeholders have also changed. Our new stakeholders are other hotels and hospitality businesses in Palawan. We want to include them into our project so that we can transform El Nido into an agritech center for organic farming. Our company is bigger than short term profits – we want to make an impact on a prolonged scale.

A big challenge for us has been funding. Our main investor was committed to financing the entire project but because of the crisis, she was not able to follow through. We proposed to take this pivot into agritech because it’s sustainable nature wouldn’t require so much funding. Another challenge is in finding agritech experts. We need to connect with people who are into agritech in order to advance our research and innovation. 70% of the agriculture industry is still involved in traditional farming, but people are slowly opening up to agritech techniques that have already started in Europe and other countries. We’re way behind in agritech and we have seen that people can really benefit from this sort of innovation. The goal is not just to get fresh produce from agri-tech, but to produce world-class exportable products that could really boost Palawan’s economy as well as the Philippines’ and in a very sustainable manner. Furthermore, there is a lack of resources in El Nido because the transportation of resources is proving quite difficult during the pandemic. This initiative can also provide sustainable resources for the community there in Palawan.

Post-Potluck Reflection: We want to use this agritech project as an income stream for a lot of the hospitality groups in Palawan. From there, we can start rolling out solutions for our other stakeholders and with the help of the community we’ve established, we can eventually focus on our Palawan-based online platform/learning hub for all things agritech in the Philippines.



Trying to figure out solutions for a potlucker’s challenge can be a bit difficult, but going through the 100H Launchpad Hurdles give a sense of direction for me where I want to take this and where I should zero in my energy and effort to solve a particular problem.


As a business owner whose activities have been heavily affected by the pandemic, it’s wise to step back and look at the bigger picture. Not just on how I can survive on my own, but on how to thrive with the rest of the players suffering in the industry that we are at. Having a beginner’s mindset is a fresh way to restart and get the innovative juices flowing.


It’s okay to have multiple stakeholders and you do have to serve all of their needs, but it is important to cater to them one at a time. Start first with your foremost stakeholder, address their needs, and then move onto the next stakeholder. It seems counterproductive to try and address the needs and pains of all your stakeholders at the same time.


For business owners trying to pivot to the new normal, it’s apparent that it’s the perfect opportunity to critically assess and address the needs of the immediate community that the business is a part of. In the potluck today it is a good example of how a business owner pivoted from sticking to the hospitality sector and towards an agritech venture. This is their attempt to address the needs of the community-based in Palawan that it is a part of.


Asking the right questions is essential when it comes to innovating for our stakeholders. What change would I like to see in the lives of my customers? How would their lives be impacted by this innovation? We ought to focus and spend time on asking the right questions. That’s how we can come up with solutions that would truly benefit our stakeholders.



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