As global forces continue to converge and trigger unprecedented change, the future of travel and tourism will be shaped by those companies and destinations that offer unique and meaningful experiences. Providing personal service to sustainability-minded customers will also be critical in the evolving travel and tourism industry of the future, as will having trustworthy and responsible leadership in place. Here are the areas where change will be most profound in the travel and tourism industry.
1. Reality, Enhanced.
As people, communities, and businesses become more sophisticated in adapting new technologies for analog experiences, new ideas and beliefs are emerging about how best to live a connected life. Online and offline experiences, as a result, are becoming increasingly integrated. More than $8.2 trillion in global expenditure is forecasted for the experience economy, in addition to an increased emphasis on physical and mental wellbeing.
2. Life, Restructured.
The growth of tech-powered economies such as the “gig economy” and “sharing economy” continues to create new expectations for work, life and culture. Twenty-five percent of workers in the US and EU engage in independent work today, and the independent workforce is only going to rise. As the structure of people’s lives become more fluid and self-directed, travel will become more of a lifestyle, mobility will increasingly become communal and service-based, and businesses will need to rethink their workforce.
3. Data, Revolutionized.
The power of data will drive a new frontier of innovation and deliver unprecedented ability to better understand and predict outcomes. While over 180 ZB of data is expected to be generated by 2025, consumers remain uneasy when it comes to their security and privacy. These technologies offer tremendous opportunities for the travel and tourism sector, including leveraging data to build a fluid, cohesive travel experience, implementing large-scale Internet of Things, facial recognition and use of voice assistants to streamline travel.
4. Power, Redistributed.
Significant shifts in power dynamics will have dramatic effects on both local culture and global markets as technology, globalization, and population growth continue to redistribute power. These forces create new centers of social and economic influence in the East and South. For travel and tourism organizations, merely establishing a presence in new markets won’t be enough as it will be critical to understand the future consumer.
5. Consumption, Reimagined.
As the availability of resources and health of our planet are increasingly threatened, there is a need for responsibly balancing short and long-term priorities. By 2050, the global population will exceed 9.7 billion and consumption of natural resources will triple. Sustainable business practices and aligning brand stories to sustainable solutions can become the core of a robust growth strategy for the travel and tourism sector.