World Wise

World Wise ex­plores the driv­ers that are reshaping fu­ture travel

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Ross Atkin­son

What’s Trend­ing? Ex­plor­ing the driv­ers that are reshaping fu­ture travel

What’s trend­ing around travel? In a world of in­stant me­dia, where hash tags, tar­geted tweets, pic­to­rial story telling and in­fo­graph­ics come at us from ev­ery an­gle, we of­ten get lost in the“Big Data.” World Wise is min­ing the monthly trends that give a glimpse into travel and trav­eler-re­lated ac­tiv­ity. From Busi­ness Trav­eler’s fo­rum dis­cus­sions to so­cial en­gage­ment on the net, in­ter­na­tional ac­tiv­ity from travel sup­pli­ers to in­ter­na­tional pol­icy changes, I will un­cover trends af­fect­ing trav­el­ers around the globe.

Shift­ing the Dol­lars

We con­tinue to see ma­jor changes to global air traf­fic flow from one area of the globe to another, while sup­pli­ers also cater to ma­jor pop­u­la­tion seg­ments. In­ter­nal in­dus­try changes such as shift­ing al­liances, air­craft de­vel­op­ments, new in­fra­struc­ture and other driv­ers cre­ate new economies, hubs of com­merce and con­nec­tion points in and around var­i­ous parts of the world.

Ac­cord­ing to Air­bus’Global Mar­ket Fore­cast for 2013-2032, “Fu­ture Jour­neys,”it is an­tic­i­pated that global air traf­fic will grow at 4.7 per cent an­nu­ally, re­quir­ing over 29,220 new pas­sen­ger air­craft and freighters.

On top of the in­dus­try changes, other driv­ers such as fac­tors in pop­u­la­tion growth, ur­ban­iza­tion, emerg­ing mar­kets, in­no­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact will all play a role in redefin­ing air travel, the prod­ucts and ser­vices pur­chased, and the routes trav­eled, shift­ing the dol­lars.

Ac­cess

Coun­tries con­tinue to open their bor­ders to tem­po­rary visi­tors and grant eas­ier ac­cess to en­try. Ja­pan, sev­eral cities in China, US, and oth­ers are al­ready fol­low­ing this model. As a re­sult of those short stays, new ser­vices of­fered by providers rang­ing from hote­liers to tourism of­fices are cre­at­ing a mi­cro-eco­nomic burst of ac­tiv­ity.

Be­yond in­di­vid­ual coun­tries, mi­cro changes are also oc­cur­ring to other ar­eas of ac­cess trav­el­ers have to­day. Credit cards, and loy­alty and affin­ity pro­grams are pro­vid­ing unique ac­cess to shop­ping, events and venues. In ad­di­tion new de­vices are pro­vid­ing new ways to en­ter ho­tels or drive away in a rental car.

Our “Desti­na­tion”

As many of us travel, we of­ten never see the out­side of our ho­tel or meet­ing room. We don’t take more than four hours to ex­plore the“city” and our desti­na­tion might be de­fined as the ho­tel otel or air­port. To­day’s travel re­quires equip­ping guests ests with this view in mind, and mak­ing their jour­ney as pro­duc­tive as pos­si­ble – for not just the busi­ness at hand but also the life­style they are ac­cus­tomed to at home.

To­day’s trends are mov­ing to­ward pro­vid­ing even more prod­ucts and ser­vices that en­able this type of trav­eler. For ex­am­ple, a trav­eler can now check in at a ho­tel and use their ath­letic gear or bor­row one of their bi­cy­cles. While mak­ing a con­nec­tion in a ma­jor air­port, one can shop, get a mas­sage, man­i­cure or hair­cut, nap in a pod or ho­tel, see a doc­tor, host a meet­ing and even visit a but­ter­fly gar­den.

Be­yond the mo­bile phone or tablet apps, many providers are fo­cused on prod­ucts and ser­vices that truly en­able the busi­ness trav­eler. Pro­duc­tiv­ity in to­day’s world is a dif­fer­en­tia­tor and if the travel sup­plier I choose can of­fer me that edge, I will be­come one of their loyal cus­tomers.

Trav­eler Ex­pe­ri­ences

Cov­er­ing the al­pha­bet of ho­tels and air­lines – from An­daz toYo­tel and Air Canada to Vir­gin – and ev­ery­one in be­tween, busi­ness mod­els are chang­ing, as well as the door-to-door ex­pe­ri­ences of­fered to the trav­eler.

From a note­book-car­ry­ing flight crew and iPad concierge and mo­bile check-ins to cash­less pay­ments and key­less en­try, the travel ex­pe­ri­ence of the fu­ture is be­ing thrust upon us. If you look for­ward to jet­ti­son­ing your keys, cash, and re­wards cards in fa­vor of gee-whiz gad­gets and thingam­abobs, then your travel ex­pe­ri­ence is al­ready on the move.

There is a“doodad”to track your itin­er­ary and your lug­gage, map your jour­ney to your next desti­na­tion, and find you your next free WiFi hotspot for a fully con­nected jour­ney.

It is not at all just about tech­nol­ogy, sedans, air­ports, lounges, in-flight and the con­nec­tion, each has be­come an ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self. Bil­lions of dol­lars have been in­vested in the cabin. The in-flight ex­pe­ri­ence now of­fers lux­u­ri­ous seat­ing and sleep­ing ac­com­mo­da­tions, light­ing, five-star meals and in­cred­i­ble en­ter­tain­ment. This one cat­e­gory alone re­quires a fu­ture ar­ti­cle fo­cus­ing on just what trav­el­ers can ex­pect to find in­side the cabin.

Fu­ture edi­tions of World Wise will not only dive deeper into th­ese var­i­ous ar­eas that are chang­ing travel, they will also dis­cuss de­vel­op­ments in trav­eler prod­ucts, ser­vice en­ablers, the out­look from sup­pli­ers, and other ar­eas of what’s trend­ing around the v vir­tual world. Each month I will choose one topic to delve into fur­ther de­tail and show how it re­lates to you and your trav­els around the globe.

If you would like a spe­cific topic ex­plored or have com­ments, ques­tions or thoughts, send me an e-mail at ross@ busi­nesstrav­elerusa.com. Em­brace the change and happy trav­els. BT

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