World Wise explores the drivers that are reshaping future travel
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.
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.
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.
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