Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Global Travel Trends Revealed

London-based World Travel Market (WTM) have reported what they believe are the hottest up and coming global trends in the travel and tourism industry.

If we set the scene, the global economy is on the verge of a double-dip recession, as the sovereign debt crisis engulfs Europe and the US battles with its rising debt, leading to financial

The IMF predicts modest global GDP growth from a baseline of 4% in 2011 (down from 5.1% in 2010).

Global arrivals are expected to slow to 4.3% in 2011, as rising fuel and commodity prices, taxation, austerity measures, political turmoil and social unrest take their toll.

By 2012, the world is expected to witness 1 billion arrivals, spending almost US$1 trillion, thanks to the burgeoning middle classes in emerging markets such as Asia. Travel operators remain cautious and highly acquisitive to ensure their long-term survival.

With 9 out of 10 consumers owning a mobile subscription by 2015, digital convergence, social media and smartphones are key to building brand loyalty.

(Click to enlarge)

One of the more bizarre predicted hot new trends in travel accommodation is Garden Camping that we fittingly covered in a separate post HERE. 

The IMF have made 7 other predictions:
  1. Americas: Mystery trips -- Travelers put their holiday in the hands of which uses a travel personality quiz. Then “specialists” discuss consumer preferences and budget and choose the vacation for you. Travelers don’t know their trip itinerary till the day they leave.
  2. Europe: Luxury without guilt -- Luxury tourism in Europe is turning more authentic and ethical with more eco-friendly attractions. For example, "Living Walls" use plants to create visual displays on walls.
  3. Gamification of travel -- By using online games as a social networking medium, tourism agencies are increasing brand awareness and loyalty.
  4. Rebranding the Middle East -- Arab Spring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt are presenting new campaigns for “positive change” to look less war-rampaged, and more like “countries of peaceful revolutions.”
  5. Africa: Mobile commerce boosts travel -- Due to a mobile phone boom, 60 percent of users in Africa purchase goods, including travel services, using their phone. For example, using mobile money-based transfer services allowing consumers without bank accounts to buy air tickets.
  6. Global village: Evolution of social media -- Hotel companies are focusing more on social media to market in a more “personalized and intimate way."
  7. Asia: China’s growing influence -- Hotels are customizing their brands in China to cater to the booming Chinese tourism market. For example, having more Mandarin-speaking staff, Chinese menu options and television programming.
What this all means for accommodation providers in New Zealand is immediately unclear - however we are living in a volatile world and The Times They Are a-Changin' 

Read the full report here:Global Travel Trends 2011

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