Leading industry figure Gordon Wilson given a thumbs up for the future of travel and tourism at the 2005 World Travel Market.
Wilson, president and chief executive of international markets, Cendant Travel Distribution Services, said: “We firmly believe that despite the consuming challenges in the industry - fuel prices, economic growth , health, terrorism - we are upbeat for the future of the business.
“There is huge change but huge growth potential.”
Wilson, guest speaker at the Captains of Industry lunch which raised nearly £20,000 for the travel and tourism charity Just A Drop, added: “Some studies we carried out for future foundations looking at trends up to 2020 were extremely interesting.
“We looked at what people want to do now when they travel.
They’ll opt for four different travel experiences a year.
“The big change is not so much about going or getting there but doing.
“It is about the person who wants to stay in a shack in the middle of nowhere and come back to their dinner party in Notting Hill and talk about what they did on their holiday.
“More and more are taking these types of holidays and the way they want to buy that holiday and the way it is retailed to them is going to change greatly.
“We have already seen in the industry that companies that sell components of travel are fading away and those that sell the experience are rising up.”
Cendant, which has an 18billionUS dollars turnover but is going to split into four separate divisions, feels the way the content - the sightseeing, restaurant, flight, hotel as well as the technology - is merged and bound together in a holiday is the way forward.
Wilson said that India, China and Brazil are areas of expected increasingly massive growth. He revealed: In the United States, the average traveller makes 2.2 air journeys a year. In China, the current figure is 0.06. But if the Chinese penetration of domestic air travel alone goes up by 25 per cent a year - and it is running at 15-20 per cent currently - then very shortly the country will become the biggest domestic and outward market in the world. In India, 15 billion people a year take a train ride, 52 million of those journey in a premium cabin.
“If you can get them off the trains and onto planes and then further afield and out of India and it presents a huge opportunity,” said Wilson.