Destination 2010: Top travel trends to watch

Destination 2010: Top travel trends to watch

The News
In exploring the prospective impact on the tourism industry, Scene Advisor takes a look at the progression and salient characteristics of our travel industry, as well as current trends given the economic backdrop. In doing so, we draw some insight to the much debated question about the change of the industry post 2010.

Behind the News
As you would imagine, the next twelve months promise significant change in the travel industry. The industry is inextricably linked to the well-being of the economy and the level of global tourism, making the hotel/travel industry a cyclical one. Market share rivalry is rife and successful operators are generally the ones with scale, brand equity and the ability to reign in costs to boost the bottom line. Here is an overview of the top travel trends identi?ed.

Travel Trend 1: Going Mobile
With the rapid integration of mobile capabilities to plan itineraries, track flights, receive travel alerts and serve as a boarding pass is making mobile devices indispensible to business travelers, mobile is now an integral tool for the travel marketplace. There is a frenzy of development by new innovators and existing travel software providers, tapping into the suddenly explosive growth in the use of smartphones. Given the heavy use of phones among business travelers combined with handheld technology and network bandwidth improvements, the focus is shifting beyond the travel purchase to traveler services. As such consumer-originating providers - like Dopplr, TripIt and WorldMate - bring their enhanced traveler itineraries to business travelers, industry suppliers - Amadeus, Concur, Rearden Commerce, Sabre, Travelport TRX, et al - also are putting their mobile development dollars into what has been coined as traveler-centric buying.

Trend 2: Traveler-Centric Buying
The traveler-centric buying approach refers to managed travel programs that revolve around the entire lifecycle of a reservation, rather than just the purchase of travel. Due to the internet - which facilitates the selling and purchasing of business travel components and services in a traveler-centric model - traveler-centric buying has the potential to enhance productivity by keeping travel employees informed about a guest’s plans pre-trip - their profile, preferences, historical behavior and more. Conversely, the convenience of traveler-centric buying approach will enable travelers to be more productive by having just-in-time data pushed to them based on situational circumstances and geographic location.