The future of travel…

earthWhere were you five years ago? If you’re in the same place you were five years ago, spare a thought for how the global travel industry has actually evolved in the past five years… The rise of Uber and AirBNB, New Distribution Capability and dare we say it… unabridged birth certificates!

Travel research firm Skift looks at the next five years and the nub of it is that travel companies have to be “fanatically focused” on the changing consumer behaviours across all sectors.

The research paper says brands should build a business around helping travellers connect with their immediate surroundings and people around them rather than just digital connectivity. Skift says you must be Smart, Sharp, Surgical and Strategic.

The most forward thinking travel brands are delivering deeper experiences to travellers by focusing on three things above everything else: Inspiration, Personalisation and a path towards self-discovery.

Further highlights in the next five years, travel firms have to look forward to, include:

  • The Rise of the Silent Traveller: A new kind of traveller who is adept at all available online and mobile tools and uses them to jump across all industry-defined silos. People are going ‘silent’ and self-reliant because they don’t want to be sold to anymore.
  • Millennial Mindset Modern Traveller: The psyche of Millennials maps perfectly on to what the modern travellers want from travel products.
  • Travel innovation is everywhere: Don’t just look for it exclusively in the travel startup or tech world.
  • The future of travel is in cities: Caring for locals first means being better on the global stage. The rise of smart cities is creating the rise of the smart mobility era.
  • Alternative travel is a reality: Fueled by the marketplace model, which has taken the best of online, mobile and social to create travel products that allow people to find rides or alternative accommodations with ease. Transactions are easier, discovery is faster and feedback is transparent, according to Skift.
  • On demand economy: Will lead to further unbundling of travel services, especially hospitality. Full-service hotels in dense urban environments will be affected most.
  • Smart travel brands: Will integrate the right on-demand service, make them seamless for users to access and use.

In essence… in 2020, expect the unbundling of everything, the on-demandification of everything and the mobility of everything!


‘Unintended consequences’ resulting from Immigration Regulations a misnomer, say Travel Associations

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JOHANNESBURG, 12 JUNE 2015 – Associations representing the interests of inbound tourism to and outbound travel from South Africa have dubbed the Cabinet’s assertion that the new immigration regulations have had “unintended consequences” as a misnomer.

The Cabinet announced yesterday that an inter-ministerial task team, led by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, would be established to look at matters pertaining to the implementation of the immigration regulations with a view to striking a balance between South Africa’s economic development and its security needs.

Both the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (ASATA) and Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) are encouraged that consultation is finally taking place, but remain disappointed that the review is limited to issues around implementation, and not an amendment to or an abolishment of the regulations, whose impact has had wide-reaching effects particularly on the inbound industry that has seen a 32% decline in air tickets sold to South Africa alone.

The notion of ‘unintended consequences’, believe ASATA and SATSA, is a complete misnomer. The impending impact on inbound tourism was outlined in detail in two research reports given to both the Ministries of Home Affairs and Tourism, and had the Department undertaken an economic impact assessment study, these issues would have been starkly apparent.

Says ASATA CEO Otto De Vries: “Since the regulations were announced early last year, we have had little to no engagement with or consultation from Home Affairs on the lasting impact the implementation of these immigration regulations would have on the tourism sector, which supports one in seven jobs in South Africa.”

“We will regardless work within the review process and once again provide data and documented proof to the relevant authorities on the impact that the tourism sector is seeing and is projected to see. It would appear, that we have to prove we are on our knees before government will listen to the tourism sector,” concludes David Frost, CEO SATSA: