How the travel industry may evolve over the next 30 years
With lots of challenging immediate business issues on the table for the industry this summer, it might seem a bit extravagant to be projecting thinking forward two or three decades.
But it’s pretty clear that current patterns of consumer activity and commercial models will significantly change in the year’s ahead, potentially quite rapidly, and everyone in the industry needs to plan for that.
Some interesting straws in the wind about future leisure activity are already emerging and this summer’s amazing hot weather might be a precursor of a real shift in our climate, and consequential approaches to people’s holiday and vacation choices in the UK.
Certainly the ‘staycation’ concept has a lot more appeal when the weather is good – it was the quest to fly to the sun, after all, that drove the Mediterranean package holiday boom in the 1960s/70s.
Products that might also provide rather different options for leisure time are also under development, and it looks as if Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactica space travel concept may at last be nearing reality.
Alongside it something quite different but an equally revolutionary flying idea, is the luxury slow-speed observation airship idea, Airlander, developed by Hybrid Air Vehicles, which was ‘floated’ at the Farnborough Airshow in July.
With a lot of talk about personalised drones as congestion busting individual transport, who knows whether these airships would actually need pilots!
In fact, concepts of driverless cars and delivery drones are a key feature of a new government consultation document and call for evidence on the Future of Mobility. It clearly signals an expectation that the way we travel around is going to be changing fundamentally in the next few years, and that, of course, will have an impact on the whole travel and tourism marketplace.
As GTO Magazine celebrates its 30th anniversary in a couple of months, we’ve been thinking about how to best mark the occasion, and whilst looking back will be a part of that – particularly in the commemorative issue to be published in November/December – looking forward seemed equally appropriate.
To this end GTBF and GTO will be partnering at an event in October, which we are calling our Travel Industry Imaginarium, an opportunity to explore how the sector may evolve over the next 30 years.
We believe this event will be fun, instructive and stimulating, and may be useful in helping group travel specialists plan ahead and put themselves at the cutting edge of the next wave of innovation.
The outcome of our discussion will help us give the GTO commemorative issue a forward looking flavour. Do get in touch if you feel you have something special to contribute!
This article was originally published in issue 282 (August 2018) of GTO magazine.