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The future of travel: Charting tomorrow’s global landscape

Key take-aways from the MarketHub Asia by Hotelbeds 2023 event in Bangkok

This week, the MarketHub Asia by Hotelbeds 2023 event in Bangkok sparked dynamic and in-depth discussions among industry leaders, paving the way for insights into the future trajectory of the tourism sector under the theme “’Where Next?”.

Influential figures and top industry leaders delved into crucial topics spanning from data and technology to the profound influence of the workforce.

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Amidst substantial disruptions in the tourism sector, Hotelbeds reveals essential insights drawn from its flagship event – a narrative poised to substantially shape the industry’s trajectory for years, if not decades, to come:

Projected workforce expansion

The global tourism sector is projected to generate a staggering 110 million new jobs in the coming decade, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, with the Asia-Pacific region poised to contribute nearly 70 percent of these opportunities. This surge is attributed to the robust economic expansion in the area and the burgeoning middle-class populations, both factors driving substantial growth within the tourism job market.

The traveller of tomorrow

A growing trend among travel agencies reveals that up to 90 percent now seek personalised solutions, catering to a rising demand for individualised and seamlessly tailored experiences by travellers. Hotelbeds reports that these end customers are not just after essential services such as insurance and financial provisions; they seek comprehensive travel packages that offer 24/7 customer support and assistance in local languages.

Moreover, the wellness tourism sector is experiencing a surge as travellers increasingly prioritise achieving a harmonious internal and external balance in their lives. Simultaneously, addressing environmental impact becomes a primary focus in the tourism sector, driving the prominence of sustainable travel practices. With 70 percent of travellers anticipating more eco-conscious offerings, the momentum for environmentally-friendly travel continues to intensify.

Emotion is the new brand standard

A significant shift in young consumers’ preferences is evident, with approximately 60 percent of Millennials and Gen Zs prioritising superior services over price, seeking experiences that create lasting memories during their trips, according to data from Skift. This changing sentiment and the accompanying high expectations are driving the need for innovative business models. These models are leveraging the transformative potential of AI within the travel industry, not only optimising developer workflows but also enhancing customer support, managing reputation, and refining accommodation search functionalities.

Asia is a tech leader

Asia is 10 years ahead when it comes to technology, and consumers are demanding new travel products, including those in the Fintech arena. The audience also heard that it is important to embrace technology, including artificial intelligence and augmented reality, but it’s important to ensure that data quality is high first.

“MarketHub Asia assembled trailblazers from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to explore the future of travel,” said Carlos Munoz, Chief Commercial Officer of HBX Group. “Under the theme ‘Where Next?’, we delved into the future of tourism amidst significant disruptions, unearthing pivotal insights that will chart the industry’s trajectory for years to come. What emerged was a new wave of excitement and optimism for the future. We’re proud that this event is leading the charge towards a truly innovative era in travel.”

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