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Thursday, 26 October, 2017, 15 : 15 PM [IST]

Marecast for travel and tourism industry over the next decade

Tourism industry comprises many stakeholders and partners working for its growth. Media is one important segment among them. TravelBiz Monitor has been diligently active in disseminating tourism news and analysis over the past decade. It has been providing the readers with an insight through its researches and analyses. I have been happy in associating with the publication and the wonderful people behind the venture. I wish TravelBiz Monitor and its live travel news portal a great future.

AS one of the world’s largest economic sectors, travel & tourism creates prosperity. The United Nations has chosen 2017 as the ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development’. This is to further project the enormous economic, social, cultural, environmental, and heritage value that is linked with the sector. By 2027, travel & tourism will account for 31,910,000 jobs directly, an increase of 2.1% per year over the next 10 years. In India, total contribution of travel & tourism to employment will be 50 million that is a tremendously positive impact on the economy of the country. According to the WTTC, by 2027 international tourist arrivals to India is forecast to reach 17,284,000, generating a tourist expenditure of INR 2,901.7 billion.

As per FORBES Asia, over the next 10 years, Global travel & tourism GDP will grow at an average of 3.8% a year, directly and indirectly. Its GDP contribution to the world’s economy will rise to 10.5% and by 2025 it will account for 10.7% of the world’s employment. South Asia will be the fastest growing region as India out paces China. Major countries projected to experience strong travel & tourism GDP growth will be India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Peru and Kenya. IATA expects annual passenger volumes to reach 7.3 billion by 2034, representing a 4.1% annual demand growth rate and more than doubling current levels of 3.3 billion. They predict that China would overtake the US as the world’s largest passenger market by 2030. IATA also predicts that the five fastest growing markets in terms of passenger-per-year will be China, the US, India, Indonesia, and Brazil. IATA estimates that aviation industry will hold about 105 million jobs and contribute USD 6 trillion to the global GDP in the next 20 years. According to the expert Ed Fuller, as said in FORBES Asia, Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer predict that the world’s aircraft fleet will double over the next 20 years. Boeing estimates the world’s passenger and cargo fleet will grow from 20,910 aircraft to 42,180 with 35,770 new airplanes added over that time frame. Airbus says that global urban population will grow from 51% of the world’s population today, to more than 60% over the next 20 years to 5 billon. Another interesting trend would be that the emerging markets will not only become larger source markets, but also they will become more attractive destinations. The World Economic Forum Report predicts that between 2016 & 2026, the top 10 fastest growing destinations for leisure travel spending would have India at the top.

The global middle class is expected to grow by another 3 billion people between 2011 and 2031. The majority of this will come from emerging markets, with China and India leading the way. Another trend is that the millennials are more tech-savvy and connected than the previous generation and are changing the way travel products are bought. They might take a low-cost flight and go all out on activities and restaurants. They look for experiences. In the next 5-10 years, this group will become the industry’s core customer base.

The 21st century traveller has high expectations for efficiency and have a low tolerance to global mobility barriers. Smart Travel, Smart Visas, Smart Borders, Smart Security processes, and Smart Infrastructure will revolutionise the travel & tourism sector the way the smart phone has transformed communication. To achieve a Smart Travel approach, the travel industry must increasingly rely on technology and digitisation to create a safe and seemless experience for passengers.

Aviation, travel and tourism industry have been at the forefront of digital disruption, changing the way people travel. But the revolution is not over. Today, consumers want to feel special and expect personalisation of service and experience.

While the economic benefits are evident, it is important to understand its impact on the environment and on local communities. The number of tourists beyond the carrying capacity does impact local environments and local communities. This must be contained to ensure the industry’s long term sustainability. We have to address issues like water usage, waste generation, energy consumption, and deterioration of natural and cultural heritage. Research show that tourist tends to consume around 3 to 4 times more water per day than permanent residents.

It is evident that the coming decade will see tremendous growth and revolution in the travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industry. As part of this global phenomenon, India and this region will be playing a very vital role. As that being the future it goes without saying that the industry players and stakeholders will have a lot to do creatively. We should be aware of the wonderful opportunities ahead.

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