The travel industry is poised for a ‘golden decade’ of sustained growth largely driven by outbound travel from China, according to a new report.
New research from Oxford Economics commissioned by Amadeus has predicted 5.4% growth in global travel per year for the next decade.
This will outpace the growth of GDP, which is predicted to grow 3.4% annually.
International traffic is expected to grow faster than domestic with the former already up 20% between 2009 and 2012 compared to an increase of 5% in domestic traffic.
China is expected to surpass the US as the world’s largest travel market although emerging markets including Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey will also play a part in the global growth.
Markets like Europe will continue to see improvements but on a smaller scale.
“Business travel spend in particular is expand but short-haul travel in the west has not fully recovered yet,” said Andrew Tessler, associate director at Oxford Economics and the author of the report. “European business travel is not expected to reach pre-recession levels until 2018 at the earliest.”
Seamless travel and mobile to drive development
A full-service door-to-door offering and mobile platforms will lead the development of travel bookings in the next decade, according to the report.
Countries like India are already moving quickly in the mobile space but in Europe one in five travel bookings are expected to be made on a mobile by next year, with Amadeus urging companies to think about their mobile strategy for the years to come.
“Personalisation and customisation will be the key to unlocking mobile’s potential,” said Tessler. “Mobile offerings will need to integrate with seamless travel to offer a more efficient service.”
Tessler defined seamless travel as offering a complete door-to-door booking option for clients, from the planning stage to the airport to the hotel itself, throughout the holiday and back again.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s William El Kaim said it had seen requests come through for bus tickets and ferry services, indicating that even business travellers are thinking differently about the way they travel and the services they want from agents.
“We have pilots in place to offer a door to door experience to build a tool, but at the moment it is still a missing piece to link through the planning, during and sharing stages,” said El Kaim.
The report highlighted Disney as a pioneer in seamless travel after the launch of its Magic+ wristbands.