Oliver Wyman Outlines Seven Travel Trends That Will Shape The Future Of Tourism

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Globally, the travel and tourism industry has much to celebrate. Research by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows that the industry employs 300 million people worldwide, which is one in 10 people on the planet. This number is set to increase to one in nine, with 100 million additional sector-dependent jobs to be created by 2028. With this rapid growth, a new Oliver Wyman report titled, ‘The Experience Revolution’ highlights the major global trends that will continue to shape the future of tourism across the globe.

Last year Middle East region tourist arrivals increased by 10% in comparison to 2017, to 64 million, higher than the international tourist arrivals which rose by 6% (1.4 billion)*. The report by Oliver Wyman analyzes seven global trends that will continue to shape the tourism industry and have a ripple effect across the MENA region. Oliver Wyman outlines ways industry stakeholders can leverage new opportunities to meet the growing demands of today and tomorrow’s global traveler by leveraging these trends.

Demographic changes, customers’ evolving needs and behaviors, and new technologies will profoundly transform tourism over the coming decades. According to the global consultancy firm the following key trends will have the greatest impact:

•  Rise of the Asian middle class – The most significant increase in demand for tourism will come from Asia: of the more than 2.4 billion people who are projected to join the global middle class from 2015 to 2030, 90% of them will be Asian. By 2030, 30% of international travelers will be Asian.
•  Digitalization – With the new generation of tech-savvy travelers, emergence of new technologies and the rise of a connected generation of travelers, digitalization has become even more crucial.
•  Sharing economy – The past few years have witnessed an increase in online travel transactions. In 2015, 30% of the market value of the top 30 digital companies came from collaborative platforms like Airbnb, Uber, or HomeAway. As such stakeholders need to adapt and further leverage programs that offer such unique options for travelers.
•  Responsible tourism – With a scarcity of resources on the rise, an increased pace of climate change, and the rapid extinction of many species, overpopulation and the impact of human activities on the planet is becoming a concern. With the number of tourists only set to increase, stakeholders have adopted various strategies to combat irresponsible tourism such as limiting the number of visitors, limiting access to sites under certain condition. In addition, many travel and hotel companies have also committed to reducing wastage and developing technologies to support sustainability.
•  Solo travel – Some 50% of all those who travel on holiday, go solo at least once a year, and that trend is expected to grow, driven mainly by women travelers and adventure seekers. According to Hostelworld, the world’s leading hostel-focused online booking platform, solo travel bookings increased by 42% between 2015 and 2017. During the same period, solo bookings by women grew 45% vs. 40% for men.
•  Personalization – Today’s travelers value tailor-made experiences based on personal preferences and past behaviors. According to an Epsilon study, 64% of consumers said a personalized customer service was more important than speed of service, and 94% of consumers would be more likely to do business with travel and leisure companies if they offered personalized experiences.
•  Experience over product – One of the most significant shifts among tourists has been the movement away from product towards experience paradigm. Travellers are increasingly looking for authentic, cultural, one-of-a-kind experiences.

“While the UAE has put the Gulf region on the map for global tourism, the ongoing broad region of development in other countries, notably Saudi Arabia, will bring a range of innovation and experience into the market. Trends such as digitalization and responsible tourism are unique state-of-the-art concepts, transforming the entire hospitality industry globally and regionally. Phenomena such as IoT will enable the potential of the region and drive economic growth for local governments to support these developments,” says Matthieu De Clercq, Partner, Public Sector, Oliver Wyman.

For more information, please download the full report from here.

About Oliver Wyman
Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 60 cities across 29 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 5,000 professionals around the world who work with clients to optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC]. For more information, visit www.oliverwyman.com. Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman.