What’s next, after the tourism industry’s “perfect storm”?

An ITB Keynote Panel was set to look at “The Future of The Tourism Industry in Times of Digital Disruption, Climate Emergency, and Thomas Cook & Co”.
The session was to have been introduced by Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel Research, Euromonitor International. In these times when the tourism industry is experiencing “the perfect storm”, we asked Caroline how one should be approaching the situation.

Looking long term to 2040 helps give a view of what the future may hold for the travel and tourism industry. The global economy will continue to pivot east, with Asia Pacific forecast to hold 56% of global GDP, whilst Western Europe is forecast to lose 5% share to reach 11% by 2040. The world population will top 9 billion by 2040, and rural population will peak by 2026, as urbanisation will accelerate to account for 64% of the world expected to live in cities.

The world population will top 9 billion by 2040

The travel and tourism industry will continue on its journey of digital transformation, where already 70% of airlines sales are made online, compared to only 10% for activities and experiences. 67% of travel businesses said that their top priority over the next five years are big data and analytics, pointing to the growing importance of personalisation. Artificial intelligence is another key area of investment, and we’re already seeing voice commerce emerging, driven by digital assistants, already accounting for 1.7% of all digital sales in the US in 2019.