“We found that people missed traveling more than any other out-of-home activity.” ~Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky
The current times clearly test our mental condition, forcing us to resign from things which a bit over a year ago were the essence of everyday life. Although it is equally challenging for everyone, each of us finds a different way to adapt and survive. There is no denying, though, that maintaining a positive approach requires positive stimuli from the outside world. So let’s allow ourselves for a little optimism and look into the future with more courage.
- A new deal for the Travel industry - remote work makes us digital nomads
- Changing the business model brings new opportunities - online platform becomes a property developer
- Innovation reaching the universe - space traveling becomes no longer just a sphere of dreams
A new deal for the Travel industry
For many of us, travelling is a way to preserve both physical and mental well-being. 83% of respondents declared that planning a trip works as a stimulus for looking into the future with optimism. Undoubtedly, the Travel industry is one of those which experiences consecutive lockdowns very severely. By ‘Travel’ I mean the numerous entities, starting from hotels, restaurants, carriers, car rentals, and ending with local guides and all the tourist services staff. There are, however, premises to be positive about the future. Nearly 80% of us want to go away this year to pay ourselves back for the stress connected to the pandemic. For the industry, this means a new deal coming which will emphasize even more the meaning of travel experience and everything surrounding it.
Over a half of the respondents admit they miss vacation so much that they are willing to plan a trip, even if it means cancelling it later. This makes the flexibility of hotels and carriers especially appreciated. The new reality has also redefined the perception of luxury. The most desired conveniences are privacy and maintaining perfect cleanliness, which give us a feeling of safety.
The pandemic reality has spurred the emergence of a completely new customer segment — the digital nomads. The fact that many of us work remotely means we can do our job from anywhere. In reality, 54% of respondents claim that the possibility of working and traveling around the world at the same time is now more attractive than before the pandemic. It does not mean, however, that the destination of our trips has become less important. 59% of respondents admit they would be willing to choose a destination based on possibilities to support local communities.
Changing the business model brings new opportunities
While many entities, which have operated in the Travel industry for years, experience painful losses, there are brands which use the situation on the market, change their business model and, through doing so, cement their position. Kayak, a popular internet portal, which allows the search and comparison of information related to travelling, has set foot in the real estate industry.
This fall, in Miami Beach, Florida, the first ever hotel operating under the brand of an online search engine will open. Let’s admit — this is impressive. Not only for people in the industry, but also all the entrepreneurs who are looking for ways not to sink after the difficult year. The hotel will offer numerous conveniences to its customers, starting from contactless check-in. It was designed in a collaboration with a startup called Life House, which in its projects uses a design that fits into the local lifestyle and emphasizes the deep meaning of traveling. This investment is a manifest of brand possibilities and its knowledge of hospitality.
Innovation reaching the universe
How many of us dream of going into space? Most of us find it so abstract that we do not even bother to think what needs to be done in order to fulfil this dream. It might turn out, though, that outer space will become one of the vacation destinations in just a few years.
Californian orbital assembly startup announced its plans to start construction of the world’s first space hotel, which will contain restaurants, a cinema, spa and rooms for 400 people. According to the statement, this new “traveller station” could be operational as early as 2027. There are 24 apartment modules planned, each with a diameter of 12 meters and a length of 20 meters. At least 12 of them will be allocated to hotel rooms and apartments. This project shows how strong people’s desire to explore the unknown is, and how technology gives us more and more opportunities to fulfill this desire.
These are just a few trends pointing to what may await the tourism industry in the near and a little further future. In this way, I want to emphasize the role of innovation in the dynamically changing market environment, which is going through its crisis. Getting an understanding of the new needs of customers, adjusting the operations model and the courage to reach for the new are three elements thanks to which the industry has a chance to come out of it unscathed.
I am a strategist designing innovations at Together agency (https://tgth.pl/). My experience of working with various brands shows me that the search for better and well-adjusted solutions to the changing environment is the most efficient way to build an advantage in the market. I would love to hear your opinion on this as well.
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