Five macro trends shaping the future of travel
But more often than not, there are wider forces at work which are helping shape the direction of the sector or influencing consumer behaviour that in turn impacts how they interact with brands.
Siew Hoon Yeoh of WebinTravel gave a keynote address at the CAPA Summit in Amsterdam this week, outlining five macro level trends which are impacting the travel industry in Asia.
Here are the five trends and some commentary on each:
1. Urbanisation Cities are growing at rapid rates, especially in China, with large swathes of a population moving from rural and sometimes basic dwellings to hi-tech urban areas.
As a result, some are experiencing the web for the very first time or are now using sites more frequently to buy products and stay connected with friends, family and colleagues.
2. Growth of middle class The increased level of urbanisation has also created new industries and, in turn, pushed the average income in some countries to previously unseen levels.
This emerging middle class has money to spend, not only on homes and household goods but on travel products such as personal leisure trips to domestic and international destinations.
Many of these people are also finding themselves on business trips for the first time as home-grown industries expand overseas and into new markets or global businesses set up operations in countries around the Asia-Pacific region.
3. Low-cost carriers No-frills airlines didn?t really exist in Asia until around ten years ago, with local legacy or western airlines accounting for almost all air travel into and around the region.
The number of air seats on low cost carriers sold in South East Asia alone now accounts for some 58% of the total.
Carriers such as Air Asia, Tiger Airways, Jetstar and, more recently, Scoot have opened up previously hard-to-reach destinations for domestic and international passengers.
And with the model following that of its European and North American counterparts closely, cheap fares have levelled the playing field to the extent that large numbers of people are flying for the first time or are travelling more often to destinations previously beyond their imagination and pocket.
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