Global Travel Trends for 2014
There's a new demographic in town: PANKs. Read "Professional Aunt, No Kids". Sound crazy? Well, they collectively spend billions on travelling with nieces and nephews. yes, billions!
The emerging market covers women over the age of 18 who do not have children, but have a close relationship with children of friends and relatives.
As of 2010, just over 42% of women in the US aged 15 to 44 were childless, as women have children later in life or choose not to have children at all.
Almost half (48%) of PANKs enjoy travelling with nieces and nephews, and this figure is set to grow as the travel industry turns its sights on these generous aunties.
Concierge in Your Pocket
The Mobile Concierge - Ahead of the curve Rhubarb Fool has been banging on about the power of the "Mobile Concierge" for some time now. Don't believe us? Then why not download our IN London iPad app! The best of London for high-spending tourists on your iPad.
We want to take it one step further though and imbed Concierge services into your app and reservation channels. So consumers can get real-time answers wherever they are on their trip.
By 2017, the mobile channel is expected to account for over 30% of online travel sales.
London is the world's heartbeat.
Okay we knew this one already. Tourism in London and the UK is seeing a massive boost from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – despite some pessimism in certain sectors ahead of the events. Almost two-thirds of senior industry executives say there has been an increase in demand for London after the sporting extravaganza, and more than half say demand across the UK is up too.
These positive indicators have led to companies boosting their capacity for London and the UK.
But Rio's not far behind
The feel-good effects of the London 2012 Olympics look set to ripple outwards to Rio’s Olympic Games in 2016. Almost four out of ten (39%) of the senior industry executives polled say they are more likely to sell holidays coinciding with Rio events.
Also, 18% of UK holidaymakers surveyed say they are more likely to attend the Rio Games following the success of London 2012.
It's Asia's century though
Asia is poised to become a global travel and tourism leader, with almost one-third of the countries tipped for tourism potential being Asian nations. The nine Asian countries which the industry said are up-and-coming powerhouses are (in order): China, Vietnam, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Cambodia and Philippines.
China remains the most important emerging economy for the global travel and tourism industry – but some industry bosses at World Travel Market admit that their attention is no longer focused on the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). With China's population now estimated at 1.354 billion, the Chinese are the most important BRICS market in terms of outbound travel. Also, the country is the most popular of the five in terms of its potential for inbound tourism, followed by Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa.
Travel agents may have had their day
TripAdvisor and similar peer review websites continue to have the single biggest impact on how UK holidaymakers plan their holidays. Other factors in the decision-making process include personal recommendations, tourist board websites, guide books, specialist travel magazines and newspaper travel sections. Much further down the list of influences were travel agents.
But guidebooks are still relevant
Guide books still have a place in the hearts and minds of UK travellers despite the dominance of digital information. Guide books compared well with other traditional sources such as newspaper travel sections and specialist magazines but blogs appear to be struggling to gain widespread adoption.