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The World Travel and Tourism Council highlights these trends in a new report

Experiential travel is no longer enough. The gig economy is rewriting the way people live and work, making travel an integrated part of their lifestyle. And tectonic power shifts from West to East are remapping the centers of influence and the world’s mobility.

These are some of the megatrends outlined in a new report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) called “World, Transformed: Mega trends and their implications for
Travel & Tourism”.

The findings were presented at the major tourism trade fair FITUR in Madrid, Spain which was held from January 23 to 27, 2019. The report shed light on how changing demographics, political, technological and economic forces are impacting the travel and tourism landscape.

By 2037, 8 billion air travelers are expected to take to the skies. Here are a few more interesting takeaways from the report:

Meaningful Travel
It’s not enough anymore to go home having checked off a list of interesting travel experiences. Consumers are seeking more meaningful, unique and enriching experiences related to wellness and self-care. One of the biggest examples is the popularity of digital detox vacations that challenge consumers to unplug and go analogue throughout their holiday.

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Rise of Mobile Freelancers
With an estimated 25 per cent of the US and EU classified as independent workers, lifestyles are becoming less tethered to office desks in a 9 to 5 environment. Think digital nomads who carry out their work duties living in countries around the world. That means businesses will need to rethink their workforce and the way they operate, authors of the report note.

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Demographic Shifts
South-South travel is expected to grow significantly, notably from Africa to the Middle East and Asia. A new generation of travelers – Chinese millennials in particular – present a new suite of expectations and opportunities.

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Technology
Consumers are both quick to embrace and distrust emerging technologies. In the travel world, technology that can enrich their experience like translation, natural language processing and chat bot concierges at airports, are more readily accepted.

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