AMADEUS today released the findings of a commissioned study of travel within the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, highlighting four major travel trends for the period until 2030.
They are the fragmentation of travel market into niches; tearing down of travel restrictions; quicker adoption of technology and infrastructure developments in APAC; and growth on both ends of the spectrum in high-end and budget travel.
Shaping the future of travel in Asia Pacific: The big four travel effects surveyed 1,531 business and leisure travellers across Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, as well as conducted 13 in-depth interviews with industry leaders in the region.
The increasingly fragmented travel market will require the industry to provide more customised itineraries and put in place suitable infrastructure, said David Brett, president, Amadeus Asia-Pacific.
Citing the example of the silver market, which is predicted to grow from nine million in 2011 to 30 million travellers by 2030, he pointed out that airports and hotels had to be equipped with buggies or wheelchairs. Also mentioned were female travellers, who would be drawn by women-only floors and peer-recommended products, as well as cost-conscious small business travellers, who are self-employed or work for SMEs.
Meanwhile, the liberalisation of trade and visa policies in APAC, such as the ASEAN open skies agreement in 2015, is likely to unleash new streams of travellers from emerging countries such as India, China and Indonesia.
Brett said intra-Asian travel would benefit the most from it, especially destinations within a three- to four-hour journey from point of origin. “This is what we’ve seen in the European Union and also between Japan and South Korea. Right now propensity to travel is strong, but restricted.” Travel suppliers would do well to cater to the diversity of these tourists, in terms of dietary options and language programmes, he added.
The rapid development of mobile technology and infrastructure within APAC will also compel travel providers to alter the way they serve travellers. The high uptake of mobile technology means travel consultants must embrace this new means of communication and find out what their customers want. Airlines and travel consultants must simultaneously respond to the development of high-speed rail infrastructure in the region by evolving their business models.
In addition, growth will take place at both ends of the travel market. While Asia’s rising middle class will stimulate rapid growth for economy hotels and budget airlines, the super rich in emerging economies will push up demand for luxury travel.