As reported by Amadeus, we live in what is being referred to as ‘the Asian century’ – a time in which the Asia-Pacific region’s power is growing at enormous speed on a global stage. With approximately three billion Asians expected to join the middle class, or ‘consuming class’, within the next two decades, not only will the region’s economy be affected, but geopolitical, social and technological changes will also in turn be significant.
How will all these changes affect the behaviour of the Asia-Pacific traveller? According to findings from a survey commissioned by Amadeus, this large-scale development in the region will manifest in the travel industry in the form of four key effects.
The 'Me' Effect
Amadeus foresees Asia-Pacific travel patterns shifting from being typically in large groups to smaller groups and independent-travel, with a wider range of reasons for the trips being taken. They identified new niches that will emerge, which included: the female business traveller, the small business traveller, those visiting friends and relatives, and the Gen S or senior traveller. All of these travellers will expect a greater level of control in their travel experience, and will trade traditional, transactional channels in favour of a more self-designed approach.
The 'Red Tape' Effect
As the ‘red tape’ around international trade goes down, Amadeus sees the Asia-Pacific market’s travel opportunities rising, with India, China and Indonesia expected to dominate outbound travel spending by 2020. Additionally, they anticipate resource-rich nations such as China, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea to join the traditional inbound markets of, for example, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
The 'Leapfrog' Effect
The adoption of new technologies and investment in infrastructure will allow the Asia-Pacific traveller to leapfrog conventional behaviours, providing new opportunities and methods to manage their travel experiences on-demand and on-the-go. In turn, Amadeus sees social media and online communities possessing even more significance within the region, forcing travel service providers to adapt their behaviours to suit the new interaction platforms.
The 'Barbell' Effect
Growth in the region will lead to growth at both ends of the economic spectrum, with travellers from Asia-Pacific countries driving budget travel and economy hotels, whilst the wealthy search for increasingly luxurious ways to travel the world.
Every aspect of travel in the Asia-Pacific region is changing, from the travellers and their motivations, to the technology and destinations. This presents great challenges and opportunities for travel providers. (Amadeus)
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