Recently I was trying to identify the industries those are going to survive in the hard economic conditions. Based on the Mintel,AC Nielson research reports I found travel is a fastest growing sector in the world. The growth is highly healthy. Here some insights I came across.
1 – The travel taste are always changing, the trend is away from “sun , sea and sand holidays but cultural and natural heritage, education , health and medical tourism are becoming the major driver in choice of a destination. So the opportunity lies for the firms here.
2 – According to Mintel report in March 2008 that economic slowdown have so far less impact on holiday growth but a strong growth predicted in future. Because nowadays holidays are increasingly seen as necessity rather than a luxury and people want to ensure they get the break they need.
3- Online bookings are increasing very fast, and in UK internet holiday bookings have been growing by 30% since 2004. The proportion of the UK total holiday market is currently estimated at 35 Million holidays worth GBP 10.8 Million. Also in UK 16% of the population 25% of internet users bought holidays online in the first quarter of 2008. The average amount spent on holidays is GBP 535.
By 2012 UK holiday market predicted worth of 95.5 Million both domestic and overseas, this shows a 122% growth when compared to year 2004 (43Million). Also in UK 50% of the overseas holidays are booked online and 33% of domestic holidays are booked online.
Based on Mintel indexed comparison of holidays expenditure and other areas of discretionary spend shows that travel overseas is one of the fastest rising sector of the consumer economy, up 35% since 2002.
In simple the current economic slowdown is likely to have a less impact on secondary holiday’s expenditure.
4 – A very similar trend in USA also predicted and total US sales were worth US $ 144.6 Billion in 2004 with a growth rate of 50%. The trend is predicted to grow much higher than this.
5 –The rapid growth of Social network sites have strengthen the role of friends on viral effects on travel and people always look for recommendations, travel tips and advice. In the last few years Web 2.0 use of internet has led to the creation of popular social networking sites.
Eg – Doyoutravel.com attracted 2,000 members in jut three week of its launch in January 2008.
Virtual Tourist a fastest growing travel social network now with approximately more than 900,000 members from 220 countries. The site also claims around 400 new members a day and five million unique visitors per month.
The travel is growing also in the long run apart from Social networking sites mobile technology evolving as a powerful medium in the travel. Already most of the travel firms are using mobile application for the flights check in and check outs. I will do a post soon here on mobile technology and its impact on other industries.