The changing face of travel

Travel has changed a lot since the days of the “jet set” and privileged global commuters. Now, travel is for everyone, and as the market has grown, it’s also expanded into a vast new range of destinations. A typical itinerary for a holiday will contain a whole suite of destinations which weren’t even on the map before 2005. Doha is a case in point. Qatar has risen to the top of the list as a major tourist destination, and the new Doha hotels are setting the standards for the wider market.
The new generation of global tourists
Travel has become a reflection of the global culture. It’s been a very short step from the “fears of globalization” a generation ago to the new travel market where people are as mobile in physical travel as they are online. Bookings are now so easy and so flexible that it’s easy to integrate land, sea and air travel
Better communications have translated into better travel options. The days of single tour itineraries have been replaced with “designer” travel options, including some online Twitter-based types of travel where all you need is a phone to see the sights and find interesting things wherever you are in the world.
The way the destinations have evolved is quite a study in itself. This evolution is driving the travel market and it’s also evolving the new technologies to match and improve demand. China is a case in point. China didn’t have a travel industry to speak of, 10 years ago. Now it has one of the biggest travel industries in the world, both inbound and outbound, with a huge commercial base. The rest of the region has benefited greatly. Malaysia, for example, was a tourism backwater at the turn of the century. Now, Malaysia’s hotels are world famous, and the nation’s tourist industry is booming.
Behind the scenes- Better business for industry and consumers
Travel and technology are now in lock step. The global tourists aren’t just “connected” any more. They’re able to globe trot, do business, and run their lives from mobile devices. A lot of people also now do business in other countries, and the added flexibility is creating more efficient use of space and time for travellers.
This very different type of mobility is now both a lifestyle and a business asset. Many businesses are taking advantage of the new mobility to generate business. It’s now possible to operate a business (or several) from a mobile phone, and the New Economy businesses, which are geared to digital rather than physical locations, are benefiting greatly, creating new markets and finding new customers around the world.
The better travel options have also translated into much better business. The new travel market has also become a truly global market, with multiple commercial dimensions. If you think of travel as purely a marketing exercise, the old “single stream” of travel has become a multi-faceted array of possibilities. That’s largely thanks to streamlined travel procedures and the ability to literally create an entire travel and business itinerary from your own home desk.

This is only the beginning. If you’re looking for the future, this is it.


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