Here’s what travel in 2020 looks like

Gone are the days when we said change happens in decades. Thanks to innovation in technology, you now experience change in a year or two. Happy with a Nokia Asha in 2009, the urban working class never imagined a finger print scanner could unlock the phone 7 years later. And that’s the tremendous change travel industry is experiencing at the moment. When we talk about change in trends in travel industry, we don’t mean where you travel rather how you travel is the key concern.

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To get some details on forecast of change in travel industry by 2020 in India, we met Sebastian Gibergues, Amadeus IT Group’s head of leisure and online travel at the Amadeus Round Table held in Gurugram recently.

Consumers are often faced with a myriad of holiday offers from many channels so Tour Operators are fast evolving to capitalise on their key assets and expertise, said Sebastian. As holiday shoppers are evolving as a well-informed mass, with easy access to enormous amounts of travel information, many are looking for ready-made packages, mostly online. And without doubt the growth is clearly in digital space.
The latest Round Table introduced us to ‘Online Travel 2020: Evolve, Expand or Expire’, where it looked at a number of scenarios or possible futures over the next three to five years.

So here are the four major trends , the travel industry would look to in next 3 years.

The rise of Mega Online Travel Retailers
The consolidation between online travel agency (OTA) and Meta search business models, as well as the rise of online advertising, could lead to a new kind of online travel retailer.

Introducing Digital Tour Operators
Traditional Tour Operators and OTAs may merge to become the ultimate travel seller. From handling complex trips to servicing with new generation travel stores, Digital Travel Operators could provide a happy mix of digital and human interaction to create a personalised travel experience

Sophisticated Mobile Travel Retailers
Imagine an addictive mobile travel agency app that accompanies the traveller along the entire journey. Rather than being a complementary distribution channel, mobile could become the only means of distribution and the only app a traveller needs.

New Travel Marketplace
With more and more leading IT players and e-commerce giants creating demand for new and innovative platforms, the players of the travel industry could come together and build their own Travel Marketplace platform for OTAs, airlines, hotels, and other travel-related companies to sell their products and services.
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