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Twelve other travel Megatrends f rom Skift in
                                                                                                                                                                    this annual package speak about tech-enabled
                                                                                                                                                                    upselling entering a new era;  emerging destina-
                                                                                                                                                                    tions reacting against overtourism with a push
                                                                                                                                                                    for meaningful growth;  low-cost carriers around
                                                                                                                                                                    the world running into various headwinds in
                                                                                                                                                                    the face of rapid growth and competition from
                                                                                                                                                                    mainline carriers; online booking companies really
                                                                                                                                                                    scrambling for the next phase of their growth
                                                                                                                                                                    and stumbling and succeeding in various ways;
                                                                                                                                                                    the next phase of travel loyalty programs; and
                                                                                                                                                                    labor issues and shortages becoming a bigger
                                                                                                                                                                    and bigger issue for hospitality sector companies,
                                                                                                                                                                    among other trends.

                                                                                                                                                                    As Skift grows in various geographies around the
                                                                                                                                                                    world and our brand moves into covering the
                                                                                                                                                                    travel-adjacent sectors of dining and wellness,
                                                                                                                                                                    we will continue to cast a wide net on the ways
                                                                                                                                                                    travel is changing the world and vice versa, our
                                                                                                                                                                    original promise when we launched Skift six
                                                                                                                                                                    years ago.
                                                                                                                                                                    Travel’s larger role in the world is now a given,
                                                                                                                                                                    and we at Skift continue to push and prod the
                                                                                                                                                                    industry in various ways, even if sometimes that
                                                                                                                          The bigger picture Skift is watching in the  means pointing out the uncomfortable truths
                                                                                                                          coming year will surround the settling down of  about the travel sector. That’s what I did in my
                                                                                                                          gains made by the travel sector in 2018 — the  piece in August on the “21 Uncomfortable Truths
                                                                                                                          recovery of many regions around the world —  That I Have Learned About the Travel Industry” as
                                                                                                                          while the larger turmoil in geopolitics continues  I saw it, a story that generated tons of reaction
                                                                                                                          to play out. This seemingly contrary faultline —  from the industry.
                                                                                                                          ongoing turmoil as the new normal and travel’s
                                                                                                                          continued rise in all parts of the globe — in my  We will continue to serve in the watchdog+in-
                                                                                                                          opinion is one of the most fascinating tensions  novator role at Skift as we grow; the Megatrends
                                                                                                                          to watch in the world.                    we present here fit into that larger narrative arc
                                                                                                                                                                    we have created.
                                                                                                                          The other major battle we’re following is the big
                                                                                                                          tech backlash. The year 2018 proved to be the year  Please let me know if you have any feedback for
                                                                                                                          of tech backlash, as we predicted at the start of  our work here, or if you would like for us to help
                                                                                                                          this year. Will these platforms clean up the mess  you and your company understand the larger
                       NOTE                                                                                               of hyper-addictive products, fake news blight,  Megatrends affecting your business. Email me
                       FROM                                                                                               and digital harassment issues? It looks like at  at ra@skift.com.
                        THE                                                                                               least they are moving toward giving consumers
                        CEO            The Skift Megatrends annual package is the largest annual effort from              more control over data, though regulation seems
                                       the Skift global editorial team. These Megatrends defining the future of           to be where we’re heading.                       Regards,
                                       travel in 2019 and beyond reflect our work on connecting the dots through
                                       Skift’s intensive daily editorial and long-term Skift Research coverage of         In travel, there is more consciousness over      Rafat Ali
                                       various parts of the travel industry, our hundreds and hundreds of hours of        giving more control to consumers as well while
                                       talking directly to the leaders and operators in the travel industry, and our      building in serendipity and surprise, and our    CEO and Founder
                                       surveys, interviews, and focus groups with travelers throughout the year.          flagship Megatrend for 2019 speaks to that. That
                                                                                                                          Megatrend alone casts a big net across product,   Skift
                                                                                                                          marketing, tech, and sales for every travel brand
                                                                                                                          creating experiences for travelers.


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