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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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