How Demographics, Loneliness, Work and Climate Will Define the Future of Travel – Skift Travel News

Access exclusive travel research, data insights, and surveys
Access exclusive travel research, data insights, and surveys
Free stories left to read
Skift Pro subscribers get unlimited access to essential travel industry news
Rafat Ali, Skift
September 24th, 2023 at 11:11 AM EDT
We are ready to decipher and define the next decade of travel. Are you onboard?
Rafat Ali
All summer, I was thinking through a few long-term themes that I am obsessed with due to their impact on the future of travel. Books, podcasts, a wide range of media sources – this was the hyper-absorption phase of my learning.
As we enter the busiest week of the year for us at Skift, with the 10th annual Skift Global Forum starting Tuesday, I have written about these themes below. We’ll be discussing them at the Forum with the biggest names in the travel and tech industries.
These are the four major forces that will have the most impact: demographic shifts, the pervasive loneliness crisis, the evolving future of work, and the urgent need for climate adaptation. The pandemic accelerated these trends and they will shape the future of travel in profound ways. The travel industry and global community must confront them now.
The world’s population is aging rapidly. As the median age of many nations steadily rises, there’s growing demand for amenities, services, and experiences tailored to an older demographic. For the travel industry, this means a potential shift in popular destinations, types of accommodations, and the nature of activities offered.
There will be issues, such as labor shortages, since many travel jobs rely on younger workers. But there is also an opportunity for the travel industry: to craft enriching, accessible, and tailored travel experiences for an older yet increasingly active and adventurous population.
The pandemic intensified feelings of isolation, especially in some Western societies where community ties may not be robust. It’s a loneliness crisis, and people are seeking meaningful connections more than ever.
The travel industry has a unique chance to help: It can create community-driven travel experiences or group travels centered around shared interests and themes. This issue may also increase the attraction of traveling to collectivist cultures of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and offers a hint for long-term growth potential of travel in those markets.
The workplace is undergoing a big transformation. Advances in AI are automating a range of jobs, altering the very fabric of traditional employment. There’s no question this change is disruptive. But as work routines shift and provide more flexibility, people might find they have more leisure time.
How will they spend it? Travel could very well be the answer. But travel companies need to be agile, offering experiences that cater to varied schedules and evolving work-leisure dynamics.
The immediate crisis of climate change demands immediate attention. For the travel sector, this means confronting the environmental impact of tourism. Sustainable travel practices and investments in green infrastructure are just some of the ways the industry can move towards a more resilient and sustainable future.
At Skift, our commitment is unwavering: to decipher these evolving trends and provide you with insights, research, and global perspectives. Through our reporting, research, and events, we aim to equip you with the knowledge and foresight needed to navigate this changing landscape. As the world changes, the travel industry’s ability to adapt — or lack thereof — will shape our shared future.
We are ready to decipher and define the next decade of travel. Are you onboard?
Skift will return to New York on September 17-19, 2024.
Full-price tickets are $3,495 (Solo) and $3,145 (Group). 
Register now for an in-person ticket to the New York event.
Bring the team and take your company to the next level.
Please read our FAQ for details about refunds, safety procedures, and other details.
Subscribers to Skift Research, Skift Pro, Daily Lodging Report, Skift Short-Term Rental Report, and Airline Weekly receive discounts off full-price tickets to in-person events. Visit our Subscriber Benefits page to find your discount code
Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch
Rafat Ali, Skift
September 24th, 2023 at 11:11 AM EDT
Tags: climate change, demographics, future of work, sgf2023, tourism, Travel Trends
Support high-quality journalism covering the travel industry
Already a subscriber? Login
The latest stories delivered weekly to your inbox. 
1 of 3 free stories left to read
Share a News Tip


Leave a Comment