Future travel profitability drivers revealed in global study commissioned by Amadeus

Tuesday 5, October 2010


Future travel profitability drivers revealed in global study commissioned by Amadeus


A major new industry report, The Travel Gold Rush 2020, outlines how the travel sector can better ride the global economic rollercoaster and secure future growth and profitability.


Pointing to the death of traditional airline cabin classes; the rise of face-to-face agents; the dominance of Asia; the decline of business class and the importance of delivering a total travel experience, the study provides new thinking and innovative scenarios to support the future of travel. 


The report was developed by Oxford Economics, a prominent economic forecasting consultancy, and commissioned by Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry.


Based on macroeconomic forecasts and extensive input from key industry experts across airlines, travel agents, think-tanks and international organisations, the report details new revenue opportunities, drivers of profitability, new models for delivering services and the changes in traveller tastes set to influence the future of the industry. 


Key findings 


The global picture: Asia set to dominate travel spend by 2020 

Whilst 2010 has seen a return to global growth, Europe remains sluggish and the outlook is uncertain. Looking forward to 2020, the study outlines how Asia will account for one third (32 percent) of global travel spend which is up from only 21 percent today, representing a dramatic realignment over the next ten years. 


Options for growth: delivering the ‘total travel experience’ requires new models 

The key to unlocking growth and profitability in the travel sector is delivering a ‘total travel experience’ which has so far proved elusive. The report explores the potential for airlines to become high speed transport and communications brands fulfilling their mission to connect people whether through the integration of high speed rail or even video conferencing. The study suggests a resurgence of face-to-face travel agents, spurred on by new technologies and a growing need for personalised advice and support as people seek greater adventure and as traveller demographics shift. 


Future tastes: death of traditional cabin classes, older travellers, rising demand for face-to-face agents and new travellers to transform travel 

By highlighting changes in traveller tastes and needs, the report identifies some of the main opportunities for travel companies in the next decade including: 


  • The rise of ‘virtual’ personalised cabin classes are likely to replace traditional cabin classes 
  • Face-to-face agents to evolve into ‘lifestyle managers’ meeting the total needs of travellers 
  • ‘Richer, older and going somewhere’ segment to provide new revenue opportunities 
  • Business travel to recover but business class may wither


According to Philippe Chérèque, EVP, Commercial at Amadeus, “We are committed to stimulating discussion and debate within the travel sector about how the world is changing, what travellers will demand and how the industry can evolve in a way that secures future growth and profitability. In this report we explore new models of co-operation, how a total travel experience can be delivered and whether or not the future for airlines and agents lies in fundamentally reshaping the services they provide.” 


Adrian Cooper, Chief Executive, Oxford Economics said: “For the first time, we explore some of the long-term structural issues that have prevented the travel sector from securing profit and how the barriers can be overcome by thinking more broadly about the macroeconomic environment, future business models and changing traveller tastes.” 


The Travel Gold Rush 2020 report is part of the Amadeus Traveller Series which is a global initiative designed to stimulate new thinking and innovation in the travel sector.


To download a copy of the report, please visit:



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