New survey offers portrait of today's travel patterns

12 Jan 2012 by ReggieHo

Amadeus, a technology provider to the travel industry, has commissioned The Futures Company, a global foresight and futures consultancy, to conduct a survey on future travel trends, and the resultant report “From chaos to collaboration: how transformative technologies will herald a new era in travel” has confirmed many trends reported by Business Traveller.

Interviewed were 1,437 respondents from seven countries representing both developed and emerging markets, with the former being Spain, the UK and the US, and the latter Brazil, China, Russia and the UAE. Among them were 53 per cent male and 47 per cent female.

It has long been a fact of life for globetrotting executives that staying connected is crucial to success, and communication technology is playing an increasingly important role in achieving that. The survey found that business travellers are more interested in how technology works, with 52 per cent of them strongly agreeing to this sentiment, versus 34 per cent among leisure travellers. As reported in our November story “Apps for the road” (click here), mobile gadgets have become essentials to high flyers. So it is not surprising that 89 per cent of respondents said augmented reality applications were appealing when it comes to use in travel, a trend also pointed out by Business Traveller in 2010 (click here).

Another future trend the report has pointed to is “automatic transit”, meaning that checking-in may soon become the exception rather than the norm, with technologies such as chips, biometrics, long-range fingerprinting and near-field communications (NFC) making it possible to fast-forward how people move around. That means that in the foreseeable future, the dream of not having to queue up all the time at the airport will finally come true. Read “Sky portal” by clicking here and another report here.

Other discoveries from the report include travellers’ increased willingness to give out their personal data in exchange for more personalised service (47 per cent), especially among “the digital natives”, meaning those aged between 16 and 29. Also, 53 per cent of business travellers responded find shopping at stations and airports, including duty free shopping, a satisfying part of travel, compared to 39 per cent of leisure travellers.

Finally, worrying but perhaps not unexpected is that 55 per cent of the survey respondents cited cost of travel as the reason they held back from travelling for leisure, a situation that is likely to worsen as air ticket prices are under pressure to go up because of factors such as oil prices and new taxes. To understand more about the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and how it will affect your travels in the coming years, read the cover story of the latest January/February issue of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific. To subscribe, click here.

For a copy of the results, visit

Reggie Ho

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