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Responsible and purposeful travel: the way forward

Travel Weekly Insight Annual Report 2019-2020

2019 has been an eventful, and some might even say a transformational year for the UK travel sector. While consumer confidence has wavered in a climate of continued political and economic uncertainty, so far they have remained resilient in terms of spending.

Most importantly for this sector, consumers still favour experiences and our research on leisure spending has shown that net spending on holiday’s remains robust and is above other leisure categories.

However, there is a concern that if the consumer fundamentals change, consumers’ ability to pursue their holiday dreams as often or as elaborately as they have until now is going to be constrained. Technology and consumer preferences are constantly evolving and the threats to the environment and personal data are becoming ever more prevalent. For travel companies to be successful in the future they need to be responsible and purpose led to be able to inspire and resonate with people; consumers and employees alike.

Read the full report or get the key findings below.

Technology

Digital technology continues to transform all aspects of travel. The industry is now starting to wake up to the possibilities of AI and the use of smarter and more digital ways of working. However, there is still work to be done. Greater collaboration is needed for airlines and airports to share data and there are questions around cybersecurity with the increased use of drones for pre-flight checks.

Find out more on the key technology trends over the past 12 months in Andy Gauld’s interview.

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Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity poses multiple challenges, not only due to the complexity of the subject but because the technological landscape is constantly changing. The ICO has sent shockwaves across the industry through their willingness to impose large fines for data breaches and with the travel and hospitality industry relatively immature in their investment, organisations are starting to question their GDPR strategies – is their data really GDPR compliant?

Read more about cybersecurity in the travel and hospitality sector to find Peter Gooch’s recommendations on taking a framework approach to overcome challenges.

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Sustainability

Climate change is at the top of the agenda as consequences are becoming apparent, with aviation set to be one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions by 2050. There are a number of options for organisations such as technological advances, banning domestic flights and creating biofuels. But the question remains how can we maintain living standards while addressing the carbon challenge? And how do we get to a point where we undertake travel activities that are sustainable or lead to a level of behaviour change?

Chris Thompson explores the options to aviation companies in his interview.

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Future of work

Change in the workplace is a given – from increasing use of technology and transformation of processes and skills to increased diversity among the workforce. Despite the concerns about people being replaced by increased automation, there is a continued optimism, and technology is only one of a number of factors driving change. The rise of the gig economy, multigenerational workforce and lower barriers to entry are all contributing to the changing workforce. But all of these factors do raise questions about what this means for workers and if organisations in the travel sector are ready for this change.

Read more about the future of work in the travel sector in Shivani Maitra’s interview.

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