Implications for Hospitality and Travel: Hospitality and travel operators are likely to find themselves facing more demands to watch for suspicious activities in travel destinations, or even to provide security agencies with information about their guests.
9. Time is becoming the world’s most precious commodity.
In the United States, workers spend about 10 percent more time on the job than they did a decade ago. European executives and non-unionized workers face the same trend. In Britain, an Ipsos MORI study found that 32 percent of people who had not visited a museum in the previous year reported having too little time to do so; in 1999, only 6 percent had cited that reason. China's rapid economic development means its workers also are experiencing faster-paced and time-pressured lives. In a recent survey by the Chinese news portal Sina.com, 56 percent of respondents said they felt short of time. Technical workers and executives in India are beginning to report the same job-related stresses, particularly when they work on U.S. and European schedules.
Assessment: This trend is likely to grow as changing technologies add the need for lifelong study to the many commitments that compete for the average worker’s time. As it matures in the United States, it is likely to survive in other parts of the world. It will not disappear until China and India reach modern post-industrial status, around 2050.
Implications: Time pressures will grow even more intense as companies squeeze even more productivity from their existing workforce rather than hiring new people in the face of the current global recession.
Stress-related problems affecting employee morale and wellness will continue to grow. Companies must help employees balance their time at work with their family lives and need for leisure. This may reduce short-term profits but will aid profitability in the long run.
As time for shopping continues to evaporate, Internet and mail-order marketers will have a growing advantage over traditional stores. That 64 percent said they were never late and were intolerant of other people’s tardiness suggests a new cultural challenge to the traditional Chinese concept of a leisurely existence.
China, India, and other developing countries can expect consumer trends similar to those in the United States as workers seek out convenience foods, household help, and minor luxuries to compensate for their lack of leisure time.
Implications for Hospitality and Travel: Work pressure is eroding vacation time throughout the industrialized world. One-third of Americans take 50 percent or less of the vacation time their jobs theoretically allow. In Britain, 25 percent of employees take only part of their vacation time. In Japan, where employees are legally guaranteed 17 days per year of vacation, the average worker takes only 9.5 days annually.
For those with little time, but adequate funds, multiple, shorter vacations spread throughout the year will continue to replace the traditional two-week vacation.
For the most well-off travelers, time pressure is a strong incentive to use travel agents and shop for packaged tours, rather than doing their own vacation planning. This is the one force that tends to preserve a market niche for the minority of travel agents who survive the transition to Internet booking. Less wealthy vacationers will continue to speed the task of making travel arrangements and broaden their selection of affordable vacation packages by doing their shopping on the Internet.
Anything destinations and tour operators can do to save time for their customers will encourage repeat visits.
10. The women’s equality movement is losing its significance, thanks largely to past successes.
According to some, though not all, studies, women have nearly achieved pay parity with men in the United States when factors such as educational level, responsibilities, and seniority are taken into account. Younger generations of women are better educated and are even more likely to be successful than their male peers. Generation Xers and Millennials are virtually gender-blind in the workplace, compared with older generations.
This is true even in societies such as India and Japan, which have long been male-dominated, though not yet in conservative Muslim lands.