Assessment: This trend is valid only in the developed lands. In the developing world, the movement toward women’s equality is barely beginning. In the United States, the trend could be seen as complete, with women’s equality now taken for granted and only mopping-up operations required to complete the process. However, we believe that the women’s equality movement will continue to retain some importance, less with each passing year, until the gender-blind Generation X and Millennials accede to leadership in business and politics.
Implications: In most of the developed world, whatever careers remain relatively closed to women will open wide in the years ahead. Japan will remain some years behind the curve, owing to the strength of its traditionally male-dominated culture.
Women’s increasing entrepreneurialism will allow the formation of entrenched “old girl” networks comparable to the men’s relationships that once dominated business. The fraction of women entering the American labor force has leveled off in recent years. The percentage of female workers is likely to remain approximately stable until some force appears to begin a new trend.
Demand for child care, universal health coverage, and other family-oriented services will continue to grow, particularly in the United States, where national services have yet to develop. Over the next twenty years, American companies may increasingly follow the example of their counterparts in Europe, whose taxes pay for national daycare programs and other social services the United States lacks.
There is little sign of progress for women in much of the developing world. India is an exception, because growing literacy has given women the chance to earn income outside the home and, with it, gain value other than as wives and mothers.
Implications for hospitality and travel: There are relatively few implications for these industries. Hospitality and travel operators have traditionally depended on women for much of their workforce, and especially in critical guest-contact roles. As a result, they have been relatively willing to pay women well and promote them into management positions comparable to those occupied by men.
11. Despite some xenophobic reactions to immigrants, there is growing acceptance of diversity.
Migration is mixing disparate peoples and forcing them to find ways to coexist peacefully and productively. Because of this, the interaction of diverse cultures will continue to grow, both internationally and intra-nationally, throughout much of the world.
The Internet and other technologies promote long-distance communication and build links between distant, and disparate, people. The globalization of business is having a similar impact. However, in many countries there are powerful reactions against these changes. The growth of the German neonazi movement after unification in 1992 is one obvious example. American hostility toward undocumented aliens may be viewed as another.
Assessment: This trend applies most clearly to the West, where it will continue for as long as we can foresee. In other regions, including Japan and large parts of the Muslim world, it remains weak, if it exists at all.
Implications: Groups with highly varied customs, languages, and histories of necessity will develop ways to coexist peacefully. Nonetheless, local conflicts will continue to erupt in societies where xenophobia is common.
Companies will hire ever more minority workers and will be expected to adapt to their values and needs. Much of the burden of accommodating foreign-born residents will continue to fall on employers, who must make room for their languages and cultures in the workplace.
Public schools and libraries must find more effective ways to educate this future workforce.
Implications for hospitality and travel: Growing contact between countries and cultures in the United States and Europe should stimulate further demand for travel to foreign lands, where visitors can learn more about the cultures they have met, and begun to accept, at home.
Companies in all industries, including hospitality and travel, will hire ever more minority workers and will be expected to adapt to their values and needs. Much of the burden of accommodating foreign-born residents will continue to fall on employers, who must both help them adapt to their new environment and make room for their languages and cultures in the workplace.
The more prosperous immigrant groups, such as those from Asia and the Middle East in the U.S., also represent valuable markets for specialized travel services. Expect growing demand especially for services aimed at the needs of Muslim travelers from Europe and the United States. Hotels, restaurants, and cruise lines all will have to be prepared to serve the special needs of religious, ethnic, and cultural minorities.
12. Tourism, vacationing, and travel (especially international) continue to grow with each passing year.
International tourism grew by more than 6 percent in the first half of 2007, thanks in part to global prosperity. By 2020, international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 1.6 billion annually, up from 842 million in 2006. By 2020, according to the World Trade Organization, 100 million Chinese will fan out across the globe, replacing Americans, Japanese, and Germans as the world’s most numerous travelers. Some 50 million Indian tourists will join them.