Assessment: Travel seems to be in the DNA of the middle and upper economic classes. This trend will continue so long as national economies continue to generate new prosperity for the formerly poor.
Implications: Travel will grow by at least 5 percent per year for the foreseeable future.
The tourism industry will create 3.3 million new jobs worldwide. Jobs dependent on tourism will comprise nearly 14 percent of the global workforce.
Direct employment will not grow quite as quickly, but it will be up 1.7 percent annually, to nearly 87.5 million jobs, while indirect employment will account for some 260 million jobs around the world.
This will bring major opportunities for national economies in Southeast Asia and Africa, where Chinese and Indian tourists can take quick, inexpensive vacations.
Implications for hospitality and travel: Tourism offers growing opportunities for out-of-the-way destinations that have not yet cashed in on the boom. This will make it an important industry for still more developing countries. American domestic tourism will continue to grow by an average of 2.3 percent per year through at least 2011.
The fastest growth will be seen in pioneering regions. Intranationally, air travel in China is expanding rapidly, with the Indian air market lagging only a few years behind. Internationally, expect the most immediate growth to appear in the Middle East, where travelers will visit neighboring countries and, to a lesser extent, Europe. In the longer run, the fastest growth, and by far the greatest, will flow to Europe and the United States, thanks to vacationers from the newly prosperous middle classes of China and India.
The cruise segment is expected to grow at approximately the same rate as the travel market at large. By 2015, even India and China are likely to get into this market.
Cruise ships will continue to lure retirees. Some liners are offering full-time residency—creating new options for assisted living arrangements.
Travel is said to broaden the mind. It surely broadens palates. As Generations X and Dot-com visit out-of-the-way destinations, they are bringing home tastes for foreign cuisines their more traditional elders never sampled. Over the next 20 years, trend is itself the result of other trends: the world’s growing prosperity, the continuing heath of seniors well into old age, and others all are building a world of habitual travelers, both for business and for pleasure. As a result, all parts of the travel and hospitality industry are growing rapidly. Built as it is on such a firm foundation, this trend suggests that all segments of the hospitality and travel industry will continue to expand well into the future.
13) Education and training are expanding throughout society.
Rapid changes in the job market and work-related technologies will require increased training for almost every worker, just as knowledge turnover in the professions requires continuous retraining and lifelong learning. Thus, a substantial portion of the labor force will be in job retraining programs at any moment. All of the fastest growing occupations require some form of advanced training and continuous updating of job skills. In the next 10 years, close to 10 million jobs will open up for professionals, executives, and technicians in the highly skilled service occupations. In order to give those who cannot attend their classes a chance to educate themselves, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has put its entire curriculum on the Internet, including class notes, many texts, and sometimes videos of classroom lectures. Other institutions are following suit.
Assessment: This is another trend at the beginning of its life.
Implications: Over the next two decades, the growing demand for education and training is likely to transform our working lives and educational systems around the world. In order to keep up with growing demands for education, schools will train both children and adults around the clock.
The academic day will stretch to seven hours for children so as to enable students to compete with their peers in other countries, who already devote much more of their time to learning, with predictable results.
Adults will use much of their remaining free time to prepare for their next job. In knowledge-based economies, a region’s growth prospects depend on its ability to generate and use innovation. This correlates roughly with the number of collegeeducated adults living there. Throughout the industrialized countries, this gives cities an advantage over rural and suburban areas. It is one reason upwardly mobile adults tend to move to the cities.
Skills are the most important factor in economic success today. Unfortunately, the people who need them most, the poor and unemployed, cannot afford schooling and therefore are least able to obtain them. Helping people overcome this disadvantage is a natural role for government.
As the digital divide is erased and minority and low-income households buy computers and log onto the Internet, groups now disadvantaged will be increasingly able to educate and train themselves for high-tech careers.
Even the smallest businesses must learn to see employee training as an investment, rather than an expense. Motorola estimates that it reaps $30 in profits for each dollar it spends on training. Both management and employees must get used to the idea of lifelong learning. It will become a significant part of work life at all levels.
Implications for hospitality and travel: Hotels and restaurants are likely to find this trend particularly difficult to cope with. Both need large numbers of relatively unskilled workers for both maintenance tasks and customer contact. Yet they have few opportunities to provide the kind of generally applicable training that most entry-level workers have come to recognize as the key to a better future. This is likely to make it difficult to compete with other industries for young, low-wage workers. Creating learning opportunities for young job seekers or finding some other way to motivate them will be a difficult challenge for the hospitality and travel industries, but this is a problem they urgently need to solve.
14. Advanced communications technologies are changing the way we work and live.
Telecommuting is growing rapidly, thanks largely to e-mail and other high-tech forms of communication. About 80 percent of companies worldwide now have employees who work at home, up from 54 percent in 2003. The number of telecommuters in the United States reached an estimated 20 million in 2006.
However, Millennials already have abandoned e-mail for most purposes, instead using instant messaging and social-network Web sites to communicate with their peers. These and other new technologies, such as podcasting, are building communities nearly as complex and involved as those existing wholly in the real world.
Assessment: Again, this trend has only just begun.
Implications: E-mail promised to speed business. Instead, it absorbs more time than busy executives can afford to lose. Expect the nascent reaction against e-mail to grow as many people eliminate mailing lists, demand precise e-communications rather than open-ended conversation, and schedule only brief periods for dealing with mail. Instant messaging is likely to be even more destructive of time for the under-thirty set.
However, e-mail is a major contributor to globalization and outsourcing, because it eliminates many of the obstacles of doing business across long distances and many time zones. Unfortunately, e-mail and other modern communications techniques also have made possible a variety of crimes, from online fraud to some forms of identity theft.
They also make it virtually impossible to retract ill-considered statements or embarrassing online activities. Once something exists on the Internet, it is all but immortal and nearly impossible to hide.
Implications for hospitality and travel: All the benefits and evils of e-mail, instant messaging, and other communications technologies apply as much to hospitality and travel as to other industries. They may be particularly significant for both large, multinational operators, who would find it difficult to coordinate their activities across time zones without rapid communications, and the smallest destinations, which could not compete effectively for customers in the industrialized lands without access to the Internet.