After a year when bad weather, volcanic eruptions and strikes – amongst others – caused havoc for the travel industry, most predictions for 2011 from industry leaders are on the brighter side.
The latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) show a faster than expected rebound in international travel, particularly in Asian markets, although the WTTC warns that the pace of recovery will remain slow in 2011.
ABTA’s annual Travel Trends report says the UK travel industry looks resilient going into 2011, with many companies starting to report profits. Travel continues to be considered an essential for most people, but British travellers will, more than ever, seek value for money, with all-inclusives and cruising remaining popular options.
According to ABTA, good value destinations such as Egypt and Turkey, as well as other new mid-haul destinations like Abu Dhabi, Tunisia and Syria, and old eurozone favourites like Spain and Greece are expected to do well in 2011.
Smartphones have already revolutionised the travel industry, and mobile phone applications and services will have the biggest impact on holiday booking trends in 2011. Euromonitor International predicts that half of European travellers will use a smartphone to find travel information or make a booking by 2015.
As for the shared ownership industry, Fractional Life, in its top ten predictions for 2011, highlights the importance of referrals on social networks and the need for a more flexible approach to pricing. Other trends for 2011 include more bespoke urban fractional real estate and fractional ski resorts, as well as a continued boom in the fractional lodge sector as consumers look for a cost effective holiday home option.