Belgium Luxembourg Netherlands Research report

4 scenarios for the future of travel agents

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2018 is almost here – time to look ahead. No high-level key trends, but 4 scenarios that could play out over the next few years, and what each could mean for your business.

Predicting the future is silly. Preparing for the future is common sense. That’s why we asked a few of the brightest minds in the travel industry to analyse the current global climate and to form 4 possible futuristic scenarios.

Each scenario is compared to an artist whose style embodies the predicted climate.

personalised board

We’ve also interpreted how travel agents in the Benelux can prepare for the world of tomorrow. And we provide the assets to match, naturally.

Scenario 1: Picasso

What? Economic prosperity stimulates personalized travel offers. But growing nationalism and security concerns divide the world and the travel industry develops more and more locally.

Why? We called this scenario “Picasso” to reflect its Cubist, fragmented nature, which at the same time is highly personalized.

Your role: Travel agents are at risk of losing business to destination service providers. Make sure your offering stays competitive by focusing on customer experience both online and offline.

Scenario 2: Bosch

What? In the darkest of our scenarios, nationalism and economic recession breed protectionism and distrust. This stifles innovation and keeps the travel industry fragmented.

Why? We named this scenario after the medieval Dutch painter Bosch, who had an unvarnished view of human nature.

Your role: No more threats of technological disruption, but as international relations become contested, large brands, and direct booking, could become the safest choice.

Scenario 3: Warhol

What? In our third scenario, Asia grows but the West stagnates. Consumers become more price-sensitive and are unwilling to pay for personalized offers. Innovation flourishes, mainly in local or regional contexts due to strict privacy laws.

Why? Like Warhol’s famous depictions of Campbell soup, this is a standardized world.

Your role: People become more demanding, pricing becomes more competitive and travel agents realize the need for mobile apps.

Scenario 4: Dalí

What? This scenario assumes that governments and businesses ignore protectionism to create an environment that allows collaboration between businesses and across borders.

Why? We called this scenario “Dalí” because it is innovative, futuristic, and a little surreal.

Your role: As technology takes over – with both its benefits and drawbacks – that could increase the exclusivity of “analogue travelling”. So you better be ready to accommodate the luxury travellers of tomorrow.

The full report: What if? Imagining the future of the travel industry

Would you like to read the entire study? Good choice, it’s a real page-turner.Download your copy here.