Travel Trends – HSMAI Marketing Review Summer 2008

 That's right, two Shatner references in one month. 

That's right, two Shatner references in one month.

Last week, HSMAI issued a special report, “55 Trends Now Shaping the Future of Society, Travel, and Hospitality,” written by Dr. Marvin Cetron, ‘one of the world’s foremost futurists.’

The report offered several interesting points on the future of travel, especially as it pertains to technology.  For those of you who have not seen the report, you can view a full copy here.

In this post, the first in a series, we will discuss and review a couple of the points highlighted in the report:

8 ) Privacy, once a defining right for Americans, is dying quickly.

Internet communications, a basic part of life for many people, are nearly impossible to protect against interception, and governments around the world are working to ensure their unfettered access to them.  Corporate databases are collecting and marketing data on individual credit-worthiness, incomes, spending patterns, brand choices medical conditions and lifestyles.  While privacy regulations bar distribution of much personal information in the European Union, restrictions in the United States are much weaker…

IMPLICATIONS: In the future, privacy is likely to be defined, not by the ability to keep information truly secret, but by the legal power to restrict its distribution…

Thoughts// Clearly the rapid advance in technology, in particular internet technology, has accelerated the decline of privacy for all people.  Certainly, we are on a path where technology, computers, etc., know (or will know) almost everything about our buying habits, likes, dislikes…the question becomes do we see this as a convenience.  Hey, the fridge knows we are out of milk and has ordered some for us.  Or as a creepy, 2001: A Space Odyssey future, where we will eventually fighting our refrigerator because it tried to kill us.  My guess would be somewhere in the middle.

Another interesting aspect of this decline in privacy is the effect it will have on our children and their generation.  A generation that has grown up with the idea that the computer knows their passwords and TiVo knows what shows they like.  More than age, this technological gap will become larger as time progresses.

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. … However, Millennials already have abandoned e-mail for most purposes, instead using instant messaging and social-network Web sites to communicate with their peers…

Thoughts// A similar idea to #8.  Here again, the rapid change in technology is not following the 10 or 20 year cycle of the past.  Radio to TV to Beta to VCR to DVD to TiVo.  Changes in the interactive space have been deployed and adopted within 10 years or less.  For many of my fellow Gen-Xers, email (I don’t like the ‘-‘) is still a relatively new tool.  But for my brother, who is 9 years younger, email is a chore.  Not exactly a scientific example, but I probably talk with him via IM 95% vs email 5% of the time.

Again, not only is technology changing, but it is changing in different ways for different demographic groups.

That will do it for this post, tomorrow a look at some of the specific technology trends highlighted in the report.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.