The travel and leisure markets are changing incredibly fast. Travellers from emerging economies and established
economies alike are facilitated in their everlasting need for unique destinations and experiences against aﬀordable prices.
Low-cost airlines have added more routes to their destinations. Bookings have migrated to online and mobile channels
almost completely. And social travel has become a booming business, albeit for much more fragmented target groups:
niche markets will become the new mass market. Online and mobile technologies have lowered entry costs and
transaction costs, but the promise of transparency has not yet fully been delivered. Airline fares have become much more
dynamic and therefore almost inscrutable. Hotel fees, booking fees and commission fees are increasingly frustrating for
travellers that are hunting for a fair deal. However, pricing will only stay a diﬀerentiator in the lowest income groups.
Because of a lack of trust, low-cost airlines and traditional travel agencies will be disrupted by their more social and
customer-centric counterparts. Mainstream airlines and social travel agencies will have to ﬁnd better ways to add value
against a reasonable price.
Local communities from around the globe are connected via social media and
the unbeaten path will be replaced by the untweeted or unposted path. That’s
where the 21st-century travelers will want to go. And that’s where they will be in
need of services.
Since aﬃliate models are only sustainable if the consumer receives some of the beneﬁts, a greater service orientation
towards travelers’ personal desires and budgets is needed. The inevitable transparency in travel will result in even faster
cycles of early bird discounts and last minute deals. In response, services in local communities will be positioned with a
premium. Local communities will become travel intermediaries and status stories will become the heart of any marketing
activity. Travel and leisure have always been social activities. Now the time has come for airlines and travel agencies to
develop services that welcome niche markets. Be at their service and they will spread the word on a massive scale for you.