Skift Take

The travel industry in the coming year will define and be shaped by geopolitical events as the world realigns itself to new, global, and connected realities.

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Travel in 2012 was all about big events: Olympics, mega-mergers, big bankruptcies, digital dominance, and both man-made and natural disasters. What does 2013 hold in store for the business of travel?

Skift has paid close attention to everything travel since before our public launch this August. The extensive coverage of the travel industry that readers find on provides an inside edge on understanding developments inside and outside the travel industry. With this insight, we’ve identified 13 key trends that will shape the coming year.

For the first time since the European Renaissance, the locus of travel is moving eastward, and 2013 will continue that inexorable journey. Both consumer and business travel trends are now being defined and tested out in regions other than U.S and Europe, while travel sector here, especially airlines, is in a race to find the best new fee. User experience and its intersection with design is the lens that travel will increasingly be defined by, and regions like Middle East and South East Asia are at the forefront of those trends.

One area where U.S. is still defining trends is technology innovation, especially in mobile. Companies like Airbnb and HotelTonight are redefining the very definition of the hotel and lodging sectors, while larger digital giants like Google, Apple, and Nokia have hit reset on the transportation and local transit sectors with their mapping and local information wars.

We believe these 13 trends, by no means exhaustive, will help define travel and many other interconnected sectors:

  • Everyone wants a Chinese tourist
  • Ancillary fees are the new normal
  • Last-minute mobile hotel booking
  • The rise of price transparency
  • Travelers are hungry for food tourism
  • Airports as destinations
  • Destination branding through movies
  • Digital maps are one of travel’s key battlegrounds
  • Personal in-flight entertainment through mobile devices
  • Affordable design at hotels
  • Blurring of business and leisure travel
  • Cementing of the Gulf as the next great global aviation hub
  • Lure of the last unknown: The rise of Myanmar


Click on the icon below to download the full 15-page report:
13 Trends That Will Define Travel in 2013



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