Asian millennials, technology present opportunities for industry: STB TravelRave report

SINGAPORE Tourism Board (STB) has released its first TravelRave report recapping highlights from the annual travel trade festival held last year, underscoring talent, technology and the Asian millennial traveller as key areas needing address.

Travel and tourism leaders at TravelRave 2013 identified high turnovers, skill mismatches and employees unprepared for leadership roles as some of the challenges companies faced in the industry.

To attract, retain and develop high-quality talent at all levels in Asia, two working groups were formed out of the Asia Travel Leaders Summit.

The Executive Development Programme arose from the discussions, led by Marc Dardenne, CEO Patina Hotel and Resorts, in collaboration with Shatec and DePaul University. It will be inaugurated this month for mid-to-senior level hospitality executives. It comprises four modules over a period of eight months and covers topics such as leadership, finance and revenue management, among others.

Additionally, a joint study by STB, Visa and McKinsey & Company delved into the profile of Asian millennial travellers, revealed that over the next decade, this most educated and connected generation (born between 1981 and 1995) will enter their peak earning and spending years, presenting significant business opportunities for the travel industry.

As Asian economic powerhouses continue their growth trajectory, the Asian millennials’ expenditure on international travel is expected to increase by 1.6 times to US$340 billion by 2020.

With regards to technology’s continuing impact on the industry and the opportunities it would bring, according to The Constantly Connected Traveller, a Google study presented at TravelRave 2013, more than four-fifths of Asian travellers use the Internet to plan their hotel stays, using an average of four different sources of information.

The report also highlighted research presented by PhoCusWright, which projects that the Asia-Pacific travel market would maintain its growth of international tourist arrivals through 2015 to reach US$407.3 billion, with China accounting for a third of that. Travel Link Daily also noted the potential of the market, as only three per cent of China’s population is passport-holders.

TravelRave 2014 will take place in Singapore from October 27-31, 2014. It will see the return of anchor events such as the Asia Travel Leaders Summit, ITB Asia, Web In Travel, Aviation Outlook Asia, TravelRave Leaders Gala and Singapore Experience Awards.

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