SITA’s newly published Meet the Megatrends report has identified 12 emerging technological, societal, traveller, and economic trends that will significantly morph the travel landscape by 2033.
The report notes that the megatrends do not exist in silos but operate in an evolving ecosystem where emerging technologies interconnect the trends and help drive them forward.
With data at the heart of this ecosystem, the increasing willingness of providers to share intelligence across the wider travel industry will help further accelerate these trends and pave the way to the more connected, seamless travel experience that passengers want.
One of the key trends identified in the report is Gen Z and millennial travellers driving a digital transformation of the transport industry, demanding a more integrated digital journey, and accelerating the digital way of life. Privacy, digital identity rights, and controls for passengers will be a priority as they seek to travel without the need for physical documents or being stopped for identification.
Another power trend is the automation and emergence of smart airports, which will reshape the workforce, give rise to a flattened business organisation, and streamline operations through technology. By 2030 metaverse operations will be commonplace at leading airports and play a vital role in optimising processes, avoiding disruption, and facilitating intuitive, immersive control of intelligent airports. This, in turn, will require new skills and create new opportunities for employees in the industry.
Meanwhile, electric air vehicles are expected to be ubiquitous at major international airports by the end of the decade, operating as an effective auxiliary service and revenue stream for airports and airlines. This year alone, investment in the Urban Air Mobility industry has skyrocketed, with US$4.7 billion committed to the development of eVTOL vehicles.
Ilkka Kivelä, vice president strategy and innovation, SITA, said: “These trends are shaping SITA’s own innovation agenda. We’re excited to be working across many of these areas and look forward to collaborating with partners to drive positive change across the industry.”