The words seamless travel and personalisation don't exactly move the excitement needle these days but an industry report released today says they will be key drivers for success in the future.
The Amadeus-A.T. Kearney paper points to social and economic developments that are changing the world and talks of travel companies setting strategy to manage disruption.
The 'What If? Imaging the future of the travel industry' report says personalised travel experiences enabled by artificial intelligence and, seamless travel, will be key to success in the next five to seven years.
The study also builds four potential future scenarios that could help travel companies shape strategy now.
Picasso - a scenario based on a fragmented world with heightened security concerns and the rise of populism as a backdrop. This translates to more travel destinations being off-limits. Most parts of the world are seeing economic growth. Companies are reaching more customers via mobile which should mean more sophisticated personalized offers.
Dali - a scenario where social attitudes and economic prosperity have led to data sharing which means relaxed privacy laws and lighter regulation. The sharing of data enables greater personalisation in travel as well as other benefits such as less security controls at borders and live information about events such as flight delays.
Bosch - a scenario where regulation is heavy causing the cost of doing business to rise. This fragmented world, were distrust and protectionism abound, leads consumers to turn to established, trusted travel brands.
Warhol - seamless travel but not personalised as a growing middle class in Asia looks outwards for travel. They lean towards low-cost, mass market travel.
Amadeus IT Group vice president of corporate strategy Alex Luzarraga says the scenarios came more as a confirmation than a surprise.
He adds that challenge is now to understand the speed of change and adapt accordingly.
"We never feel fully prepared, that would be a mistake in an environment that is being transformed."
Different opinions emerged on the question of which scenario we might end up in.
A.T. Kearney prinicpal Yelena Ageyeva-Furman says it feels more like Picasso with the world becoming more fragmented and rapid technology development driving towards personalisation.
Luzarraga adds, however, that when work on the study began two years ago, it felt more like the Bosch scenario with economic stagnation which might then lead into Dali.
"Today we seem to be Picasso and I'm less clear that Dali will come any time soon."
The full report can be downloaded here.
Six investments in - Amadeus Ventures on home runs and being hands on
NB: Image via Dodes11 for Bigstock.