Amadeus: Role of Face-to-Face Agents Will Grow

The rise of face-to-face agents, the dominance of Asia, the decline of business class and the importance of delivering a total travel experience, are among the findings of a major new study by Amadeus on the future of the travel industry. The study suggests a resurgence of face-to-face travel agents, spurred on by new technologies and a growing need for personalized advice and support as people seek greater adventure and as traveler demographics shift.

The study, The Travel Gold Rush 2020, outlines how the travel sector can better ride the global economic rollercoaster and secure future growth and provides new thinking and innovative scenarios to support the future of travel, Amadeus reports. The report was developed by Oxford Economics, a prominent economic forecasting consultancy, and commissioned by Amadeus.

Key findings of the Amadeus study:
The global picture: “Asia set to dominate travel spending by 2020
While 2010 has seen a return to global growth, Europe remains sluggish and the outlook is uncertain. Looking forward to 2020, the study outlines how Asia will account for one third (32 percent) of global travel spend, which is up from only 21 percent today, representing a dramatic realignment over the next ten years.”

Options for growth: delivering the ‘total travel experience’ requires new models, Amadeus says. “The key to unlocking growth and profitability in the travel sector is delivering a ‘total travel experience’ that has so far proved elusive.”

The report explores the potential for airlines to become high speed transport and communications brands fulfilling their mission to connect people, whether through the integration of high speed rail or even video conferencing.

Future tastes identified include the death of traditional cabin classes, older travelers, rising demand for face-to-face agents and new travelers to transform travel.

By highlighting changes in traveler tastes and needs, the report identifies some of the main opportunities for travel companies in the next decade including:
· The rise of ‘virtual’ personalized cabin classes are likely to replace traditional cabin classes
· Face-to-face agents to evolve into ‘lifestyle managers,’ meeting the total needs of travelers
· ‘Richer, older and going somewhere’ segment to provide new revenue opportunities
· Business travel to recover but business class may wither

“We are committed to stimulating discussion and debate within the travel sector about how the world is changing, what travelers will demand and how the industry can evolve in a way that secures future growth and profitability. In this report we explore new models of co-operation, how a total travel experience can be delivered and whether or not the future for airlines and agents lies in fundamentally reshaping the services they provide,” Philippe Chérèque, EVP, Commercial at Amadeus said.

Adrian Cooper, Chief Executive , Oxford Economics said: “For the first time, we explore some of the long-term structural issues that have prevented the travel sector from securing profit and how the barriers can be overcome by thinking more broadly about the macroeconomic environment, future business models and changing traveler tastes.”

The study is based on macroeconomic forecasts and extensive input from key industry experts across airlines, travel agents, think tanks and international organizations. The report details new revenue opportunities, drivers of profitability, new models for delivering services and the changes in traveler tastes set to influence the future of the industry.

The Travel Gold Rush 2020 report is part of the Amadeus Traveler Series, which is a global initiative designed to stimulate new thinking and innovation in the travel sector. To download a copy of the report, visit:


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