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WTM UPDATE: #JOMO, cutting plastic & access economy identified as three big travel trends

"Megatrends Shaping the Future of Travel", a whitepaper released at World Travel Market (WTM) by Euromonitor International, identified three major trends that are shaping the travel industry.

The joy of missing out - or #JOMO - has been identified by the market research company as a trend which reverses the notions of fear of missing out (#FOMO) and the "always on" mentality. #JOMO instead is about travel inspired by the need for authenticity, privacy and enjoying face-to-face, live experiences. In the marketplace, this is reflected in trips that include alternative travel experiences, disconnecting from everyday lives and "travel detox experiences" away from civilisation.

Reducing plastic waste is a trend discussed widely at WTM, which had a strong sustainability focus this year. According to Euromonitor's report, many travel players are taking action such as pledging to eliminate the use of plastic straws and replacing them with eco-friendly alternatives. Ryan Air, for example, has announced that all non-recyclable plastics will be removed from its aircraft by 2023.

Finally, the report identified the access economy, where goods and services are traded on the basis of access rather than ownership, as a major trend. While Airbnb and Uber are two obvious examples of this, agents need to be aware that flight booking could soon fall into this trend. Already, Voom is offering helicopter rides via an Uber-style app, the city of Dubai is testing flying taxis and Wingly offers a booking platform where private pilots take passengers on trips in a carpooling style.

"Going hand-in-hand with these trends, travellers continue to look for ever-greater personalisation and authentic experiences," said Wouter Geerts, travel research consultant at Euromonitor International. "As destinations become overcrowded and fast-paced lives are the new normal, expectations will focus on bespoke and off-the-beaten-track destinations. We expect the desire for greater personalisation to continue and grow throughout 2019."


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