At the Wings of Russia International Aviation Forum in Moscow, I spoke about three global trends, or phenomena, if you will, each with the potential to drive transformational change in the travel industry. The Russian Federation is not isolated from the rest of the global travel ecosystem, and will also be affected by these changes.
Understanding the fundamentals of these trends, how they might influence the market, coupled with a more collaborative and traveller-centric approach by all players, will, I believe, be one of the keys to shaping the future of Russia’s air transport and travel industry:
- The Sharing Economy – In 2011, TIME Magazine said that collaborative consumption – the hallmark of the sharing economy – was one of ten big ideas that would ‘change the world’. Four years later, it seems this prediction has come true, and almost every week there are fresh stories about the phenomenal growth of innovative companies like Airbnb and Uber that are reshaping the landscape.
- The Internet of Things – Not just a PC, tablet, or mobile, but literally everything from the goods we possess and the objects we use, to the cars we drive, even the buildings we live in! All connected and inter-connected by sensors. Just imagine what this could mean for aviation. By installing such systems on any aircraft, carriers would be able to regulate and predict issues that a human operator would miss. The aircraft can communicate in real-time whilst in transit alerting engineers ahead of time to be ready with the right spare parts and tools as soon as the plane lands. By preventing 10% of flight delays, the global aviation industry could save over $8 Billion in costs, whilst also increasing traveller satisfaction.
- A Personalised & Unique World – In the context of ever increasing consumer choice, travel is becoming more and more about offering simple, relevant options and unique experiences. We are seeing that the future lies with companies who not only have the most content and are able to personalise it based on their customer’s preferences, needs and past behavior, but who are also able to create new content that is unique to their customers. The competitive edge will come from making traveller choices easier, more relevant and more unique.
The Russian aviation, travel and tourism industry is an integral part of the global transport system. Keeping an eye on what is happening in the industry, at home and abroad, and looking at things from a different perspective are key to anticipating developments and therefore making better business decisions.