The term ‘thought leadership’ is one that in recent years has become terribly over-used: misunderstood by many, misused by a few, and meaningless to everyone without a proper definition or context. But when it’s executed properly, it can be an incredibly powerful tool and one which can provide genuine insight to multiple audiences.
In its truest sense, it should be about pro-actively setting the industry agenda, stimulating debate and encouraging new thinking. It works best when it’s steeped in credible third-party research, ideally both quantitative and qualitative, and when the research is used as a platform to allow wider analysis, conjecture and predictions about the future across multiple markets.
At Amadeus, we define thought leadership as striving to challenge the industry’s thinking, or accepted way of working, helping our customers and staff to be prepared for the future, and to understand how that future will impact every single part of our industry. We also like to think it helps us deliver on our promise to be a technology pioneer for the travel and tourism sector.
Looking back at our past thought leadership studies, the first ever study we commissioned was called Traveller Tribes 2020 and this was launched in conjunction with the Henley Centre. The study evaluated the macro-environment and associated factors which would shape the airline sector of the future; also showcasing the types of technologies and applications that will become mainstream across travel by 2020.
The Austere Traveller was next, this time in partnership with The Economist Intelligence Unit, and this investigated the effect of corporate cutbacks on hotels and how business travel is changing more generally.
We followed this with The Amateur-Expert Traveller, which looked at how recession can actually deliver new business opportunities and innovations to the travel industry, empowering the end consumer in the process thanks to the latest developments online.
In the autumn of 2010 we launched The Travel Gold Rush 2020 with Oxford Economics, and this sought to understand growth and profitability trends in the travel sector more generally. Most recently of course, this year we published From Chaos to Collaboration which was designed to examine to what extent travel will become more collaborative over the next decade, both in terms of how people travel, and how travel providers work together with travellers.
Have a look at all of our all of our past thought leadership papers.
This year and beyond, as well as continuing to discuss and develop key themes from our most recent report, we will also begin to think about where we take the concept of ‘thought leadership’ next, ensuring we are still adding value to our multiple stakeholders around the world. Watch this space for more details!