Friday, 21 December 2018
Travel Counsellors Regional Managing Director and all-round industry veteran Kaylene Shuttlewood has witnessed the travel industry undergo many changes over the years. Always with one eye on the future, here Kaylene shares four trends that she believes will shape the industry in the years to come:
More people will join the home-working revolution
High speed internet and technology such as Skype has empowered many people to work from home. More than just a novelty, Kaylene sees this trend continuing to grow well into the future. With more and more people reaping the benefits of working from home, Kaylene predicts that home-based enterprises will become more mainstream soon.
“In the UK, the number of homeworkers has increased by 45% over the past 15 years across all industries. Of that number about 30% are self-employed. This covers some three million people in the UK. Of course, Australia’s population is a lot smaller, but the trend is being replicated in Australia also,” says Kaylene.
Millennials will continue to change the way we work
Kaylene believes that the expectation of commuting into an office space or retail store to work set, rostered hours is officially outdated. Entrepreneurial Millennials are adept at finding work/life balance and more comfortable with facing the challenges that come with running a business from home, so are primed to embrace the shift in the way we work.
“Right now, Millennials are really driving the demand for flexible or alternative work schedules. The Travel Counsellors business model provides great opportunities for agents who want to set their own hours and work in a way that suits them,” Kaylene explains.
Emerging destinations will grow in popularity
When it comes to travel trends, Kaylene sees emerging tourist destinations taking off with Australian travellers who’ve already seen more established regions and want to see somewhere new. As more and more people travel around the globe, Australian travellers will be looking to find out-of-the-ordinary places that aren’t as crowded as the enduring travel mainstays.
As a big fan of Oman, Kaylene expects more Aussies to be heading there in the next few years as they seek new frontiers to explore.
“I went to Oman a few years ago with a group of agents and just loved it. Someone described it to me as Dubai 20 years ago, and they’re right. There’s not that many tourists visiting Oman in comparison to other destinations in the region, so it’s not crowded. The people are very friendly and there’s so much to do. Four-wheel driving out in the desert and seeing the spectacular, untouched scenery up in the mountains are my top picks. Then there’s the fantastic five and six-star resorts and hotels, so there’s decadent accommodation options,” says Kaylene.
Relationship-based business models will thrive
The digital age has enabled a wide raft of changes in the travel industry, but there’s still no replacement for good customer service and genuine human connections. Kaylene believes that consumers are increasingly drawn to bespoke, tailored services when booking travel.
Kaylene explains: “The Travel Counsellors culture and technology enablement really allows us to have a relationship-based business model. Our focus on caring for Travel Counsellors who, in turn, care for their customers, has got unlimited potential in Australia and beyond.”