In the Asia Pacific region, exciting developments are taking place - Singapore has just been selected as the host for the first-ever Youth Olympic games, preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India are underway, and a number of massive integrated resorts have been springing up in the region.
Key to the exponential growth of travel in the region is the increasingly affluent middle class, which represents an enormous engine for growth - PhocusWright calculates that India’s middle class will number over 100 million by the end of 2010. China’s share of the pie cannot be understated either. Events like the Beijing Olympics 2008 have seen the country take a prominent place on the global stage.
Global warming has reached a crisis point, and, with media attention and the many natural disasters suffered in Asia-Pacific and worldwide, the world is finally paying attention.
However, it seems that the travel industry, particularly airlines, has been earmarked as a major culprit of carbon emissions. It is true that airlines do contribute to carbon emissions, but one has to remember that there are other companies outside of the travel industry that are equally, if not more, contaminating, but are seen as vital to society, and therefore attract less attention.
The rise of Web 2.0 -is also set to profoundly change travel consumption patterns. It stands for the concept of a second generation of web-based communities and hosted services such as social-networking sites, wikis and blogs, which aim to facilitate interactivity, collaboration, and sharing among users. This means that consumers are increasingly the producers of technology, networking and sharing information and products.
With the advent of Web 2.0, the ability of travellers to share their experiences and review travel providers has revolutionalised the travel industry.
2007 was a big year in travel in the Asia Pacific region, and it seems 2008 will continue the tradition of change.