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10 Takeaways from Skift Global Forums That Transformed the Travel Industry

Skift Global Forums have long been recognized as a leading platform for travel professionals and industry experts to converge, discuss, and shape the future of the travel industry. Over the past decade, these forums have witnessed numerous groundbreaking insights and ideas that have transformed the way we think about and experience travel.

Here are 10 takeaways….

The Rise of Experiential Travel:

Skift Global Forums highlighted the shift from a passive traveler to an experience-seeking adventurer. Travelers now crave authentic, immersive experiences, focusing on local cultures, unique activities, and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Hear from Intrepid’s Co-Founder, Darrell Wade, talk “Reinventing the Business of Tours for Experiential Travel,” explored how tours and activities have evolved to include authentic experiences travelers demand and expect at the 2015 Skift Global Forum here.

Embracing Technology:

Forums highlighted the pivotal role of technology in enhancing travel experiences. From AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to personalized recommendations and seamless booking platforms, technology has transformed the way we research, plan, and undertake our journeys.

The thing I love the most about Skift is not finding out what the big air carriers are doing and that kind of thing. But it’s what’s going on in technology and how these systems are coming together. (And) the next generation technology that’s going to power the travel industry.

Tyler Morse, Chairman and CEO of MCR Hotels at Skift Global Forum 2021

Personalization and Data Analytics:

Skift Global Forums emphasized the power of personalization in the travel industry. By leveraging data analytics, companies can gain indispensable perspectives into customer preferences and behaviors, allowing them to tailor their offerings and deliver personalized experiences. Our Skift researchers have provided invaluable insights and essential revelations over the years. Take a look back at our Senior Analyst, Seth Borko, at Skift Global Forum 2022 here.

Mobile Revolution:

With the exponential growth of smartphones, mobile devices have become the go-to travel companions. Our Global Forums recognized this trend early on, focusing on the importance of mobile-friendly websites, mobile bookings, and the development of travel apps that enhance the overall travel experience.

Sustainable Tourism:

The travel industry has made significant strides in embracing sustainability. Skift Global Forums played a key role in driving this change by emphasizing the importance of responsible tourism practices, reducing carbon footprints, and supporting local communities.

The destination is not the servant; it’s your teacher,

Dr. Mordecai Ogada. Dr. Ogada at Skift Global Forum 2022

Changing Business Models:

The rise of online travel agencies (OTAs) and metasearch engines has transformed the way travel companies operate. Our Forums highlighted the importance of adapting business models to meet the evolving needs and expectations of modern travelers. Hear Booking Holdings CEO, Glenn Fogel, at Skift Global Forum 2022 discuss how his company has handled the changing needs and expectations from his clients here.

The Importance of Gen Z and Millennial Travelers:

Forums recognized the influence of the younger generation on the travel industry. Skift Global Forums emphasized the need to understand and cater to the preferences of Gen Z and Millennial travelers, who prioritize experiences, sustainability, and authentic connections.

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The Great Merging:

Skift Forums explored the concept of “The Great Merging,” acknowledging the convergence of industries like travel, hospitality, and technology, leading to innovative collaborations and integrated experiences that have reshaped the travel industry landscape.

Business travel is not going to be about that sales meeting. It’s going to be about much more meaningful bonding and longer trips.

Brian Chesky Skift Global Forum 2022

The Evolution of Social Media:

Skift Global Forums highlighted the role of social media as a powerful tool for marketing, brand building, and engaging with travelers. Forums explored strategies for leveraging social media platforms to connect with customers and drive bookings.

Traveler Well-being and Health:

The COVID-19 pandemic brought traveler health and well-being to the forefront. Skift Global Forums explored the implementation of health protocols, increased safety measures, and the importance of building trust and confidence among travelers.

Skift Global Forums are a catalyst for change in the travel industry, bringing together thought leaders and visionaries who have revolutionized the way we travel.

Get in on the action – join us in New York City for our TENTH edition on September 26-28, 2023. Details here.