1 year ago

ITB Berlin News 2018 - Review Edition

  • Text
  • Berlin
  • Tourism
  • Luxury
  • Malaysia
  • Destination
  • Messe
  • Buyers
  • Cultural
  • Germany
  • Airlines

10 NEWS © Messe

10 NEWS © Messe Berlin GmbH Joel Brandon-Bravo Managing Director, Travelzoo at ITB Berlin Convention 2018 - Future Day Travelzoo and ITB Survey: 90% of Travellers are Not Yet Ready for the Future of Travel Consumers are particularly untrusting of autonomous travel, such as driverless cars, pilotless planes and passenger drones Hyperloop trains, flying on supersonic aircraft, travelling on “smart” motorways or getting from A to B in autonomous drones—when consumers hear about how travel will look in the future, they are excited, but apprehensive. This is the finding of a survey of 6,008 consumers in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, commissioned by Travelzoo in partnership with ITB Berlin. Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo General Manager, UK, presented the results of the survey at the ITB Future Day during this year’s show. How do people expect to travel in the future? In the survey, consumers were first asked about how they expect to travel in the future. Self-driving cars on ‘smart highways’ are already being tested, so it is no surprise that just over half of consumers (51%) expect to see them become the norm by 2030. This was followed by aircraft powered by alternative fuels (36%), and hyperloops (31%), both of which are already being developed by a variety of established brands and start-ups. Less than a third (28%) expect to see the return of supersonic flights in the next 12 years—this is despite Concorde proving the technology works, and claims from manufacturers like Boom Supersonic that flights will begin by 2022. Travellers are strongly aligned on the benefits of such new technologies, with nearly three quarters (74%) agreeing that the expected reduction in emissions, congestion and reliance on traditional fuel sources will improve the environment. Many also highlight anticipated faster travel times (88%) and reducing the stress of travel (63%) as benefits. Why are consumers untrusting of these future ways of travelling? When it comes to pilotless aircraft or autonomous, passengercarrying drones, consumers are far more cautious in their expectations around adoption. Only one in five (20%) believe they will become the norm by 2030. Indeed, such is the scepticism, that a significantly higher percentage (38%) state they’d prefer to risk teleportation, a technology that doesn’t even exist yet, to get to or from their holiday. Confidence in autonomous flight technology is very low among respondents. Just 7% admit to a preference to use it compared to aircraft powered by “alternative” fuels (32%) or a supersonic jet (31%). Overall, more than three quarters (76%) of consumers would not trust driverless or pilotless technology enough to travel in it, and 78% of travellers state they would be “very” or “quite” worried about its safety and reliability (compared to 55% for both supersonic aircraft and hyperloops). Consumers do not want to pay “much more” Consumers are concerned that new forms of travel will only be available to a few to enjoy. Eight out of ten believe they’ll be a luxury only a few can afford, and 60% doubt they would make travel more affordable. Only 4% of respondents state they are prepared to pay ‘much more’ than they do now for their holiday travel—this is not good news when Travelzoo @ ITB Berlin 2018 enormous upfront development and infrastructure costs will need to be met. By transport type, consumers tend to associate speed with desirability, demonstrating a slight readiness to pay out “much more” for hyperloops (an average of 7% in France, Germany and Spain) and supersonic flights (10% in the UK, 17% in the USA) according to the survey, which were both forms of transport they also associate most with perceptions of luxury and convenience. However, where automation has removed the need for human expertise or skill—such as pilotless aircraft or driverless cars—travellers are clear that they expect to pay less for using such modes of travel in the future, and so the industry needs to take note © Messe Berlin GmbH ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

NEWS 11 AIRBNB PLUS IS AIMED AT THOSE CUSTOMERS THAT WANT AN ELEVATED SENSE OF CERTAINTY Nathan Blecharczyk co-founder and chief strategy officer, Airbnb In an exclusive interview, Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief strategy officer, spoke to ITB Berlin News about key markets a decade of impressive expansion. We started by asking about the accommodation group’s recent rapid growth. Airbnb is in 81,000 different cities. We have 4.5 million homes already. The number of homes on Airbnb has grown 50% over the last year. And there is still a lot of momentum in the business. Even after 10 years, we’re still seeing remarkable growth and I’d expect to see another good year. What about the challenge of doing business in cities like Berlin, which has banned the rental of entire apartments to tourists through Airbnb and its competitors? In Berlin, where it has been very strict, we’re seeing positive movement. The backdrop is 400 cities around the world have changed their policies to accommodate house sharing – with guard rails of course. We certainly want to be a good partner to cities that we are building a lot of business in. Airbnb Celebrates 10 Years Since its Evolution WE ARE GOING DEEPER INTO CERTAIN KEY MARKETS Rural stays are a growing area for Airbnb, how is business in this space? In rural areas we have actually added capacity that really didn’t exist – in a lot of rural areas there simply are no hotels, there is no place to stay, so people are putting their homes up on Airbnb. Last year, we drove billion in visitor stays across 11 countries in rural areas. You were recently given a second title of Chairman of Airbnb China. What can you tell us about your business in China? I spend a lot of time in China developing our business there. We have an office in Beijing with more than 150 full-time employees. China is a big, competitive market, so we’ve been investing a lot into our success there and seeing a lot of good results too, but for outbound travel (Chinese travellers spend the most on international tourism globally) the numbers are pretty staggering. China is a big opportunity, we have 175,000 homes in China. What’s next from Airbnb? Over the last 10 years, we have served 300 million guests; looking ahead we’re thinking how can we get to a billion visitors, how do we get to those that have not used Airbnb? We have made a series of announcements, the biggest of which is what we call Airbnb Plus, which are basically homes that are verified in-person for comfort and quality. The inspection team works to a 100-point inspection list, which includes things like the bedding, the kitchen being well-stocked, and the bathroom being clean. Airbnb Plus is now live in 13 markets and 2000 homes; over the course of the year we will expand that to 50 markets and 75,000 homes. We have seen a lot of interest amongst our host community. In the two weeks since launch, 12,000 hosts have applied to be in the Plus programme. Airbnb Plus is aimed at those customers that want an elevated sense of certainty. We are customising what we can offer for business travellers and families. What is your strategy for providing accommodation for diverse groups such as business travellers and families? We are launching something called Collections. We have the Airbnb For Work Collection and the Airbnb For Families Collection, and we’ll be launching a total of nine Collections over the course of 2018. Each Collection has offerings tailored to that audience – for example, For Work will include things like hosts with flexible cancellation policies; self check-in, so you can arrive any time of the day or night; a desk to sit at work; and reliable Wi-Fi ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

ITB Berlin News