The 2022 conference theme

After more than two years of fits, starts and stumbles, the travel industry is resurgent. Flights are at capacity, occupancy and room rates are soaring, and some markets and segments will equal or eclipse their pre-pandemic highs this year. Millions of travelers are venturing out, delighted to finally explore much more than their own backyards.

But as travelers unleash themselves upon the globe, make no mistake: Travel may be back, but it’s far from smooth sailing. Record fuel prices and unchecked inflation could be a drag on recovery, and a labor shortage threatens to play spoilsport with travelers’ ambitious plans. While these headwinds haven’t yet deterred consumers from allocating their travel dollars, people have grown more discerning when assessing their options. The battle for this undaunted and demanding audience will be fiercer than ever.

At the same time, a fundamental shift in the travel landscape is afoot, marking a perilous path for some industry players and an uncommon opportunity for others. Powerful privacy protections and the emergence of more sophisticated tools are giving Travelers unprecedented control over when, where and how they go. And with consumers now making choices to safeguard the environment and support brands and destinations that pay more than just lip service to equity and inclusion, the power will soon rest squarely with the people. If the businesses that travelers previously relied upon fall short on delivering the content and value they expect, no biggie: there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Of course, the biggest fish – from long-time segment leaders to mammoth intermediaries – still wield enormous influence and seem to get bigger every day. These Titans of travel are not going away anytime soon, but their response to the new traveler-centric landscape could mean the difference between continued dominance and scrambling to remain relevant.

Even as the Titans choose whether to stay the course or boldly welcome and even fuel the change, they are being challenged by the Trailblazers. These nimble players are leveraging new technologies, empowering travelers with the content, tools and enhanced service levels they now demand, and in doing so are gaining their trust and potentially their loyalty. With Web 3.0 ready to democratize the internet and transfer more control to individuals, adopting a head-in-the-sand approach is risky, if not ruinous.

Staying on the sidelines is not an option as this reshaped dynamic comes into focus. We invite you to join us at The Phocuswright Conference in November, as Travelers, Titans and Trailblazers assemble to chart the future of our steadfast but always-evolving industry. Register now.

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