Trends in Travel: A Behind-the-Scenes Look with the Industry’s Experts

Julie Claeys | February 9, 2018

From executives to sales, business travel continues to be an important element of many of today’s job roles. In fact, total spend reached almost $1.3 trillion in 2016 and is forecasted to increase more than six percent this year, according to research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). But – driven by continued advancements in technology, changes in traveller behavior and expectations, and the ever-blurring line between business and leisure – business travel (and travel in general) is in a state of transition.

We recently teamed up with Skift to go behind the scenes at its 2017 Global Forum in New York City and speak with industry travel experts about the most important trends they’re focusing on in 2018. Areas that were top of mind included, traveller experience, next-gen hospitality, the evolution of online travel, airline innovation and the future of tourism. Key insights revealed, include:


“There are a number of trends that are underway about how travel is changing. I think one about business travellers particularly, is the line between leisure and business travel is either disappearing or becoming fuzzier. And, increasingly what we are seeing is that people are combining those trips.”

Arnie Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott

“For us, the traveller experience is very important…we are working a lot around personalization…we are trying to have this personalization, taking into account all the concerns that the corporations have, and give to the end-user the best experience of using our tool.”

Roxana Bressy, CEO, KDS

“One of the trends that I’m seeing in the travel industry is the incredible importance of a phone. And we know that started some years ago – everybody’s booking things on the phone. But, even more so, they are using the phone for so many different things and they’re going to use it for more things in the future…the phone is going to become the center for everything.”

Glenn Fogel, CEO, Priceline Group

“There’s so much happening in technology that is disrupting travel…we do think that blockchain is going to have an impact…blockchain will be to travel what the internet was to travel.”

Bonny Simi, President, JetBlue Technology Ventures

“One of the biggest trends is a trend I’ve been seeing, which is using technology to create better experiences for customers. So, in a sense, mass-personalisation.”

Christopher Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton Worldwide


Curious to learn more? Visit the Skift Take Studio to view all the behind-the-scenes conversations.