Tourism and hospitality are on a journey of disruption, says McKinsey

Shifting source markets and destinations, growing demand for experiential and luxury travel, and innovative business strategies are all combining to dramatically alter the industry landscape

May 30, 2024

There’s no doubt people still love to travel and will continue to seek new experiences in new places. But where will travelers come from, and where will they go? McKinsey developed a snapshot of current traveler flows, along with estimates for growth through 2030.

Key takeaways

  • The bulk of travel is close to home: Although international travel might draw headlines, stakeholders shouldn’t neglect the big opportunities in their backyards. Domestic travel still represents the bulk of travel spending, and intraregional tourism is on the rise.
  • Consumers increasingly prioritize travel - when it’s on their own terms: Interest in travel is booming, but travelers are no longer content with a one-size-fits-all experience. Individual personalization might not always be practical, but savvy industry players can use segmentation and hypothesis-driven testing to improve their value propositions. Those that fail to articulate target customer segments and adapt their offerings accordingly risk getting left behind.
  • The face of luxury travel is changing: Demand for luxury tourism and hospitality is expected to grow faster than any other travel segment today - particularly in Asia. It’s crucial to understand that luxury travelers don’t make up a monolith. Segmenting by age, nationality, and net worth can reveal varied and evolving preferences and behaviors.
  • Source markets are shifting: Although established source markets continue to anchor global travel, Eastern Europe, India, and Southeast Asia are all becoming fast-growing sources of outbound tourism;
  • The destinations of the future may not be the ones you imagine: Alongside enduring favorites, places that weren’t on many tourists’ maps are finding clever ways to lure international travelers and establish themselves as desirable destinations.
  • As tourism grows, destinations will need to prepare to mitigate overcrowding: Destinations need to be ready to handle the large tourist flows of tomorrow. Now is the time for stakeholders to plan, develop, and invest in mitigation strategies. Equipped with accurate assessments of carrying capacities and enhanced abilities to gather and analyze data, destinations can improve their transportation and infrastructure, build tourism-ready workforces, and preserve their natural and cultural heritages.

Download the full report at McKinsey

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