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Max NajarFrom mid-2024, we should expect other Cruise companies to follow the Virgin Voyage example of fewer buffet meals but more A-La-Carte and kiosk style served meals, no tipping policies, complimentary soft drinks, enhanced public areas and either a no-kids policy or similar segregations as more cruise passengers look for differentials between Cruise lines.

We should expect more Government investments, with ATIA supporting recommendations into quality Travel Agency, Hospitality and Tourism courses via TAFE, Colleges and Universities to allow new entrants to fulfil educational qualifications to begin their new professions. These can all be expected to encompass new levels of services, AI and VR technology that will be linked with relevant professional service fees as new entrants will be wiser as the travel, tourism and hospitality industry is injected with new blood.

Travel Insurance premiums will skyrocket from April as costs of dealing with the claimable payouts for Australian and International natural disasters, Greece fires, Volcano issues, and Middle East and eastern European claims are made, as the underwriters do their mathematical risk factors. No matter what transpires, reading and accepting an insurer’s PDS inclusions and exclusions will become even more critical. Importantly a 24 x 7 Afterhours English speaking “real-time” call Centre who deliver quality services supported by a human travel advisor at the other end will be also an important factor!

The Najareum Theorem © of “Sway Power” Simply Wisk Away Yield will resurface again, as the term will undoubtedly apply against airlines and suppliers who wish to compete (in many ways underhandedly) against their so-called industry partners as the travel advisor may use “Sway Power” and transfer bookings to competitors with the blessing of their clients. The enormity of the volumes of money using this ability should never be underestimated. You cannot be a genuine and sincere partner in business if you also blatantly compete against them simultaneously!

I expect good consumer benefits to be offered as some major -many unexpected – mergers of Airlines occur, improved baggage tracing apps, an expansion of the SKY TEAM Network and a late revival in the eroded QANTAS reputation will be evident as a new Qantas Management team of investors and experts fill vacating voids.

Unfortunately, I foresee significant increases in the cost of travel to highly visited places in Europe, Antarctica, Africa, Polar regions, Middle Eastern archeological sites, and areas of Chile, Peru and Mexico as new taxes or levies are applied to restrict the number of weekly travellers. New taxes, new levy fee names and categories will be applied, such as the new European Schengen (delayed) tax, new “High Season” and “Summer “fees are applied with new names like “Tourism levy”, “Tour  Capping”,” City” and  “Sustainability levy” names appear.

In the early 1990s, I experimented with virtual reality (VR) in its infancy. Although essential, I imagined a future within the travel industry to adopt this concept as part of the consultation mix. Imagine an “Educational” recorded in 3D nowadays or a professional VR of a specific destination, Airline cabin, Cruise Cabin, or Hotel room VR episode. I can see the future travel advisor having privy access to VR episodes that they can refer to or on-sell at a nominal price to a client to then progress into purchasing travel components that will deliver real-life, physical delivery of what they experienced via VR. The next step is only a few years away, with some agents adding a room that produces vibrations, smells, and emotional lighting to enhance the VR experience further!

Expect an increased demand to advise and book high-quality 5-star travel, with experienced travellers taking more risks into areas on their bucket list, experiencing higher quality air travel, upgrades into executive Hotel rooms, securing suites on cruise cabins, requesting private escorted touring or linking into smaller more expensive tour groups a need to feel secure and comfortable to deal with experienced travel advisors who can deliver 24 x 7 servicing.

Get ready to witness a massive opening of new destinations worldwide as countries awaken to the logic that new money, new purchases, and new taxes can be collected via a thing called “tourism” that also leads to commercial business investments into that same destination. To support this, new infrastructures, new or improved Airports, wharves, accommodation, roads, transport, and tour guides will need to be invested locally with a local Government investment also into the food and transport industry. Destinations like Greenland, South Korea, Albania, Slovenia, Malta, the Maldives, parts of South America and Madeira come to mind.

More seamless and less cumbersome travel ergonomics will be the aim of IATA, ATIA, WTAAA and Government agencies, as I believe that many countries will work with Immigration and customs offices plus Interpol in their mutually beneficial quest to reduce the necessity to apply for cumbersome Visa to enter various countries. Expect the use of AI and face recognition technology with the adoption of a more streamlined and technologically advanced Security screening process, with a new fee added to flight and cruise tickets, as the human demand screams for this to happen.

Hopefully, a new “Mentoring” platform to develop and be used by new travel industry applicants to respect and extract the experience, knowledge and IP from mature and experienced hands-on Directors and Managers will evolve as they decide to depart the industry. This is critical as their talents and IP should not be lost. It would be a shame to lose the decades of experience already known in resolving issues, creating chronological itineraries, and dealing with problems and demands that only humans can solve. No amount of AI or VR can replace 100% of what the human brain holds in thoughts, emotions, and other sensory abilities.




Written by: Max Najar