CEO's Message

Looking to the Future

At our annual summer conference in Orlando last month, ICHRIE Vice President Maureen Brookes discussed our new ICHRIE 2020 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Planning Committee has been working on this plan over the past year with valuable input from the recent member survey conducted by Michael O’Fallon and the Marketing Committee. Both committees are to be commended for their work and commitment to making sure the path ICHRIE follows is appropriate.

One of the important goals of our new strategic plan is to pay attention and adjust to the travel and tourism industry as it continues to grow, thrive and prosper. There is much research and evaluation done by top scholars on current trends, the ever-changing top ten industry trends and the list of future trends and predictions.

Some of the trends mentioned frequently include:

  • Although business travel—which typically accounts for somewhere around 30% of the market—appears to be returning to pre-recession levels, video conferencing (i.e., SKYPE, GoToMeeting, etc.) is making a dent on business travel decisions.
  • Online booking and check-in has and will continue to affect the number of administrative/service staff needed especially in the lodging and airline sectors.
  • There are fluctuating economic conditions worldwide and the travel and tourism industry is vulnerable to the state of the economy—when people/businesses have more money to spend on travel the industry grows.
  • Leisure travel—which typically accounts for somewhere around 20% of the market—is showing new behaviors governing leisure travel decisions. People are looking for more shared experiences with family and friends in safe, comfortable and convenient locations and there are greater demands for value and experiences. People are willing to forego travel unless the price and value are perceived as offering a quality experience.
  • We live in an increasingly connected society (websites, YouTube-type videos and mobile apps, etc.) that provides easy capabilities and control over travel planning and booking.
  • Economically and environmentally sustainable destinations designed for diverse visitor segments are predicted to show continued growth.
  • Time—and the lack thereof—is now a major driver of travel decisions. People want to make the most out of what little free time they feel they have to travel and want to compress as much as possible in their travel experiences.
  • People want bragging rights for travel to locations where it is easy to engage in, plan and do activities. Destinations need to be authentic, appealing, fun and convenient.
  • The customer is changing and there are different generational priorities. We have an aging populating with higher expectations for quality and the younger generations have travel-related priorities and goals more centered on immersing themselves with local people and cultures rather than the traditional “site seeing” type travel.
It’s clear from this wide range of often-discussed trends that there are a lot of changes currently happening in the travel and tourism industry. As we spend time looking to the future and strategically plan our actions, let’s try to stay fluid and flexible enough to adjust to both current and future trends.


Kathy McCarty

Chief Executive Officer