Future demographic and social trends will influence tourism demand to the year 2000 and beyond. Demographic trends, such as ageing populations in the major generating countries and the declining number of young people, are particularly important.
Demographic trends are mixed up with the social trends which lead to late marriage, couples having children in later life and increased number of single child and childless-couple households.
In the Third World, growing labour force will lead to immigration to the developed world and the growth of knowledge and interest in other countries will see a convergence of lifestyles worldwide.
With increased level of education, these trends will give people more time, resources and inclination to travel. This will be encouraged by the growth and spread of discretionary incomes and the liberalisation of trade on an international scale. It is beneficial for tourism in India.
In the late 1980s we saw a change of the political map of the world, and this has a number of implications for tourism. The fall of communism has led to expansion of tourism because huge numbers thronged to see the outside world.
The emergence of market economy in Eastern Europe and the opening of the borders will pave the way for East European countries to participate more fully in travel movements, particularly to western countries.
Already Hungary has become a leading international destination for tourism and other parts of Eastern Europe will become important destinations as travel restrictions are eased. It will benefit tourism in India.
Tourism is highly dependent upon transport technology and the consequent improvements in efficiency and safety of travel.
Although it is generally accepted that total deregulation of the international airline industry is not practical, the trend towards deregulation will continue in 1990s in Europe.
In the US deregulation has led to domination by a small number of larger airlines—a trend which is emerging in other sectors of the tourism industry.
Forecasts of international transport over the next 10 years predict that technological developments, increased airline efficiency and labour productivity savings will offset any rises in aviation fuel prices and thus fares will continue to fall.
This will support the continued trend towards long haul travel. P.M. Atal Bihari Bajpai’s project of development of road transport in India will benefit tourism in India.
Despite the focus on air transport, most tourism journeys are by car. Continued development of highway network, developments of car technology and improved fuel efficiency will all make motoring cheaper and more attractive.
It is believed that by the year 2005 there will be gradual switch away from air to surface transport.
There are other variables which also influence the future of tourism. These include the changing value systems of the consumers as well as global warming.
The raising of the earth’s temperature and the consequent rise in sea level will affect tourism to India’s advantage because we are adopting environment friendly approach.
Human behavior too is a threat to tourism as the spread of AIDS may render some otherwise attractive destinations no-go areas; increasing incidence of skin cancer may reverse the fashion for a suntan; and disease in some parts of the world decreasing levels of safety will constrain the uninhabited expansion of tourism. Since we are trying India disease free to stimulate tourism in India.
Advances in computer reservations will allow individual holiday-makers to select their destinations, accommodation and flights, put together their own packages, book and pay for the booking by direct debit to their bank account, all without leaving their armchair. The ability to book from home would suggest a rise in impulse booking, coupled with a decline in traditional patterns of advance booking.
If consumers can package their own holidays at home at the push of a button, it could make the task of operator and travel agent redundant. We are progressing very well in this area, therefore, tourism will benefit from it in future.
Some futurologists have predicted that there will be no need to travel away from home in the twenty-first century. Holographs are capable of reproducing an environment artificially, so that we will be able to recreate in the home any environment of our choosing in order to ‘experience’ foreign travel.