International Travel and Tourism to Transform Globally By 2040

Facial pattern recognition systems will control passports and boarding cards, while virtual travel experiences will be the norm by 2040, according to a new report from Allianz Partners

Toronto, ON (Dec. 10, 2019) – By the year 2040, international travel will have become a faster, easier and more ecologically sustainable activity than ever before and will also deliver a far richer traveler experience. It’s predicted that airline passenger numbers will double by that time and facial pattern recognition systems will mean our faces will become our passports and boarding passes, while virtual travel experiences, hotel rooms and museums will be commonplace. That’s according to a new report commissioned by Allianz Partners to help them prepare for the travel-related needs of their customers in the future. Allianz Partners is a world leader in B2B2C assistance and insurance solutions, delivering global protection and care, and offers dedicated travel insurance services through the Allianz Travel brand.

The Future Travel Experience’ was launched today as part of ‘The World in 2040’ futurology series. Authored by internationally renowned futurologist, Ray Hammond, it presents likely future developments and trends that will impact international travel and the traveler experience over the next 20 years.

The report identifies key trends which will, collectively, revolutionize the travel landscape by 2040:

  • Virtual & Augmented Reality — Multi-sensory virtual reality technology will allow armchair travel planners to ‘step into’ virtual hotel rooms, visit street carnivals, explore museums or walk into restaurants, from the comfort of their own living room. This trend is expected to fuel an appetite for more real-life travel, rather than hinder it.
  • Instant check-in thanks to new technology — Facial pattern recognition systems are already in experimental use at airports and within 20 years, computer systems that can reliably identify your face will be in widespread use to check-in seamlessly.
  • Hotel software assistants — While some luxury hotels will greet their guests with a human face, many business and budget hotels will use automated check-in and guidance to rooms provided by software assistants. Some hotels will even provide robotic baggage carriers to move luggage.
  • Super-fast trains — Cross-border train journeys will be smoother and much improved in many parts of the world. Computer networks and the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) will manage national and international rail networks, allowing trains to run faster and closer together. Train speed will also increase on most rail networks, with most high-speed trains running at speeds above 201 kmph (125 mph).
  • On-site 3D clothes printing — In 2040, it will be possible to send your measurements to your hotel in advance of your arrival and heavy or bulky clothes (e.g. raincoats or shoes) will have been printed out to await your arrival, reducing the amount of luggage the tourist of 2040 will have to transport. The low cost of 3D printed garments means travelers will be able to leave the clothes behind for local recycling.
  • Sustainable cruises — Cruise ships will be far more environmentally-friendly than today’s giant ocean liners. Vessels will be powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), a light fossil fuel with almost no greenhouse gas emissions, transforming cruise vacations into one of the greenest ways to travel the world. The range of cruise destinations will also continue to grow, with Asia proving particularly fertile ground.
  • Space as a regular destination — For some travelers in 2040, the world may not be enough as it may not offer a sufficiently large choice of destinations. By that time, it’s likely that tourists will be flying to and from the Moon on a regular basis as they seek the experience of seeing the Earth from space.

Commenting on the transformation expected for travelers by 2040, Ray Hammond said: “The face of travel as we know it will change dramatically over the next 20 years. Airline passenger numbers are forecast to double by that time and the travel industry is coming under increasing pressure from travelers for faster and more efficient travel experiences. By 2040, personal software assistants will be sufficiently intelligent to help travelers book their trips online and they will be able to cope with all the complexities of multi-destination travel planning in order to meet the needs of the traveler. Travel will also become more about rejuvenation, adventure, fulfilment and learning new skills rather than just ticking off places to see from a list.”

Speaking about the impact of the report for the business, Joe Mason, Chief Marketing Officer at Allianz Partners, Travel Line of Business, said: “The ‘Future Travel Experience’ report allows Allianz Partners to foresee the trends and changes in travel so we can work towards redefining travel insurance. This includes the delivery of new innovative products and services, while also building more value for our partners and customers. We are already shifting our focus from travel insurance to travel protection as we move from a reactive customer service approach to a more proactive care approach. Our customers will benefit from this shift through more responsive claims processes, more sophisticated mobile solutions, and a greater sense of safety, security, and overall well-being when Allianz Partners accompanies them throughout their journeys.

“Though some aspects of travel should be much less stressful by the year 2040, there will still be some familiar risks for travelers to contend with, along with some new ones. Unforeseen trip cancelations, delays and emergencies abroad will continue to happen, meaning that travelers will continue to need travel protection and assistance services to travel with peace of mind.”

The full ‘Future Travel Experience’ report is available to read here.

For further information on Allianz Travel please click here.


Ray Hammond discusses his predictions for future travel trends:

About the Report

‘The Future Travel Experience’ is part of ‘The World in 2040’ series from Allianz Partners Group. The series includes a number of reports, which are being released throughout 2019, focusing on what the world will look like in 2040 in the context of the Group’s specific areas of expertise: international health, assistance, automotive and travel insurance.

The content of the series is based entirely on the views and opinions of futurologist Ray Hammond, based on his experience in predicting likely future developments. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of Allianz Partners or Allianz Assistance but was commissioned as part of the Group’s commitment to proactively embrace the future. The insights and findings will be used to spark ideas, debate and conversation on what the future may look like in the context of the business; enable the Group to anticipate the needs of customers in years to come; and stay ahead of the curve in terms of understanding the trends and innovations that will impact each of the business lines and bring the Group forward into the future.

The World in 2040 series is available here.

About Futurologist Ray Hammond

Ray Hammond has almost 40 years of experience writing and speaking about the trends that will shape the future. He was awarded a U.N. Gold Medal for Services to Futurology in 2010. Ray’s long record of accurate foresight is unique in Europe and he is now living in the future he first described almost 40 years’ ago. Ray now provides keynote speeches, lectures and workshops for companies, governments and universities all over the world. He has delivered guest lectures at Oxford University’s Oxford-Martin School, CASS Business School and Lund University. Ray is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

About Allianz Partners

Allianz Partners is a world leader in B2B2C insurance and assistance, offering global solutions that span international health and life, travel insurance, automotive and assistance. Customer driven, our innovative experts are redefining insurance services by delivering future-ready, high-tech high-touch products and solutions that go beyond traditional insurance. Our products are embedded seamlessly into our partners’ businesses or sold directly to customers, and are available through four commercial brands: Allianz Assistance, Allianz Automotive, Allianz Travel and Allianz Care. Present in 76 countries, our 21,500 employees speak 70 languages, handle over 65 million cases each year, and are motivated to go the extra mile to help and protect our customers around the world.

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Source: Allianz Global Assistance Canada

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