Every time I walk into an electrical store I am drawn like a moth towards the big bright screens of the latest television sets (or “plasmas” as my 3 year old son refers to them because his lexicon is formed around the means of delivery of content rather than the content itself….like “where’s the i-pad Dad?” or “Can I use your handset?” etc.).

It’s the sharpness of image on these giant plasmas that amazes me and the fact that, if I want to invest a large percentage of my annual salary, I can have it in three Dimensions too…ooh, it’s gonna be soon in the Tilstone household for sure! And it seems all the best films these days require me to don a pair of Elvis-Costello-style spectacles to max out of the graphic effects (although secretly I think they suit me and I look rather dashing).

So, it’s no surprise that 3D is something that’s going to dramatically affect our travel experience in the years to come. But don’t worry, I haven’t gone crazy…I’m not suggesting for one minute that watching The Hobbit with 3D glasses in-flight is one of our major concerns in this sector. No, I’m referring to Data, Distribution and Demand….for these are the 3 D’s affecting our lives right now and which will shape our future.

The rise in use of data in business has been the backbone of evolving business strategy in the last twenty or so years. With information technology’s incredible ability to auto-collect such in-depth data on shopping and user behaviour, the strategic process of organisations has become much more focused on what the data tells us. And the ever-changing world of distribution will still feature heavily in the year ahead, with relationships between those who manage the distribution of products and services in this sector constantly changing and the style in which services are presented evolving at an ever increasing pace across all channels. With these two, we throw in the changes to demand, with GBTA’s figures showing nearly double-digit growth in key parts of the world, and stagnation in others, meaning that travel programmes now need to be geared for a two speed approach.

Understanding the influences of data, distribution and demand in 2013 is going to be the key, so don your 3D glasses and make sure you can see the whole picture!