There’s a reality show on TV that I sometimes find myself retreating to after work, Treehouse Masters. Now, these aren’t the treehouses I remember from youth, but quiet little bungalows offering a luxurious sanctuary of escape with commanding, unforgettable views. Often master treehouse builder and host, Pete Nelson, will travel the world and explore other chalets suspended high among the canopy of trees for creative inspiration where guests can turn off technology, and escape from everyday stress. So, how does a show about treehouses connect to today’s travel landscape? Allow me to explain.
When you look around, tourism continues to be a key socio-economic driver. Just look at these figures recently reported by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). International tourism now represents 7% of the world’s exports in goods and services, up from 6% in 2014, and has grown faster than world trade over the past 4 years. Also, the number of international tourists continues to increase with the overall number of travelers forecasted to grow from 1186 million in 2015 –– up 4.6% or 52 million over the previous year –– to 1.8 billion in 2030. For 2015, over half (53%) of visits were for leisure purposes or 632 million with some 14% of all international travel being for business and professional functions. Additionally, expenditures by international tourists on accommodations, food and drink, entertainment, shopping and other services and goods reached US$ 1260 billion (euro 1136 billion) in 2015, marking a 4.4% increase over 2014. All of these figures are impossible to ignore when anticipating the growing demand for quality lodging.
Furthermore, thanks to the ever-evolving Internet and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, the way people discover and book travel has dramatically changed. Industry innovators, like Sabre, are developing new ways to serve travel agencies and its agent’s alternative accommodation choices and travel experiences. Not only is technology disrupting the way this inventory of lodging is being delivered to travelers, travel industry innovators are also creating entirely new forms of inventory where selection goes well beyond hotel chains.
What’s driving this change away from traditional hotels? There is a myriad of factors at work: overall growth in the number of travelers, reality travel shows, just like the one I mentioned above, travel magazines revealing hidden destinations and faraway resorts, social and the emergence of companies like Airbnb. Gaining popularity among travelers is the idea of staying in apartments, castles, ice hotels and yes, treehouses. All of these dynamics have created an alternative accommodation option in the consumer mind and are driving the demand for having all forms of inventory. In other words, travelers are on a quest to seek out and find new adventures –– places of escape.
As accommodation options continue to evolve, travelers are no longer confined to hotels. For travel agencies, accommodation choices must be part of creating the ultimate travel experience. In response, Sabre’s Lodging Ground and Sea (LGS) makes it easy for travel agencies to access and book a full breadth of unique properties worldwide, bringing agents an unparalleled level of content and choice to meet travelers’ different accommodation preferences. Today, over 425,000 agents consume Sabre content worldwide, and more than 50% of travel management companies rely on Sabre for corporate travel bookings. Selection goes far beyond hotel chains to include full-service resorts and spas, B&Bs, small inns, boutique hotels, lodges, serviced apartments and other places off the beaten path to meet this growing industry demand. Overall, Sabre provides access to over 750,000 unique properties through its travel marketplace and network of hotel aggregators. Its powerful suite of APIs distributes properties across a variety of platform solutions to agencies, travel managers and travelers 24/7/365.
Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. Travel isn’t about escaping life, but a window of time for life not to escape us. It’s about connecting people with places that create lasting impressions. Having the right technology systems and ecosystem of lodging can take us there. That’s why Sabre is deeply committed to developing solutions that help travelers get to any place they desire to go –– even if it’s a peaceful treehouse in some faraway corner of the world.