'Asian travellers may make 1/3rd of travel spend by 2020'

'Asian travellers may make 1/3rd of travel spend by 2020' Dubai: Asian travellers are likely to account for one third of the world's travel spend by 2020 as mid-size cities in emerging markets -- mainly in India and China -- will account for 40 percent of global economic growth, according to a report.

The report, by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Futures Company, also identifies the trends set to shape the next 10 years of travel as well as the new categories of travellers that are emerging.

Some 400 largely unknown midsize cities in emerging markets - predominantly China and India - will generate 40 percent of global economic growth over the next decade and beyond, the report said.

"This report shows how the world of travel is constantly evolving and identifies the trends that are set to influence the industry over the next 10 years," Richard Solomons, IHG Chief Executive said.

Some of the strongest growth of IHG is likely to be seen in secondary and tertiary cities that aren't yet on the hot lists of the world's travelling population such as Chengdu, Hainan, Xian and Nanjing in China, and Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad in India.

Half of the hotels IHG plans to develop in the future now come from emerging markets such as Greater China. IHG has more than 50,000 rooms under development in this region- more than any competitor.

The report also highlights the challenge for the travel industry of paradoxically balancing an increased guest preference for independence on the one hand with a desire for hyper-personalisation for other guests.

IHG said in India, its hotel Crowne Plaza is rolling out mobile check-in from December, 2013. The service will eventually become a brand standard, giving guests what they want and enabling staff to handle fewer transactions so they can focus on more meaningful guest interactions, it said.

In China, IHG has launched a new international hotel brand catering specifically for the needs of Chinese travellers, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts.

PTI