In an effort to determine how we will travel and spend our free time twenty years from now, online travel and leisure firm lastminute.com commissioned a report from the Future Foundations think tank. Patrick Hoffstetter, lastminute.com vice president, said, “We all have a natural inclination to travel and explore, but the travel industry must remain innovative and embrace technology to remain exciting for a younger generation.” The concern is that continuing innovations in technology may already be creating a generation that feels travel is best done virtually from the comfort of home.
The report found that while out-of-home leisure activities fell during the recession, spending on in-home electronics have increased 250% since 2000. It predicts that out-of-home leisure will eventually recover, but in-home leisure will increase at an even faster rate. “Perhaps worryingly, a new generation will reject travel altogether in favor of gaming, social networking and ‘always on’ media,” the report states. “As in-home leisure is becoming more engaging, a group of young people will emerge who do not go out any more.”
Patricia Yates, of travel organization Visit Britain, sees early indications of this:
Japan is quite a worry. You would think that real life experience is so much better than sitting at home playing around with it, how can they not see that? But that is a real trend we’ve seen in Japan. What if kids decide that they’re going to stay at home and play on their computer rather than go out and explore the world?
Video of Judith from the Future Foundation discussing the report:
More of the report’s (dystopian?) vision:
As in-home leisure is becoming more engaging, a group of young people will emerge who do not go out any more. Rather than travel, this group of Go-Nowhere-Gamers prefer to transfer their lives into the home, playing computer games and watching interactive 3D TV. They will find out-of-home activity too “action-poor.” Rather than take a weekend break in Europe together with friends, Go-Nowhere-Gamers might wander on an imaginary planet together.
Will we even recognize NileGuide in 2030?