The global travel industry is perhaps one of the biggest backbones that help support businesses and social-economic prosperity. Statistics show that the multi trillion-dollar air travel and tourism industry ferried an annual average of about 1.19 billion passengers in 2016, a figure expected to grow to about 1.8 billion passengers by 2030. Research and development in the sector is leading to the birth and growth of new startups, designed to make the industry operationally effective and efficient. Here is an overview of the top travel startups today.
AirBuy was launched in 2017 in Massachusetts as a startup platform that allows travelers, online travel agencies, airlines, and airports to optimize their duty-free purchases as well as revenues. The platform gives travelers a personalized service where they can log in and pre-order duty-free items in available duty-free shops in airports before arrival. The full-fledged platform allows passengers to pay for the items through their e-wallet and have the items pre-shipped to a convenient place to pick up upon arrival at the airport.
HeyCars is a platform launched in 2016 and is designed to allow travelers to book cab services to facilitate airport transfers. The service is designed to offer 24/7 customer service at the airport and can have passengers pre-arrange and book their cab services days before they arrive.
Timeshifter is a Danish tech startup designed as an app suitable to help passengers who travel long distances to reduce the impacts of jet lag. The application is designed to prompt the user to adhere to a specific routine, especially immediately before boarding, during the actual travel, and after arrival. One can, for instance, recommend a traveler to stay awake or sleep, contrary to his or her usual routine.
Qiantech is a Chinese travel startup designed to use artificial intelligence and augmented reality to give travelers and tourists an exceptional experience as far as navigation of tourist attraction sites is concerned. The augmented reality system is particularly useful in parks and museums and allows tourists to immerse into a dynamic environment while viewing displayed items from an entirely new angle.
If you are interested in getting your MBA, there have been many changes to business schools and their programs in the past five years (i.e. online MBAs). It is beneficial to not only get as much information as you can on the programs that meet your criteria, but also on the business (and international business) landscape. Here are some business school trends you can expect for this year.
- Specialized MBAs — There will be new areas of specialization for MBAs, including entrepreneurship, luxury management and analytics. Also, since there are more startups popping up in Europe and Asia, there will be a focus on studying in these areas, particularly in India.
- Growth in Europe — Due to Brexit, there will be additional growth in Europe. Students with global interests should look into studying in the United Kingdom because Brexit will position this region to support new business opportunities (i.e. startups).
- A Decline in US Applications — There is a decreasing number of applications in the United States, especially international students, because of the ongoing immigration issue. Also, the United States economy is strong, which is keeping potential applicants at their jobs as well as providing opportunities at work. Lastly, the price of an MBA is off-putting to many, and financial aid is very low.
- An Increase MBA Hires — Experts predict more corporate acquisitions and mergers due to current low corporate tax rates. This means corporations will have more money to reinvest, pay out bonuses, invest in other companies … etc. Thus, the market will be ripe for MBA graduates to meet the needs of banks and private equity firms.
- Educational Technology — There are online MBA programs, which deliver MBA courses and materials to meet students’ hectic schedules. But, there is new technology for the MBA classroom, specifically gamification. Gamification gives students a real-world perspective of owning a business via a business simulation. Students play roles in running a business, which increases learning and engagement.
- Amazon’s Hiring of MBAs — Since Amazon stock has dropped, this does not bode well for MBAs. The reason: Amazon is the single largest employer of MBAs according to Poets & Quants. The Trump Administration is pursuing antitrust charges against Amazon. This could be disruptive to Amazon’s hiring of MBAs, and can even affect employees at the e-commerce giant.
It is important to be aware of these trends, but they should not deter you from your MBA goal.
Originally published at sabahmikhajr.com on February 21, 2019.