Economic uncertainty is deemed to be the biggest challenge facing the travel industry, ahead of climate change and sustainability issues, according to new research.
A survey by Travel Technology Europe, sister brand of PhocusWire and Travel Weekly, reveals that 53% of those polled put economic conditions at the top of the list of concerns followed by sustainable travel at 45% and climate change at 44%.
The study was carried out in the run-up to the United Kingdom's general election in early December 2019, so the challenge of economic uncertainty is not that surprising.
David Chapple, group portfolio director for TTE, says: "Uncertainty aside, the findings echo increasing concerns about travel's impact on climate change as well as the need for creating sustainable travel options.
"Whilst this is a huge challenge for the industry as a whole, there is much we can do to help facilitate progress in these areas: from introducing more energy efficient technologies, to utilizing big data in order to identify patterns of behavior that contribute most to climate change."
Further issues highlighted in the study include "gaps in technological skills" in the travel industry, and three quarters of respondents went on to say that knowledge and skills gaps are key factors limiting growth.
The survey, which was completed by travel technology companies, tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers and travel management companies, also reveals that 47% say customers are asking for more "eco-friendly, sustainable travel options."
Additional findings of the research reveal that cybersecurity remains a worry, with 20% citing it as a key challenge in 2020.
The data breaches at British Airways and Marriott International and subsequent multimillion-pound fines issued by the U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office last summer are likely to be fresh in people's minds.