Forces of Change Shaping the Future of Our Industries

Nine forces of change that will impact recreation, travel and hospitality in the next five to 20 years.


When crafting future scenarios and strategies, it’s essential to have a methodology that can span decades—and subject areas. For this report, we’ve focused on key phenomena—our editors call them Forces of Change—that will have an outsized impact on recreation, travel and hospitality in the next five to 20 years. They are technological trends and social currents that are emerging rapidly, creating blind spots and opening up new opportunities.

We hope this report sparks a conversation among the thought leaders in your organization that unlocks opportunities and prepares you to be future-ready.


  1. Which forces of change do you think will be most important in the coming decade?
  2. How is your organization equipped to make the most of these trends?
  3. What risks and challenges do you expect to encounter?
  4. How might you harness forces of change to overcome those challenges?

Gig Labor Platforms

Major corporations are beginning to use gig economy platforms to supplement their workforce. Short-term and contract workers will increasingly become more educated and specialized, including nurses, doctors, journalists and programmers. Gig economy platforms’ use of big data, new algorithms and cloud computing will fundamentally change the global workforce, uncover new efficiencies and decrease the cost of labor. Distributed Autonomous Organizations will gradually reduce or eliminate the need for middleman organizations such as Uber and Airbnb. How will gig labor impact your business and workforce?

Distributed Brand Ownership

Millennials and younger consumers are no longer interested in being passive consumers. Companies are increasingly understanding the power of sharing brand ownership with customers who are eager to create branded content, advocate on behalf of a product or service and recruit new customers. How will this active and empowered consumer group change your approach to marketing and public relations?

Open-Force Movement

Consumers increasingly expect complete transparency around the sourcing and production of every ingredient in their food and data on the ecological impact of their travel. How would full transparency impact your relationships with your partners and customers?

International Middle Class Explosion

Major economic growth will soon launch the former working classes of dozens of emerging nations into a higher stratosphere of spending. These countries are mostly in Asia, where hundreds of millions of newly minted travelers will, in the next decades, venture beyond their borders for the very first time. How is your organization prepared to engage this new population of travelers?

Ubiquitous Delivery and Autonomous Vehicles

Covid accelerated the popularity of home food delivery, making it nearly ubiquitous. Autonomous vehicles, including aerial drones, will reduce delivery costs and further fuel this trend. How will on-demand delivery impact brick-and-mortar restaurants and reshape downtown retail districts?

Automation and Robotics

Restaurants are ripe for robotic disruption. Already apps are taking the orders instead of the wait staff. Experiments are underway to fully automate fast-food kitchens. Where will automation impact your business?


Blockchain technology increasingly rivals the sovereignty of nation-states as the world’s preferred arbiter of truth and value. It also gives rise to a new, ever-expanding ecosystem of “real” digital entities, both fungible (cryptocurrencies) and non-fungible (NFT art and collectibles). Do you have the knowledge within your organization to understand and utilize these new technologies?

Mixed Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)—collectively known as extended reality, or XR—will erase the boundary between the digital and physical realms, providing an intelligent overlay on the physical world we move through and opening up new territories for exploration and consumer engagement. Is now the time to buy real estate in the Metaverse? 


Peer-to-Peer Commerce

Software platforms make it increasingly easy for anyone to earn extra money by loaning out their car, sharing a ride, renting a room for the night or even selling homemade food. Led by Airbnb, peer-to-peer purchases are increasingly becoming a major part of travel expenditures. How can legacy businesses participate in the peer-to-peer economy?