By Simon Bond

For me, well I feel that the world is undergoing “the great restruction”.

Post the great recession, and amongst all the negative news flow, I am actually very optimistic about the future. But, it makes more headlines for the sensationalists to scare the pants, and the socks off everyone via a barrage of negative news flow about the loss of jobs, robots taking over and negative interest rates, just to name three current issues.

The world is changing, people are frightened and unsure about their futures and bad news sells. Sensationalism rates and spirit is hard to find, in a great story about Charlie Chaplin, one can be re enthused, see below.

“Do you recall Charlie Chaplin’s picture “The Circus?” At the end of it, you may remember, Charlie had lost his job with the troupe; and the morning after the last performance, the covered wagons rolled away, leaving him amid the debris, alone, friendless, penniless, apparently desolate; what a picture of humanity after the collapse of Rome, or after the Thirty Years’ War, or Europe after the Second World War! Then suddenly, Charlie twirled his cane in the air, tightened his hat on his head, and marched forward in double oblique, out of the picture and into life — that is man. However deeply he may seem to have fallen, however great the disaster that appears to have overwhelmed him, he picks himself up, “bloody but unbowed,” still eager, curious, imaginative, resolute and marches on. Somewhere, somehow, he will build again. That is the greatest lesson of history”.

We have recently been focusing on connectivity and it’s potential as a game changer given the ongoing advances. We have been studying and detailing to you “Nielsen’s law of Bandwidth” and absorbing the ramifications, which are enormous, and are much bigger than most are currently understanding.

The changes being ushered in to global share markets and individual stocks are significant and underestimated. As we noted recently, the markets will look far more different in five year's time than they did five years ago, so what are the ramifications? Where will growth come from in the new world order? 

In studying markets, I tend to look at sectors, study the big maps and then drill down into them in order to see which companies fit the new bill. So, the process is sector/stock driven. For many of the new business success stories, whether interest rates go up, down or sideways is largely irrelevant, as management and founders are driven and passionate beyond belief about their product or service. 

Change is upon us and one area where it’s much more apparent is in tourism and leisure, the experience rather than the 'things economy' and for Asia's well-heeled millennial travelers, new experiences are far more appealing than the comfort of organised tours.

Agility Research recently surveyed more than 900 millennial respondents in China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea who traveled internationally in the past year, hoping to decode the affluent Asian millennial traveler. Of the respondents, 61% said they wanted a custom experience when sight-seeing, compared to only 38% who preferred a packaged, group-led tour. Nearly 80% said they wanted to visit somewhere they had not visited before, while 77% said they chose destinations offering new activities and experiences. Their top travel destinations included Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Understanding the behavioural patterns of young Asian travelers is crucial given the clout they wield. Asian millennials are expected to spend $340 billion on international trips by 2020, according to Brand Karma, as the middle class rises and increases spending. Affluent Chinese households are spending $65,000 on average on tourism in a year, according to a recent study of Chinese millennials.

While the vast majority of Asian millennials, of course, use digital platforms before their trips to plan and book hotels or tours, social media is playing an increasing role, too. In the Agility survey, 62% of the respondents said social media was important to them when researching travel options. The rise of digital platforms is expected to help Asia dethrone North America as the largest digital travel market in the world next year.

But while experiential traveling increases in popularity, shopping while on vacation is still important, too. More than half of the respondents said they prefer buying luxury brands during their trips and 44% prefer to purchase luxury items at airports.

At "Millennial 2020", Jayson Goh, managing director of Airport Operations at Changi Airport, highlighted the changing landscapes of airports. "The airport is now a meeting point, where friends will meet from different countries," he said.

Changi Airport, frequently cited as one of the best airports in the world, has identified ways to target millennial travelers as it found that the average time spent in airports was increasing. "Feedback for the service environment is very important," Goh said. "Millennials go on social media and now even expect a reply, too."

Which makes the new Apple iPhone 7 all the more intriguing to me, few have picked up so far that the new twin cameras will spawn another new world of not just apps but experiences as photos are shared across multiple platforms and jursidictions, a new software update has a process that entails recognising people and faces and then building a depth map. Think of the possibilities.

All this newness, whether apps or software desires more and more connectivity, and Nielsen’s Law, ensures that they will get it.