By Humphrey Carter
PALMA is forecast to become the second most popular destination for Britons as a new European commuter belt takes shape over the next decade.
According to the latest report published by the Thomson Future Forum think-tank, quicker and more user-friendly travel over the next decade will lead to hundreds of thousands of British workers relocating from “smoke” to European cities such as Barcelona and Palma. The Holiday 2016 reports forecasts that by 2016, some one million British professionals will be either based or working abroad in a commuter belt incorporating North African and the Eastern Mediterranean. Rapidly changing and advancing communication technology will enable employees to remain in constant contact with their employers from wherever they may choose to relocate and live. The low cost airline revolution and the stiff competition in the airline industry will enable people to visit their offices whenever needed, some once a week and others once or twice a month. Professor Nick Middleton, presenter of Channel 4 travel show Surviving Extremes and Chairman of the Thomson Future Forum says: “the rapid advance of technology and global communications networks will make international commuting highly desirable and viable. “Furthermore, as our fast paced working culture intensifies over the next decade, the quest for a better work/life balance will be even greater and remote working in a sunnier and less pressured environment will become a highly appealing lifestyle choice.” CHIP & GO
The Forum's Holiday 2016 report also predicts that the increase in European commuter travel will fuel a growth in demand for quick hassle-free travel and is likely to result in a new style “Chip & Go” passport. This updated passport technology will reduce the amount of time travellers will need to spend at the airport, enabling them to simply swipe their ID card and use their fingerprint scan as a method of passenger identification from check-in to boarding the plane. The Forum concluded that by 2016, an “overseas commuter belt” will be firmly established and commuters will consider their overseas base to be their primary residence, properties in Marrakech, Barcelona, Palma and Dubrovnik are expected to appeal to the more culture-loving commuters while professional types may opt for cities with vibrant business districts such as Hanover, Stuttgart and Verona.
The report also believes that employers will seek to help improve their workers' work/life balance by offering more annual leave in return for working a little during some of their days off.
Top destinations
1. Barcelona
2. Palma
3. Marrakech
4. Dubrovnik
5. Faro
6. Alicante
7. Verona
8. Talin
9. Pula
10 . Valencia


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