2017’s Travel Trends
With the summer holidays booked and only a few more months to go before the semester is over and we can finally leave the library, we have put together some interesting travel trends that are expected to play a big part in the hospitality industry in 2017.
The largest market in travel the next several years consists of the Millennials, otherwise known as people born between 1980 and 2000. They are the generation that has grown up surrounded by high-tech gadgets and the internet and is communicatively active 24/7. There are about 79 million of them, making them a very interesting target group for modern day travel.
This modern generation travels to experience new foreign cultures and are looking to learn something new while travelling. They use online experiences and recommendations from family and friends to pick out destinations, and share their own thoughts and beliefs as well. They want to travel as much as possible, making them a lucrative target group for companies in the hospitality branch.
To reach this target group, companies should listen to them and speak the same language. They should be as mobile as the millennials, by creating apps and digital experiences. They should be authentic and spontaneous, because these are key characteristics of the generation. And another important factor is that companies should secure loyalty, through for example reward system, because they are aware of their money and like to travel as inexpensive as possible.
A trend that has appeared over the last years is that people need to be entertained more. Customers are choosing to go on active and adventurous holidays instead of relaxing getaways. The most popular activities are expected to be hiking, cycling and safaris, and more travelers are looking for a customized experience.
In the age of reality television travelers are looking for real-life experiences and cannot be satisfied anymore with laying the beach and going on standard bus tours. This has given a rise to new forms of holiday activities in the form of adventurous participatory experiences. Nowadays there are global scavenger hunts, rickshaw rallies and hitchhiking races to keep the Millennials interested.
An emerging trend is food tourism. Tourists are of the opinion that you can really get to know a culture through sharing their food, and this has become increasingly important in travel experiences nowadays. The art of cooking has become a passion for many travelers and they feel that foreign cultures can give them insights into how they can cook and eat better.
Food tours are a new type of activity growing bigger this year. It are tours that not only focus on dining and tasting food, but combine this with historical and cultural aspects and let the travelers meet the culture of the country they are visiting. These food tours are even the main reason some travelers choose to go to a specific place.
2017 has been appointed as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism by the United Nations. There is more awareness of the global changes, which affects the way we travel. Travelers are expected to be more interested in the environmental, social and economic impact they are making at their destination and will possibly shift towards more sustainable travelling manners.
The decision made by the UN follows the idea of the world leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development that “well-designed and well-managed tourism” can contribute to the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) and lead to job creation and trade.
Responsible nature tours are expected to become more popular in 2017 and according to Booking.com approximately 36% of all travelers are planning to go on a more eco-friendly and sustainably holiday than they did in 2016.
Business and leisure (“bleisure”) travel is expected to be a lucrative trend in 2017. 75% of business travelers are expected to extend their business trips and explore the country they are visiting. Workers are starting to understand the relationship between taking time off (vacations) and wellness, leading to wellness travel growing very fast. Smart employers are investing in their employees’ holidays, knowing they will return more creative, happy and motivated.
An example of the focus on wellness is the phenomenon known as “glamping”, or glamour camping, which can be seen as the merge between camping and luxury travel. Nowadays camping can be a peaceful and relaxing experience in nature, without dirt and mosquito bites and the struggle of putting on your own tent.
One of the continuing trends from 2016 is digital sharing. Nowadays tourists document everything and post their experiences on social media. Companies could tap into this trend and implement this element of sharing your journey in their marketing strategies.
Experience has become more important than ownership. Tourists rather gather memories than souvenirs and these memories are captured by photos and videos. Travelers have become storytellers, sharing their stories with others and informing each other about destinations worth going to.
Hopefully we have made you even more excited about your holiday plans, or given you some inspiration of what to do this summer. Let us know in the comments!