The ‘Travel Trends’ of Today and Tomorrow

20 September 2017

We live in unsettling times. Who really knows what is going on-let alone what will be. The wonderful world of travel is no different. No one has a proverbial crystal ball and the annual rituals of forecasting future trends usually come from last year’s predictions and forecasts based on statistical data gathered.

That’s why we've put together a relevant report highlighting three vital trends of 2017 which would most likely be carried on to the coming year. At the island chief, we strongly believe that staying up to date on travel trends will help businesses and tour operators to boost revenue and to provide guests with a more fulfilling service.

Younger generations most likely to book online

At present we are now at the midst of a digital globe connecting people to business and experiences unlike ever before.

Statistical data provided by TreckkSoft for 2017 shows that 75% of end users who book tours or activities online are aged 34 or younger. 41% out of that percentage are users aged 25-34 and 34% aged 18-24.

The rise of the digital world at hand is spear headed by a generation of young minds that are used to having their option conveniently available to them in their fingertips through digital media. The rise and popularity of online booking and tours have seen a remarkable increase in the past few years.

Data shows that only 12% of people who book tours and activities online are aged 35-44 while the smallest portion of bookings come from older generation with just 6%of bookings from customers aged 45-55, and another 6%  aged 55 and above.

It is imperative to reach the wider market of the rising generation of digital minded youth and business and tour operators should keep their business models and services flexible to incorporate online facilities to meet the rising demand of the globes digital upraise.

 Sustainable organizations are reaping the benefits

Global change affect us all whether we want it to or not and for the most part where we can we like to make a difference. More travelers are aware of the impact their experiences have on the planet and as a result, more are opting for sustainable measures in their travel.

Data from booking.com shows that only 42% of those questioned considered themselves to be sustainable travelers. This number increased from last year among travelers from Italy, Germany, and China, but Australia, Brazil, Japan and the US have seen a decline.

Global campaigns have been set in place to promote more sustainable forms of travel and industry.  Travelers are taking more interest in the environmental, economic and social impact they're making at the destination they visit and are likely to support companies that embody these values.

Furthermore, booking.com predicted that the number of travelers staying in an eco-friendly or ‘green’ accommodation at least once could double up this year. Moreover data from NY Times in 2017 states that eco-friendly tours are increasing. Intrepid travel, for example, now offers more than 1,000 group tours a year that are fully carbon neutral.

Therefore, making tourism business more sustainable is a great choice. While we should all be doing our bit for the planet, it also makes sense from a business perspective. Now is the ideal time to solidify reputation as a conscious organization and set apart from local competitors.

Experiences’ is still the favorite word for travelers

Apart from the rising popularity of the digital integration to our common reality, We are shifting to an “experience” driven economy where the best product businesses can sell is the experience of travel itself.

According to a paper titled Waiting for Merlot which was published in 2014 by psychologists Amit Kumar, Thomas Gilovich and Mathhew Killingsworth, Experiential purchases ( money spent on doing ) tend to provide more enduring happiness than material purchases ( money spent on having). Furthermore the paper points out that people generally report being more frustrated before the planned purchase of a thing but mostly happy before they bought an experience such as a trip or an activity.

In addition to numerous research papers on consumer behavior, data gathered by TrekkSoft in their destination report for 2017 show that 56% of destination marketing organization consider experiences to be a “vital” part of their marketing strategy whereas only 7% consider experiences to be “somewhat important”.

It has also been noted that the most forward-thinking DMOs use a digital and content-first strategy to build an emotional & inspirational brand with experiences at its center. 

There is science behind the concept of experience marketing and selling but the key take away of it is that we are spending more on doing stuff and choosing to cut back on buying stuff.

Given the data, Travel brands can stay up- to date in the game of trends by entering their marketing around inspiration and get consumers even more excited about their upcoming experience. A positive guest experience will encourage feedback, sharing and will double as a word of mouth marketing strategy while leaving guests satisfied with what they spend for.