2016 TRAVEL TRENDS

As a brand new year be­gins, it's in­ter­est­ing to take some time and re­flect upon some of the emerg­ing trends we can see in con­sumer be­hav­iors when it comes to travel.

Hospitality 9ja - - Table Of Contents - Source Fred­eric Gon­zalo Se­nior Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­pert & Speaker with more than 20 years of ex­per­tise in the travel and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

1 Seek New Ex­pe­ri­ences

Ac­cord­ing to Trip Ad­vi­sor's lat­est Trip Barom­e­ter study, trav­el­ers are more than ever keen to dis­cover new des­ti­na­tions, try new modes of trans­porta­tion and live new ex­pe­ri­ences. In fact, 69% of re­spon­dents said they wanted to ex­per­i­ment some­thing new, 20% will go on a cruise, 17% want to try solo travel while 15% will try some adventure travel in 2016.

All- in­clu­sive cruises are all the rage now, ac­cord­ing to Cruise Com­pete, this rep­re­sents a great op­por­tu­nity for brands who in­vest in re­new­ing their of­fer, prod­ucts and ser­vices, and can thus on bank on nov­elty and in­no­va­tion as a dif­fer­en­tia­tor.

2 Spend More

Is it be­cause re­cent tragedies and events make us re­al­ize how frag­ile life is? Or per­haps be­cause we work more than ever, tak­ing less va­ca­tions than we are en­ti­tled to? Nev­er­the­less, there is a grow­ing sense of con­sumers want­ing to travel more, and spend more do­ing so, be­cause “we are worth it”. In fact, ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent Trip Barom­e­ter, 49% of trav­el­ers in­tend­ing to spend more in 2016 say they will do so be­cause they or their fam­ily de­serve it. In fact, 31% of them will up their travel bud­gets be­cause they feel it is im­por­tant for their health and well­be­ing.

Travel bud­gets set to in­crease in 2016 due to an over­all sense of merit Heck, I agree: that's why I am go­ing to Cuba next week!

3 Cul­ture & Spe­cial Of­fers

Movies and TV have been key driv­ers in des­ti­na­tion tourism mar­ket­ing for the past years. Just think of the im­pact of the Lord the Rings tril­ogy on travel to New Zealand, fans of Amelie Poulain or per­haps read­ers of the Da Vinci Code head­ing to Paris, to take only two ex­am­ples from re­cent years. In 2016, 47% of re­spon­dents to the most re­cent Trip Barom­e­ter study said they would choose a des­ti­na­tion be­cause of its peo­ple and cul­ture. And for many peo­ple – one in ve re­spon­dents, in fact – the in­for­ma­tion or in­spi­ra­tion about a des­ti­na­tion will come from a TV show. This is par­tic­u­larly true for Aus­tralians and con­ti­nen­tal Euro­peans.

4 Col­lab­o­ra­tive Travel Goes Main­stream

It seems like we've been talk­ing about Airbnb for­ever, but we tend to for­get the com­pany is not even 1o years old – in fact, it

was founded back in 2008. There is still a lot of peo­ple out there who have never used it. But since it is now val­ued at $25 bil­lion by in­dus­try ex­perts, we can ex­pect more brand aware­ness be­yond the U.S. and Euro­pean hubs where's it well known right now. Same goes with Home Away, per­haps the big­gest player in the va­ca­tion rental land­scape, that was re­cently scooped up by Ex­pe­dia for a mere $3.9 bil­lion.

On the trans­porta­tion front, Über is now said to be worth more than $40 bil­lion, but we shouldn't dis­count the oth­ers: Lyft, Blablacar and var­i­ous lo­cal star­tups that are dis­rupt­ing the sta­tus quo and get­ting more peo­ple to jump on­board and try these new ser­vices. Same can be said about greeters, eating with lo­cals or guid­ing ser­vices like Vayable. What was seen a a nov­elty back in 2012 or 2013 is now gain­ing crit­i­cal mass. Ex­pect 2016 to be a turn­ing point, for bet­ter or for worse.

And then there are re­cent talks of Über de­vel­op­ing meta-search ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and mov­ing into the travel book­ing busi­ness. Fact or ction? This one will be another in­ter­est­ing de­vel­op­ment to fol­low…

5

Ris­ing Room Rates

The ho­tel world has seen in­cred­i­ble ux in 2015, with In­tercon­ti­nen­tal ac­quir­ing Kimp­ton Hotels, then Mar­riott Hotels ac­quir­ing Star­wood Hotels and nally Ac­corho­tels buy­ing Fair­mont, Rafes and Swis­so­tels. Will big­ger brands nec­es­sar­ily mean bet­ter ser­vices? Per­haps, but with the record-break­ing de­mand for rooms in most ur­ban cities across North America and oc­cu­pancy lev­els reach­ing new highs, ex­pect also higher ADR ( av­er­age daily rate) and im­prov­ing REVPAR (Rev­enue Per Av­er­age Room).

Not ev­ery­one agrees on this trend last­ing through­out 2016, though. There is an ex­plo­sion of new hotels un­der con­struc­tion, which will im­pact the in­ven­tory of avail­able rooms on the mar­ket, not to men­tion all the “new” rooms and apart­ments ood­ing the mar­ket­ing from col­lab­o­ra­tive plat­forms (see point #3 above). And with the US dol­lar stay­ing to strong, could Amer­i­can trav­el­ers choose to go abroad rather than stay at home, ex­per­i­ment­ing some­thing new (see point #1 above)?

6

On­line Rep­u­ta­tion

On­line rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment is still ap­par­ently the big­gest area of in­vest­ment for hote­liers world­wide, as 93% of them say­ing it is im­por­tant for the fu­ture of their busi­ness. But on­line rep­u­ta­tion is not just for hote­liers, even though 77% of Trip Ad­vi­sor users say they con­sult the plat­form to re­search and val­i­date their choice of ac­com­mo­da­tions. In fact, 50% of Trip Ad­vi­sor users re­search restau­rants while 44% use it to search or val­i­date their choice in at­trac­tions, things to see or do at a des­ti­na­tion. And these stats vary per coun­try, for ex­am­ple in Italy it's as much as 74% of users that ac­tu­ally go to Tripad­vi­sor to re­search restau­rants!

Thus, we can ex­pect another chal­leng­ing year where travel brands should in­vest in prop­erly man­ag­ing their pres­ence on so­cial me­dia and user-gen­er­ated re­view sites such as Tripad­vi­sor, Yelp or Zo­mato.

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