As technology continues to develop at a rapid-fire rate, so does the way in which we travel. Last year saw the rise of virtual reality headsets used in hotels as a part of in-room entertainment, by cruise companies to get a feel for ships while on dry land and even by Qantas to help passengers experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef at 30,000 feet. So, what does this year have in store when it comes to travel trends?
Custom hotel experiences
Expect the unexpected when it comes to what services hotels will provide. The future is all about going above and beyond when it comes to guests’ needs. Some examples? The Montcalm Hotel in London now have a Sleep Concierge offering a range of room services focused on relaxation: an extensive pillow menu, aromatherapy oils and light healthy snacks and herbal teas for the ideal midnight meal. The Benjamin Hotel in New York allows guests to request a ‘work-down’ call – similar to a wake-up call where the front desk will contact you an hour before your bedtime with a reminder to turn off all your devices for the day.
Short and sharp
While historically holidays were taken less regularly and for longer periods of time, the future of travel is looking shorter, and thankfully more frequent. According to eDreams, 40 per cent of travellers took three- to four-day breaks in 2016, with only six per cent taking a two-week holiday. Consider weekend breaks where possible and how you can build on any required travel such as work trips or destination birthdays and weddings, by adding a few days before or after. Tourist boards are embracing this trend, too, by creating itineraries based on 24- or 48-hour timescales.
A tale of two cities …
Or more, as the case may be. While in the past many of us would dart around flying from country to country, there is an increasing trend to pick fewer countries and explore them in greater depth. An easy way to get more bang for your buck, as well as a deeper sense of the individual country’s culture is to sample train and/or bus travel. For example, if you’re headed to Portugal why not fly into Lisbon and then head to Porto by train. In less than three hours you’ll have a whole new perspective from the hip Portugal you experienced in Lisbon.
This is the UN’s year of Sustainable Tourism, so you can expect to see this trend filter through destinations and hotels alike with a focus on food sourced locally, alternative modes of transport such as bikes and electric cars, and more ethical crafts.
Slightly less surprising are where the worlds of wellness and travel collide. Wellness tourism is set to grow by over seven per cent each year until 2020. Whether it’s a yoga retreat, detox holiday or heading to another country or city to master a marathon, the options for fitness-inspired holidays are countless – as are the calories you’ll burn!
You can read more about the research at eDreams Odigeo.
What are your travel plans for 2017? Will you be pursuing any of the above trends when it comes to travel this year?