The travel industry has been going through a lot of changes over the past few years. People all across the globe have started traveling for various reasons. Backpackers, businessmen, globetrotters, honeymooners, mountaineers, artists, family vacationers – there are all kinds of travelers out there and more and more keep adding to the list. It is interesting to see how the travel industry has been progressing and the path it could be taking in 2017. Booking.com, a leading website in hotel and accommodation booking, conducted an extensive survey with 12,781 respondents across 13 markets in September 2016. These respondents were all over 18 years of age, had traveled at least once in 2016 and were planning to travel at least once in 2017. Based on this huge collection of data, Booking.com came up with some clear trends for 2017. (ALSO SEE 3 years of travel produces the best selfie video ever Watch now!) Here are 8 travel predictions for 2017 based on the research conducted by experts at Booking.com.
1. Instant gratification through technological advances
Thanks to the growth in technology, travelers have grown impatient and want quick results. Right from planning the itinerary to booking tickets to the actual travel experiences, people expect everything to be done in a few steps on their smart phones and tablets. 52 percent people said they expected to increase their use of travel apps in 2017. 42 percent said they expect to make their travel planning and booking faster through technology. This means that you can expect to see major changes in use of technology in travel in 2017. From finding nearby facilities and attractions to getting on-the-go advice, use of technology will see a boom. Also, with the advances in AI and machine learning, apps may go one step further and actually predict our needs before we even mention them.
2. Bleisure – combining business with leisure
With so many people traveling for their business needs, it seems obvious that many may plan to combine business with leisure – Bleisure! Workplace travel opportunities are a big deal even today as several people prefer a job where they get to travel around the globe. 40 percent people traveled for business this year and 46 per cent of them think they will travel even more for business in 2017. 49 percent said they already extended their business trips into vacations. A whopping 75 percent plan to extend their business trips into leisure holidays in 2017. Travel is now considered as something that can help boost creativity and productivity in one’s job. This is evident from the fact that 30 percent travelers they were willing to accept a lower paid job if it meant getting to travel more.
3. Undiscovered places
Everybody like to see places nobody has seen before. 45 percent people said that they would like to get adventurous while selecting their vacation spot for 2017. 47 percent said they would like to visit a place their friends have not been to. Clearly, undiscovered places seem to be the new hot thing! 56 percent of the travelers showed an inclination towards independent travel. Most of these travelers were from Brazil, India, the United States, China and Thailand.
4. Wellness travel for the mind, body and soul
Just like travel, fitness of the body, mind ans soul is something that the world has been moving towards during this decade. Since people have become extremely busy and loves have become unavoidably hectic, people are looking for ways to escape their routine and give more time to their health. 48 percent people looked at travel as a way of taking a break and reflecting on their lifestyle choices. In 2017, a huge number of travelers plan to look at a vacation that will bring some balance in their life and help them find harmony between their mind, body and soul. 44 percent travelers showed interest in spa/relaxation travel while 38 percent showed an inclination towards relaxation/wellness travel. 51 percent people said they plan to take more of their annual leave in 2017 than they took in 2016. Clearly, travelers are paying more attention towards their health and fitness as a result of which, accommodation options are making changes to their properties and their services. Sanctustays will be seen on the rise in 2017. Outdoor facilities, yoga and meditation centers, wellness workshops will all become quite common at hotels, guest houses, villas and other forms of accommodation.
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5. Sustainable travel
Global Warming has now been acknowledged as something that is quite real and not a hoax. Travelers have become more responsible and ware than they used to be and this has rubbed off on accommodation facilities too. In general, the travel industry is becoming more environmentally and sustainably aware. 36 percent travelers plan to pick more eco-friendly options while traveling in 2017. 39 percent people have expressed an interest in eco-tours. Travelers are now also taking longer routes to reach their destinations. People are taking, longer, eco-friendly routes to reach their destination which is a great sign Be prepared to see measures like tax break incentives for eco-friendly travelers, an international standard for sustainable accommodation and also useful information about carbon offsetting from tour operators.
6. Experiences over materialistic pleasures
Gone are the days when travel was all about materialistic pleasures. Buying expensive souvenirs is not cool anymore. In fact, 58 percent travelers said they plan to spend on the experience rather than for material possessions in 2017. SO get ready to bid farewell to services like the butler/concierge as people are now focusing on simple pleasures of traveling rather than fancy and ostentatious indulgences. Also, with only 13 percent people in favour of fancy and high-end toiletries, it looks like things are about to get way simpler and modest.
7. Pleasant human interaction with staff
With 42 percent of travelers reinstating the importance of a friendly and helpful staff at their place of stay, it is obvious that the human touch will be an important aspect of travel in 2017. Reviews are more important than ever now as 40 percent travelers said they would not stay at a hotel with more than three negative reviews. So, we can expect that hotel staff will do their best to forge genuine relationships with their guests. We can also expect great advances in chat bot technology to match the warmth, personality and spontaneity of real humans to establish memorable and pleasant connections and interactions with guests.
8. Travel beyond the world
This one would have come as a surprise a few years ago but not anymore. Several people (not astronauts, regular travelers) are now interested in taking travel to the next level. – beyond our planet. 44 percent people actually believe that we will be holidaying in space far way from earth in the future. Some feel humans will soon be holidaying deep under the ocean. Be it NASA’s investment in a supersonic passenger aircraft for quieter, faster, greener air travel or Tesla’s autopilot-enabled vehicle scheduled to drive from Los Angeles to New York in 2017, or Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceship designed to take two pilots and upto six passengers to space,technological advances point towards the very real possibility of humans vacationing in far corners of the galaxies in the future.
The future sure seems exciting for travelers, doesn’t it?
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