With the increased use of technology and social media as well as an increased knowledge of the impact our travel can have on the environment, we have recently seen a change in travel trends which impact not only how we travel but where we travel to. Here we discuss what these latest travel trends are and how it changes the way we holiday.
One trend that has been growing in popularity is the micro trip. More and more people are sacrificing a large summer holiday and splitting it into several weekend trips across the year. These micro trips (also called bitesize travel) have increased due to many factors. With improvements to flight routes, it is easier for people to get to cities quickly, meaning that you can now go further afield for a shorter period of time. Having these shorter breaks with jam-packed itineraries are a way of seeing more of the world, quickly. Planning a 2-week holiday can also be extremely stressful, making more regular but shorter breaks seem more desirable and easier to organise.
The adverse effect we have had and are having on the planet cannot be ignored, especially as this is constantly being discussed in the news. According to a study carried out by Booking.com, over half the people asked would not go to a destination if they felt it would negatively impact the locals that live there. Hotels and other businesses have had to make this shift in conscious travelling and embed it into their strategy. Banning single-use plastics such as miniature toiletries and highlighting what sustainable practices they do are becoming more common in order to entice people to stay with them. One study stated that over 80% of the travellers they asked would be willing to spend time doing activities that offset the environmental impact their travelling was having. This has also led to a spike in eco-tourism companies.
From having our boarding passes on our phones, artificial intelligence, speech recognition and virtual reality, there have been so many recent advancements in technology that have changed the way we travel. On the whole, these developments in technology have led to smoother holidays. Technology also significantly helps us with our holiday research. No longer does the average person head into their local town to visit a travel agent. With all the information you need on the internet, you can cut out the middle man and enjoy planning it all from home. Although online bookings have been around for years, it is the future use of technology in the travel and tourism industry which is interesting. There are several projects being worked on such as keyless room access which is controlled by your phone, using artificial intelligence as concierge so that they always speak the language of their guests and having a digital tour guide to provide tailored information to each person. It is impossible to truly predict how technology will continue to change how we travel in the future, but personalisation seems to be an important factor.
Social media, in particular, Instagram, has recently affected not only where we want to go on holiday but also guided our decisions on what to do when we are there as we share our holiday pictures. A lot of people, especially millennials, constantly seek photo opportunities to post on Instagram, such as being “alone” at the top of a mountain when in reality there is a queue of people waiting to get the same “isolated Instagram shot”. For some people it is like you were never there if you didn’t post a picture on holiday. In a survey from UK company Schofields, more than 40% of the people asked under the age of 33 consider “instagrammability” the most important factor when choosing a holiday destination.
One destination that seems to be more possible to visit than ever before is space. Although this is not a reality yet, it is something people are considering for the future and has also led to people wanting to go to completely new destinations such as accommodation under the sea. Cheaper flights and new routes have also led to an increase in people visiting places that were not that popular before. Further afield places such as Abu Dhabi and Oman are now becoming more popular as they provide the tourist with a more unique holiday and experience to share with friends.
Gone are the days where all we want is a nice hotel. Although this is still desirable, people are wanting alternative and different accommodation to make their holiday unique. Over the last decade, we saw the rise in air bob which allows you to stay at apartments and other people’s homes whilst they are away. It also opened up the growth in people staying in unique accommodation such as boats, cabins and yurts.
Craving experiences and to learn
A trend that is growing is the need for experience. Tourists are now more driven by the experiences they can gain on holiday, with learning a new skill high on a lot of people’s lists. Companies are jumping on board this trend by providing people with these experience packages. Having an experience on holiday is now deemed preferable to buying new material possessions. These experiences range from the adventure seeker to the nostalgic where people are trying to feel like a child again (think inflatable obstacle courses). People want to tick things off their bucket list and this tends to go beyond your typical sightseeing and is focused around certain activities and experiences. This goes hand in hand with the rise of social media influence as they seek amazing shareable pictures.
Change in timings
With the internet allowing you to book holidays extremely last minute, a lot of people choose this option when booking their holiday, leaving it until the last moment to organize your trip in order to try and get the best deal. Searching for offers is popular as well as changing the time of year they go. Visiting places like Dubai in the summer and Sydney in their winter are becoming a cheaper and attractive option for people to experience these places without having to pay the peak prices.