When you’re dealing with travelers who have done everything from swimming with blue whales in Sri Lanka, it gets increasingly tricky to offer suggestions so superb that your clients remember just why they come to you for the hottest travel industry advice. To stay ahead of the game when it comes to all things travel, here are the top trends coming our way in the upcoming year.
Fortune’s upcoming travel trends
Last month, Fortune released an article revealing four travel trends to watch in 2016. The article, written by Brian Havig, listed findings from a travel industry session where marketing experts from TripAdvisor, Hawaiian Air and Celebrity Cruises shared their projections. It revealed some interesting points.
The rise of “Bleisure” travel: Mixing business and pleasure has never been more popular. Technological advances have provided a vehicle for people looking to attain a better work-life balance; because what’s the point in typing on a laptop in an office when you could be doing it on a beach?
Travel is getting more mobile: Although there are instances when travelers want nothing more than to escape technology, for the most part staying connected is imperative to keeping travelers happy. Everything from flight details and city maps to Uber access and social media sharing requires some form of internet connection. To avoid leaving your clients in the lurch it’s wise to thoroughly research destinations so you can inform your clients about spots with patchy signal.
Experiential travel marketing is exploding: Marketers are realising that to entice their target market they need to give travelers a taste of an experience that they want (or hadn’t yet realised they wanted). For instance, the marketing team from Hawaiian Airlines set up a “beach” in Beijing. They also showcased hula dancing spectacles in the Big Apple. Most consumers are likely to have seen thousands of big shiny billboards featuring a beach. Pictures are no longer enough. Travelers want to get a real flavour for a place. This forms part of a growing movement of travelers looking to experience travel as authentically as possible.
It’s all seamless: The entire travel experience can be planned in advance. Each stage of the journey can be immaculately organized – flights, cars, restaurants, shows, meetings with locals, unmissable viewing points, unique experiences – so people who feel like ‘time is money’ won’t waste one moment on mediocrity.
Good news going forward
You’ll be pleased to know that on an economic front things are looking positive for the travel industry. In a summary of 2016’s Business Travel predictions, Vice-President of Research of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) said that “busines travel is a leading indicator of global economic activity and the top-line pricing outlook for air, hotel, ground and meetings and events in 2016 is surprisingly stable.”
Working in an economically stable climate is half the battle, the remainder requires thorough research so you can keep your finger on the pulse as travelers come to you searching for authentic experiences. But in the clamor of options, it’s hard to hear the quiet call of old worlds of wonder waiting to be explored. Travelers want to experience a place from the inside.
Armed with local wherewithal, they want to taste homemade flavours whilst sitting alongside locals. In the heart of old Rome there’s a shoemaker making leather soles the way his father taught him (in the way his father taught him, and the way his father taught him). With the right local advice you can lead your clients to such local artisans handcrafting entirely beautiful products, so that they can experience the beauty to be found in a pair of handstitched shoes, and to sip wine in cellars where old monks first made it, and eat Sicilian cannoli that knows to do nothing but melt in a mouth.
by Luca on Feb 3, 2016