Trends in travel.
Brochures and TV adverts are not pushing the right buttons to sell holidays – its all going virtual while technology and the sharing economy make the other disruptors changing the travel landscape.
Yes it’s Virtual Reality which is the next vehicle to seduce us to experience holidays first before travelling and then its over to technology to manage the process thereon.
Our friendly travel agents have been advised to merge their physical presence with digital tools, as a website or an app have now been overtaken with the latest digital developments. A few of the major retailers, such as Thomas Cook and Tui, are already using immersive VR headsets in their shops and more agents are using chatbots, which combine artificial intelligence and machine learning to interact with customers through an app that collates the information regarding their holiday preferences.
Reach for the skies…. get ready for a Concorde comeback! In the next few years, there maybe the potential return of supersonic air travel. New aircraft capable of traveling 2.6 times faster than normal jets are under development. Prototype flights for these aircraft types are set to take off in late 2017.
Technology advancement has also been behind the rise of sharing economy providers, such as AirBnB. The millennial looks to convenience and ease when travelling, so renting clothes is the solution to hauling luggage on a trip. Westin Hotels is accommodating such needs and rents out running clothes and shoes to guests for $5. A new start-up, unPack, provides a suitcase of clothes for hotel and Airbnb guests, while a fashion store called Pimkie has installed “mini fashion bars” in some European Hotels.
Welcome “Roamies” the new type of regular traveller who wants all the “mod-cons” wherever they stay, alongside a more social experience. This has led to several start-ups offering “co-living” properties with large social spaces designed to encourage interactions between guests.
As for destinations, China is set to overtake the US as the theme park capital of the world. In India, the government is assisting women to launch travel business such as all-female taxi companies and tour operators. The Middle East is seeing a resurgence in ancient hiking routes which include the Nativity Trail in Palestine, the Jordan Trail, the Lebanon Mountain Trail and the Abraham Path which tracks from Turkey to Egypt. Wellness travel combined with safaris is the trend in South Africa reflecting the consumer search for meaningful experiential travel.
Editor, The Healthcare Holiday
Source: Euromonitor International Report – Global Trends for the World Travel Market 2016