1. Catering to millennials
Millennials (those aged 18-34) are expected to represent 50% of all travelers. Companies need to define their strategies based on this demographic group’s personality traits and habits: they travel a lot; were early adopters of technology; like personalized interactions; and are spontaneous. In return, satisfied millennials will actively promote their businesses on social media channels.
Millennium travelers of all ages seem to enjoy easy check–in and gourmet dining at reasonable prices. 85 percent place a high priority on venturing out of their comfort zones and learning new things. Those interests ranked behind dining (91 percent ) and fun attractions (90 percent )
2. Tech explosion
The majority of guests today are self-sufficient, tech-savvy travelers who are comfortable using apps and mobile websites. Hotels need to make sure their offerings are up-to-date and user-friendly. At business meetings and conferences, travelers expect hotels and conference centers to have high quality tech equipment available and knowledgeable support staff. Investing in new technology will be a major priority for hotels in coming years. In particular, many hotels will dedicate higher budgets to improving Wi-Fi services with higher speeds and wider bandwidths. In an effort to make guests’ hotel stays simpler and seamless, hotels will be investing in things such as artificial intelligence, automated check-in and check-out, and mobile applications that cater to their guests’ needs both inside and outside the hotel.
A Mobile App which allows guests to order room service, book spa treatments and even arrange airport transportation from their mobile phones will be invaluable. With easy access to hotel features and services from the palm of their hands, guests are able to personalize their stay while allowing the hotel staff to focus on the guests’ experience.
Seamless connectivity across platforms and devices is becoming more important. Many hotel groups are offering mobile check-in and digital concierge services including enabling the guests to open their hotel door with their mobile device.
Everything is smart these days - smart rooms, smart badges, and smart phones are all connected to share information and make getting what you want, when you want it, easier than ever.
3. Increase in international travel
International leisure travel is on the rise. Hotels must be able to provide services in a multitude of languages and tailored experiences properly suited to the culture and unique needs of their international visitors.
International inbound travel is expected to continue to grow at rate of 6% annually.
4. Increased emphasis on health and well-being
Guests today are taking charge of their health; hotels are responding with well-equipped fitness centers, pools and spas. Increasingly, travelers are expecting innovative wellness options. In addition to healthy food options, growing trends include lighting that energizes, air purification, yoga spaces, in-room exercise equipment and even vitamin-infused shower water.
5. Sustainability rules
Eco-friendly practices are becoming the norm, as properties focus on renewable energy resources and water scarcity. Many hotels are installing solar panels and updating systems
Sustainable travel was one of the most talked about buzzwords until now but in the future, the travel term will be “conscious travel.” While sustainable travel mainly focuses on a traveler’s carbon footprint and the local economy, conscious travel includes an added element of community.
More than ever, travelers will be mindful of their impact on the economy as well as on the lives of those living in the destination that they are visiting. In addition to making a conscious effort to join eco-friendly tours and to buy organic produce at local markets, travelers will be spending their money in ways that benefit the local economy and community, rather than large corporations and foreign investment companies. That includes opting for small boutique hotels over big chain hotels and local shops over international malls.
6. New roles for staff
Many travelers seem to prefer technology more and more over human beings—they want to check-in digitally and don’t mind if a robot delivers room service. This will give staff the opportunity to focus on more personalized service, as opposed to routine tasks.
A quick search for hospitality jobs includes titles such as social media coordinator, creative lead for events and experiences, audio-visual technician and healthy lifestyle coaches. To qualify for these more specific roles, many are opting to pursue industry certification.
7. Destination promotion
The explosion of social media is causing hotels to become more involved in the destination and self-promotion. Many are featuring guests’ images and tweets on their websites; some are even using the material in their advertising campaigns.
Planners can visualize spaces in multiple destinations without leaving their computer.
More travelers than ever will have options for destinations those are similar to the major cities, yet less crowded and less expensive. Rather than following the tourist trail to Barcelona for example, cities with impressive cultural offerings such as Seville and Valencia will be next on the list.
8. Real-time damage control
If a hotel guest is dissatisfied, he or she can easily complain on Facebook, Twitter, or TripAdvisior. Hoteliers must be able to respond quickly. Engaging with customers and responding to their needs through these public forums help to maintain positive guest relations and drive future bookings.
9. Unique Advantages
With so many brands to choose from, properties need to find a way to stand out. Some are offering free daily wine tastings in their lobbies or bars; some are incorporating sophisticated informational screens in bathroom mirrors; and others are giving away curated set lists of downloadable music.
10.Authentic culinary tourism
The future of culinary tourism however will move away from expensive dining to more authentic food experiences. Visiting local markets and dining with locals will be major interests for travelers exploring new destinations.
Even entire vacations will be planned around food, with destinations being chosen based on their culinary offerings. For example Japan will be of particular interest next year for foodie travelers for its unique cuisine, traditional markets and innovative themed dining experiences.
11. Achievement is the new experiential
Trips are no longer just about sightseeing and checking countries off your bucket list. One of the coming years up-coming travel trends is all about achievement travel. Travelers tired of doing the same old thing will seek out travel experiences that will allow them to achieve a goal or accomplish something they have never done before. Challenging situations like completing a marathon for the first time or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, for example, will play a major factor in where travelers decide to go next year.
12.Work and travel
With the new trend called ‘bleisure’ (mixing business with leisure), business travelers will extend the concept of working and traveling for even longer periods of time. Nowadays more employees than ever before have the freedom to extend professional business stays by a couple of extra days or even weeks for personal trips, which is how the ‘bleisure’ trend really took off. .
Starting in the coming years, however, extending a business trip by a few days will not be enough. Instead, working full-time or even part-time as a digital nomad for a month or more will become the next big thing to do. With access to reliable Wi-Fi almost everywhere in the world, advances in online communication tools, and professional co-working spaces in major cities around the world, it will be easier than ever to live and work in different destinations for longer periods of time.
Many hotels will focus their efforts on creating large communal spaces for guests. These open lounge areas will be the focus point for social travelers who are looking for the comfort and privacy of a hotel, while enjoying the additional benefit of meeting new people and networking.
14. Multigenerational travel
Families of all ages will be traveling together more and more in the future and solo travel will also be a new major theme especially for solo women travelers. There will continue to be more options and inspiration for solo travelers in coming years but travel will see a major spike in interest in multigenerational travel. Family members of all ages, including parents, children and grandparents, will be traveling to reconnect and create new memories together.