Every industry has trends and innovations and the same applies to the tourism industry as well. In a fast-changing landscape, new trends are appearing and taking hold all the time. Changing demographics, advances in technology, shifting social mores: these influences and others all help give rise to important new tourism trends.
Below you find some significant tourism trends right now and in the future.
1. Solo Travel
Leisure travel used to be a family affair or something that couples undertook together. While that’s still the case for many, more and more people are choosing to strike out on their own. Enjoying a solo trip is no longer so unusual and tourist trends increasingly reflect this. The needs of solo travellers are diverse. Some simply want to travel without the distraction of a companion. Others are young singles looking for social activities or to find a partner. Some widowed seniors even use long-term hotel stays or cruises as a luxurious alternative to conventional elder care. These tourism trends are set to grow and grow.
2. Eco Travel
Tourism trends are heavily influenced by the concerns and mores of the customer base. As a new generation becomes increasingly relevant in the marketplace, the ideals driving their purchasing decisions create new tourism trends. Eco travel is just one example of these tourism trends, reflecting a growing concern among today’s travellers for ethical and sustainable tourism options. Eco travel includes simple changes, such as the availability of carbon credits when booking a flight or the option to rent an electric instead of a conventional vehicle. More sophisticated examples might include tourism with a volunteer element, perhaps working on a nature reserve or engaging in conservation work.
3. Local experience
Today’s tourists don’t want to be insulated from the places they visit inside a cultural bubble. They want to engage with and participate in the local culture. From enjoying local cuisine to celebrating regional festivals and holidays, local experiences are set to become some of the top tourist trends to watch. One example of a popular local experience would be visiting Japan during a major festival, renting formal Japanese clothes to wear, consuming regional delicacies and engaging in traditional games or cultural activities. Another might be a long stay with a host family in the destination country as a means to learn more about the local culture.
You’re probably familiar with those ads that pop up on social media and certain other websites, ads related to things you’ve looked at or purchased online. This is just one example of personalisation. As well as in marketing tourism more effectively, personalisation can apply to every aspect of the tourist experience. Today’s consumers expect experiences that closely match their personal preferences, from destinations to accommodation and the kinds of activities they’ll engage in. The more closely an experience can be tailored to a client’s desires and expectations, the more likely they are to return and to use the same service again.
5. Bleisure Travel: A Millennial Tourism Trend
The concept of combining leisure and tourism with travel for business is hardly new: “big cations” have been popular for many decades. As the tourism sector attempts to woo a more frugal customer base, however, the concept of leisure travel has become increasingly relevant among tourism trends. Bleisure travel tourism can take many forms. Sometimes a client who is travelling for work decides to engage in tourism on their downtime; in other cases, a company may arrange for tourist activities on work trips as a perk. Another increasingly popular set of tourism trends relate to the “digital nomad” phenomenon where online workers engage in travel.
6. Recognition technology
Recognition technology is one of those increasingly important tourism trends that’s starting to creep into a multitude of different areas. One of the most familiar applications of recognition technology for a frequent traveller is the bank of automatic gates at some borders. The gates are capable of reading the data on the traveller’s passport or ID card and matching it to their face using a camera and facial recognition technology. Recognition technology is one of the big tourism trends in the hospitality industry too, with voice recognition becoming more and more popular as a method of control in smart hotel rooms.
7. Customer Experience
Of course, the customer experience has always been central to the tourist industry. With new technologies and an ever-broadening array of options for tourists, enhancing the customer experience has never been more vital. In the final analysis, customer experience is what will make or break your business. Fine-tuning the experience can make the difference between creating a loyal repeat customer who boosts your business via word of mouth, and one who drops out at the booking stage. Everything from the web interface where your clients book their trips to the very last day of their journey needs to be as enjoyable as possible.
8. Healthy and organic food
Healthy food and the kind of fare consumed by tourists used to be antonyms in the minds of many travellers, with holidays traditionally representing a chance to break one’s diet and indulge in forbidden treats. Today’s travellers know that delicious and nutritious are not exclusive concepts. Demand for excellent cuisine with a view to better nutrition is driving new tourism trends. The modern tourist wants to know that the food they’re eating is as healthy as it is delicious. The organic food movement is also affecting tourism trends, with more eateries and hotels offering organic options. Other special diets are also represented.