For avid travelers like my wife and myself, it is important to keep up with what is trendy in among other travelers. By keeping up with what is popular from airline deals to destinations and everything in between, you can start putting some ideas together on where you want to go, how you want to get there, and where you want to stay. 2016 saw a big push from travelers towards affordability and diversity. Airbnb’s explosion in revenue is a prime example of that push. The trends of 2017 will continue on that path as more people want to see the world that exists outside of a five-star hotel.
Millennials are shaping the travel industry every year. An astonishing number of millennials are expected to travel in 2017, as the generation spends about $220 billion on travel per year and makes up 22% of all travelers. One thing millennials love to do on vacation is stay active, which is why there is such an influx on active vacations. Mountain biking, kayaking, trail running, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and hiking are all popular activities to book vacations around for 2017. As avid cyclists, my wife and I have spent time cycling from winery to winery in California’s Napa Valley, and it was one of the most enjoyable trips we have taken. With millions of American’s making New Year’s resolutions to get in shape for 2017, look out for the number of active vacationers to rise in the first quarter of the year.
Blending Business and Leisure
The availability of Wi-Fi is making it easier than ever for travelers to work on the road. On the contrary, it is also making it easier for professionals on business trips to enjoy more than a flight to and from their conference, meeting, presentation, or trade show. The travel industry is seeing increases in “Bleisure” travel, which is a fancy word for spending an extra day or two in a city that you are visiting strictly for business purposes. Bleisure travelers are taking advantage of easily-accessible Wi-Fi by working their normal business hours wherever they are traveling, and then enjoying the nightlife of that city for a night or two before heading home.
Travelers are ditching the Ritz Carlton and opting for a spare room in a 3-bedroom apartment in the downtown district. Local Travel is not a new concept, but it has picked up mainstream steam in the past few years. In 2017, more travelers are looking for a cultural immersion when they reach their destination, and they are doing so by spending time with the locals. The shift from tourism to travel means people are ditching tour busses, guides, and all-inclusive food packages for public transportation, local advice, and farm-to-table meals. Travelers want to have experiences in 2017 instead of just having a camera roll full of pictures on their iPhone that they could find in a Google search.
The wants and needs of travelers will always shape the travel industry. By demanding accommodations for the trends mentioned above, travelers are putting pressure on airlines, hotels, resorts, and travel agents to keep up in 2017.