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Friday, December 2, 2016

Recent Travel Trends 2016 & Beyond

The travel industry changes as much as technology changes and these trends becomes more of a powerful force in how travel takes place. Also, as traveler demands change, so do supply-side service and product providers change in the way they cater services and offer products. This paper documents the changes that are currently taking place in the ever-changing world of travel.

Trend #1: Internet & WIFI

Today, travelers want to be connected more than ever. Indeed, just using smart devices has become the ever-increasing trend in a world that seeks constant connectivity. Rising internet travel brands makes booking easier than ever before in times past. Today, all a traveler needs to do is pick up a smartphone, connect to the internet and book either a fight or flight and hotel. Doing so, using the ever-growing travel sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotels or even Expedia makes travel easy and seamless. Booking and payment only takes a few moments and check-in is easy-to-do.

Trend #1: Reflection & Background

Years ago, travel was very much dependent on interpersonal communication and travelers had to rely on speaking to persons working either at an airport, travel agency and hotel by making 3 different trips or phone calls. While this was a slower process, the human dynamic of human interaction gave travelers a more “personalized” and “catered” service to the traveling public. Today, the use of WIFI and internet has replaced those human, interpersonal communications. Today, mass-efficiency and speed of service is more the goal than is personal service.

Trend #2: Online Reviews & Social Media

Today, the internet allows for business reviews and nearly 95% of all travel business are taking note taking sure that customer service is excellent to support continued sales. Additionally, many travelers use social media as powerful brand ambassadors to promote travel industry businesses to their peers. Recommendations across social media outlets are highly desirable and are likely to result in more sales from social media friends and family.

Trend #2 Reflection & Background

This is a powerful marketing tool that the travel industry can leverage to their benefit. The use of social media (not just in terms of reviews but also the incorporation of picture presentations) is of the utmost importance. In the past, travelers would have to resort to travel magazines and other published print sources (which normally charged a subscription fee unless the traveler was lucky enough to get the resource for free). Today, the traveler only needs an internet connection (many of which are free in some locations) or have access to WIFI connectivity which is normally available for low fees or at the homes of friends and family.

Trend # 3: Online Research Resource: YouTube & Google

Along with Google, YouTube serves as very powerful online resources for travelers. Getting price quotes is easy as a “touch of a button” and getting pics of location destinations are a must. YouTube can assist travelers with video footage, informational speakers and cultural details of the destination to which travelers may wish to visit. Such online sources are easy to search and access. Literally, these search sites have become a powerful way to gather and evaluate traveling information.

Trend #3: Background & Reflection

In year’s past, travelers had to depend on written articles, but with the establishment of more people placing more videos and photos online, more information is available than ever. Again, it is technology that has changed the way that the travel industry is constantly and quickly evaluated. The main idea is speed. Normally, after research booking comes in almost immediately after the research is completed.

Trend #4: Travel Expectations Are Now “Seamless”

The travel experience is truly a “complete” travel experience in its entirety. From doing research, booking, inviting friends and planning the itinerary is now viewed by the traveling public as a complete and personal “total” experience. Much of the activity is taking place on mobile devices with consumers who are “on the go” all the time. The idea of making travel a “one-stop shop” should be the goal of every travel business. Sometimes, to build more “brand awareness” some brand companies need to do special promotions to gain the attention of travelers in unique, different and meaningful ways.

Trend #4: Background & Reflection

Making travel a seamless opportunity for many travelers is the focus of all travel businesses today. In fact, many businesses, to stand apart from the competition, have created a truly integrated marketing system. Earlier than 5 years ago, the travel process was more “disjointed” than today. Travelers had to book with an airline, book with a hotel, book with a car rental place. Today, a truly “one-stop shop” allows the traveling consumer to book ONCE for the flight, hotel and car. And, what’s better, the consumer may choose only a flight, a flight and car package or a flight, car and hotel package arrangement. Promotional details for special travel times can also be arranged for as much as a 50% savings in most cases.

Trend #5: Travel for Singles

Today, with the advent of dating websites, some site operators have realized that there is a very great need for travel companionship. Normally, people don’t like to travel alone and websites that promote
travel also promote singles meeting singles as well as travel destinations. Travelers can go to the destination and meet other singles at that location. The benefit is that the arriving traveler may have someone to “show them the sites” of the location. Additionally, singles can arrange to meet each other at a location (even if one of them doesn’t live there). Such sites include: Your Travel Mates and Trip Together.

Trend #5: Background & Reflection

As the travel industry, has discovered, travel is most likely to occur most of the time when there is more than just one traveler (business travel being the most likely exception). Travel dating may be the very next “big thing” in the travel industry to occur spurring on many more developments. Prior to this, there was little to nothing to offer travelers in terms of “travel mates” or “travel companions” and the rise of dating-travel websites has filled the void in this part of the market and it has become a highly “sought-after” niche marketing that is likely to grow as more travel providers realize the need and begin to fill it in new and innovative ways.

Michael Hathman

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