Q&A with Travel Experts: Talking Trends
With the travel industry always innovating, we can’t wait to see what 2017 will have in store. To get a sneak peek into some of the hottest trends and travel destinations for the New Year, we sat down with some of the most influential people in the industry.
Let’s see what they have to say about 2017 and what this year will bring to the travel industry:
Q: What travel Trends are you predicting for 2017?
Todd Powell – Vacations By Rail CEO and Co-Founder
U.S. National Parks are going to remain very popular coming off the wave of the Parks Centennial in 2016. Demand for U.S. Parks travel will continue throughout the year with a special interest in late summer travel, when a number of National Parks will offer excellent viewing options for an August lunar eclipse.
Samantha Hartman – Travel Consultant, Protravel International LLC
Multi-generational travel will grow. So will adventure or off-the-grid honeymoons, with more couples choosing to book these over beach destinations.
Mahesh Chaddah – Reservations.com Co-Founder
1. Personalized travel planning experiences will be on the rise. While they have been promised for years, with new platforms like Reservations.com changing offering personalized recommendations based on a user’s travel behavior, travel brands will have to shift to this custom-made mode to attract and accommodate savvy travelers.
2. Bleisure travel, the newly coined term for the rising trend business and leisure travel, is here to stay. Expect to see a rise in high-tech and other trendy amenities in what were previously considered business-only hotels.
Megan Velez, Destination Weddings Travel Group
1. Excursions at the selected destination will be big in 2017 for honeymooners – brides and grooms love the opportunity to spend a day taking in the sights, sounds and popular activities. We’re finding that couples are pre-planning their excursions and extending the invitation to their guests so they can enjoy each other’s company in the downtime.
2. Social group travel is also on the rise- from bachelor and bachelorette party getaways to having loved ones join in on the honeymoon after the destination wedding. We’re even seeing destination wedding couples and their attendees have such a great time at the celebration that they return together at a later date just to have a fun vacation.
Eric Grayson, Founder of Discover 7 Travel
1. We think shared jet charters will continue to increase their market-share in 2017. Besides the obvious convenience factors, it’s also undeniable that people love to talk about flying privately.
2. We continue to see an increase in more obscure and exotic destinations. On one hand, I think people are looking for stories and experiences that nobody else has. On the other hand, the past year has made people more skittish about traveling to big cities in say Europe because of the threat of terrorism. When they tell us they want an alternative, it really gives us a chance to think outside the box and wow them with an idea they’d never even considered. I don’t think we’re alone in that regard, so my expectation is that 2017 will see a spike in off-the-path destinations and experiential travel to remote locales like gorilla trekking in Rwanda or exploring Easter Island.
Mike Cleary, StudentUniverse‘s EVP
We took a look at our data and noticed that study abroad travel, for students on short study abroad trips that lasted between two to three weeks travelers to Europe, increased 37% for fall study abroad and 98% for spring study abroad between 2015 and 2016. At the same time, groups traveling with 10 or more people (often faculty-led) saw a 9% growth year over year. The sizes of groups traveling are also up 6% year over year. This is coupled with less volume to the South Pacific and more to Europe and Latin America.
Swapnil Shinde, CEO and co-founder of personal travel concierge app, Mezi
1. Bleisure Boom: Mixing work with pleasure is an up and coming trend in travel with a number of companies baking incentive trips into employee benefit packages. More employees than ever have the freedom to extend stays for personal trips, or bring family members along for business trips to immerse themselves in the local culture with a loved one when not on the job.
2. Local Travel: Millennials value experiences over things, but often don’t have the means to book extravagant vacations at world-renown locations. We will continue to see young people traveling to destinations within their own budget in 2017. Whether it’s within their country, state or even their own backyards, enriching experiences in local culture (even your own) is highly valued.
3. Solo travel: With a surge in women-only retreats and women-only travel companies, we’re seeing an uptick in solo travel, especially with women. This emerging trend falls in-step with independent travel booking as travelers continue to look for more personal, enriching experiences.