While an extremely old industry, trends in travel are changing at an extremely fast pace, especially when it comes to adopting new forms of technology. Therefore, the trends that we can expect in 2018 will be unique, innovative, and the latest in technology!
1. Leisure travel mixed with business travel
With business travel on the rise and countries becoming more accessible, travelers today prefer to combine business and leisure for increased convenience. Therefore, travel agencies will see more of quick vacations, customized tours, and travel plans dictated by factors like proximity and availability of time.
2. Solo female travelers
Indicating a major shift in the industry, solo women travelers are fast becoming the norm as women are venturing outside their comfort zones, and are willing to experiment more with destinations, experiences, and activities. Hence, this is a sector that has major scope for growth in the coming year.
3. Experiential travel
Experiences will be the cornerstone of travel in 2018. For travelers today, travel is all about the people you meet and the experiences you have, and this will increase in 2018. How about swimming with the pigs in Bahamas or chasing the Northern Lights in Finland?
4. Cultural travel
Along with experiential travel, travelers are also looking at really getting close to a country’s culture. As a result, home stays and boutique hotels are becoming increasingly popular, and travelers are increasingly tailoring their vacations around specific festivals, cultural hotspots, and unique experiences.
5. Luxury is on the rise
While luxury has always been a major travel segment, it’s going to increase in 2018. From first-class suites on planes to themed getaways, spa vacations, exotic destinations, and unique experiences, this is a segment that will never go out of fashion, especially with the constant increase in spending power.
6. Technology and AI
With the scope of technology increasing by leaps and bounds, it stands to reason that it would also have an impact on the travel industry. As a result, the industry will be seeing an increase in technology being used for various applications like travel bookings, communicating locally, and ease of local travel. For instance, there’s a particular airline that’s investing in a Siri-like AI to communicate with travelers to put together a personalized travel plan for each person. That personalization would be bolstered by analysis of interactions with other travelers and large data sets about preferences.
7. Maturing markets
Come 2018, travel markets that were on the bottom of every bucket list are slowly coming to the top, mainly due to the rise in economic stability of countries and the constant search for new and unique experiences. These destinations include China, Japan, and Africa.
8. Quick getaways
In addition to long vacations, quick weekend getaways have also become the norm, with travelers opting for undiscovered locations close to home, that can be covered in a couple of days. In this way, they get a chance to unwind amidst a very busy schedule, and gain a new perspective of their hometown.
Staycations have become quite a popular trend and many travelers have trended in the direction of sticking around locally to enjoy their vacation time. In this way, they get a chance to enjoy their vacation in peace, without any time spent in traveling and without having to worry about lengthy itineraries.
10. Sustainable tourism
With the increase in social accountability and travelers increasingly coming to terms with the effect of certain activities on the environment, sustainable travel is increasingly becoming a part of the travel mainstream. When people think about sustainability in travel, they often only think about the green footprint aspect, but it goes much deeper than that to also embrace support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage, along with social and economic benefits for local people in destinations throughout the world.
Volunteering is getting an entirely new identity with voluntourism, a growing trend in travel today, with more than 1.6 million volunteer tourists traveling each year, most of them students looking to fill their gap years or professionals interested in making a difference. With this, travelers are looking to make a difference across various communities, specifically in developing countries.
12. Adventure travel
With travelers getting increasingly adventurous on their trips, there is no experience that’s off limits today. Whether it’s surfing, parasailing, bungee jumping, snorkeling, spelunking, kayaking, kite boarding, trekking, or hiking, and so much more, adventure has become a watchword for the travel industry.