42% of Americans say they're planning to take a vacation this year, while the number of Brits traveling abroad increased by 14% last year compared to 2015. 31 out of 100 Australians travel each year, while almost 50% of New Zealanders travel annually. Germans also love to travel, with 50% traveling for two weeks every year.
Most of these travellers are heading to warmer destinations. But there are a few travel trends you need to watch out for in 2017:
1. Last-Chance Tourism
The tourism industry is changing. Sadly, we're all well aware of the damage that humans are doing to the environment. Many tourists are desperate to see the Maldives or Great Barrier Reef as they face the threat of climate change.
This "get in before they're gone" mentality has created a niche tourism market. Unfortunately, the deluge of tourists scrambling to see these places is contributing to their decline.
Machu Picchu is seeing visitor numbers grow by 6% a year as tourists hear about the large groups damaging the Inca trail. And travel to Antarctica is on the rise as tourists hope to see the polar bears and retreating glaciers.
2. Millennials and Travel Trends
Millennials have officially overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest generation in history, and studies have shown that they're more concerned with spending their money on travel and experiences than home ownership.
It happens that millennials are also 23% more interested in traveling overseas than older generations. This means that businesses in the tourism industry that focus on catering to this group are likely to see a great ROI.
This age group turns their nose up at packaged holidays, and want to get off the beaten path. 69% consider themselves to be adventurous and are increasingly traveling to destinations like Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Myanmar, Cuba, India, and Africa.
Millennials have more disposable income, as many have not yet had families. They're also more willing to spend less on rent, cars, and clothes in order to travel to far-flung destinations- 70% say they would like to visit every continent.
It's becoming more important than ever for the tourism industry to cater to millennials. That means having a huge online presence, and providing millennials with the things they care about, including:
- Free Wifi
- Convenience- the ability to book everything online
- Positive reviews
- Excellent service
- Authentic, unique adventures
- Information about the top travel trends
- Listening to feedback
- Opportunities to learn new things
- Responsive websites- 46% will book through a tablet or smartphone
3. The Ability to Unplug
More and more companies are beginning to realize the importance of encouraging employees to take their vacation time.
But it's not enough to go overseas if you constantly have to check in with the office, answer emails, and take work calls.
While most travelers want to do this on their own terms (wifi is hugely important), some remote hotels are using the fact that they don't have wifi as a unique selling point.
For people who are continually connected, a digital detox can be hugely attractive- particularly when they're visiting somewhere beautiful. Leaving technology behind is becoming one of the top travel trends this year.
A study by Intel Security discovered that 49% of millennials and 37% of respondents aged 40-50 said they were willing to completely unplug while they were on vacation.
However, this means different things to different people. in the same study, 65% of those surveyed said that "unplugged" means a complete cut-off from internet usage, while 50% said it just meant that they wouldn't make any phone calls while they were relaxing on vacation.
To learn more about using these travel trends to grow your business, get in touch today.