The travel industry rarely stands still. New trends, new types of travellers and new destinations mean the demands on travel companies and tourism boards are constantly changing. Millennials and Generation Z have pushed the boundaries of what we expect from travel. The majority of the $8.27 trillion spent on the travel and tourism industry last year was spent online; 48% of smartphone users in the US say they are happy to plan and the book their entire trip on their smartphone. The digital boom seems to be well established, but what are the new trends that we should look out for in 2019?
Here are five trends that might inspire you.
Words: Thea Felker
1. Bleisure: A survey by the Great Hotels of the World group found that 75% would try to combine business with leisure in 2019. ‘Bleisure’, as it is known, is a growing phenomenon and sees business travellers add leisure time either to the start or end of their work trips. Too often business travellers only see the airport, the inside of a taxi, the hotel and a meeting room when they travel overseas, but in 2019 Bleisure is starting to address that problem.
2. Sustainable Tourism: According to WRAP, the UK alone generates around 5 million tonnes of plastic every single year. Businesses are increasingly finding themselves under pressure to move away from single-use plastics to an altogether more sustainable model. Millennials and Generation Z travellers are increasingly conscious of their impact on the environment and in 2019 they will start to let that influence their travel choices. Travel companies which are more transparent about their attitude towards the environment are likely to do better than ever before.
3. Social First: The influence of social media on travel and our choice of destination should not be underestimated. In 2019, it will continue to grow with as many as 30% of millennial travellers claiming their choice of destination has been directly influenced by a single social media post. Many in that group also say that the moment they upload their own holiday snaps to Instagram or Facebook is as important as the holiday itself.
4. Points And More Points: With all of us looking for ways to increase our ability to travel more frequently, the professional points collector is a growing trend. By choosing the right credit cards and loyalty schemes with airlines and hotels, we can not only turn our everyday spending into free travel, but we can also travel in more luxury than we might otherwise have been able to afford. Could it help you get away in 2019?
5. Experiences Over Material: Millennials are not as materialistic as generations that have gone before them. They would rather spend their money on experiences when they travel and so, in 2019, we will see a move towards travel that is much more authentic and rewarding. Around 40% of millennial travellers say they want to travel to a place that gives them a sense of child-like wonder in 2019. Does that sound like you?