Internet Travel Monitor - Industry News

August 9, 2017

Predicting the 'Next Big Thing' in Travel

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When someone predicts what’s going to happen, it could be based on studies of patterns, polls, conversations or a whole host of other ways of getting information. Or, it could just be a hunch.

Either way, every industry predicts what might happen next in their industry. Some get it right, some not so much. On that note, we asked several travel agents to predict what might be the next big thing in the travel industry.

Work and Travel

“I am not talking about business trips,” said Sean P. Finelli, The Roman Guy.

“I am talking about people traveling and working remotely as they go. With more stories of families ‘quitting Wall Street and hitting the road,’ employers are starting to come around. They are either offering leave of absence time for those who want to explore the world or the opportunity to work remotely while enjoying a foreign destination. I, too, will be working remotely with my whole family from Bali this November for a month to relax and enjoy a new setting.”

Family Travel

“The demand for family travel is exploding right now,” said Margie Lenau of Wonderland Family Vacations in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“I think the next big thing will be ways to include children in travel experiences, even during business travel. Parents are even taking their children out of school to travel. I think this may increase as a way of life for families that value travel.”

Millennial Travel

“Currently, the biggest trends in the travel industry are being driven by Millennials because of their focus on experiences, adventure and cultural immersion,” said Oli Russell-Cowan, Founder, Rad Season. “Millennials are trading in hotel chains and big box for local experiences, cultural events and authentic cuisine.”

Russell-Cowan said that use among this demographic is shaping the way they book their experiences.

“They are moving farther away from the traditional travel agent and more toward unique platforms that allow them to rent a treehouse in someone's backyard or couch surf through Europe,” he said. “Social media documentation (user-generated content) of these experiences are responsible for encouraging other Gen Y'ers to pursue their own travel experiences that are different from what everyone else is doing.”

He also said that eco-consciousness and emphasis on stepping outside of the traditional tourist bubble are driving Millennials to travel in a way that reduces their footprint and gives back to the community they're visiting, e.g. WWOOFing- working organic farms in exchange for room and board in another locale).

“Not to mention the increase in the number of remote jobs contributing to the influx of professionals traveling for months on end to experience the world, all while keeping a job. Gen Y is re-shaping the way we travel and companies like Rad Season, Airbnb and HipCamp are meeting those travel needs."

Predicting Our Travel

Andre Azer, StudentUniverse's VP of Marketing, has two predictions on the next big thing: First, he believes companies, OTAs and airlines will use machine learning to tell consumers where they want to go before they know it themselves. “Credit card companies and financial institutions are already doing this by utilizing data and purchase trends to predict divorce before it even happens. Travel is next (minus the divorce.)”

Virtual Reality Travel

“Virtual reality will allow you to experience destinations before visiting to pick your next bucket list travel,” said Azer. “Soon, you won't just see the destination, you'll be able to smell the local scents as well to make it feel like a firsthand experience.

The Best of Both Worlds

Joost Schreve, the co-founder and CEO of kimkim says that travel 1.0 began when commercial aviation first took back in the 1920s.

"That first wave of travel was all about agents creating tailored trips for the elite few who could afford to travel,” said Schreve. “During the mid-90s we moved into Travel 2.0 with the rise of companies like, Expedia and Priceline. Travel 2.0 was all about basement prices and how individual travelers could get the lowest price possible on various trip components.”

Today, Schreve said there are indications that we're moving into a new Travel 3.0. “Travel 3.0 is about the best of both worlds, largely because busy families and professionals simply don't have the free time available to hunt for bargains, but memories of the recent recession make them yearn for high savings,” he said.

He’s said he’s hearing more often from clients a desire for localized travel expertise without the high price tag of existing guided luxury experience providers. “People we work with value their spare time immensely, so it makes sense to have an expert sort out tedious details, like train schedules and airport shuttles,” he said.

“In the Travel 3.0 world, we anticipate seeing more and more travelers who want to get off the beaten path with bespoke travel experiences that have been handcrafted for them and their loved ones at a reasonable price. We expect to see the local travel expert trend continue to take flight over the next decade."

Copyright 2017 travAlliancemedia™. All rights reserved. From By Lisa Iannucci.
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