A wise man named Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Those of us in the travel and tourism industry know this truth all too well. But just like the fleeting moments we work hard to create for vacationers, travel trends come and go, and they move fast. What do people look for in a vacation in 2018? Is it still called a vacation? We did a little research to find out what today’s travelers want when they’re on the move. Here’s what we know:
Food is not just a necessity, it’s a cultural experience.
The days of five-star dining and fancy tablecloths are behind us. Today, foodie nomads demand adventure in their meals, and that means frequenting authentic spots for local cuisine. Vacationers want to go home and tell their friends what new, unique, can’t-get-it-anywhere-else dish they tried. This is especially true for Millennials who can’t bear to recreate someone else’s experience, especially when it comes to the photo op at the end of dinner.
According to Intrepid Travel, “A recent study by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the definition of adventure is changing. Risky adrenaline activities are favored 45% less than ‘experiencing a new culture’ in the definition of adventure travel.” Activities these food-loving risk-takers enjoy include food tours, cooking classes and wine tastings. Towns and businesses can attract these types of travelers by promoting their specialty dishes and sharing images of appealing spreads and Instagram-worthy dining spaces.
Solo travel is on the rise, and the industry is making accommodations.
Popular travel destinations such as hotels, cruise ships and restaurants have started developing single-friendly packages to accommodate those traveling alone, a practice that has become very popular in recent years. Intrepid Travel found that “Google searches for ‘solo travel’ and ‘travel alone’ were at the highest they’ve ever been in January of .”
One reason this trend is, well, trending is the fact that Millennials are waiting longer than older generations did to settle down and get married. It’s important for businesses that tend to offer promotional packages for families and couples to consider this new demographic and take advantage of those venturing out on their own.
The coolest destinations are the ones nobody’s heard of.
A phenomenon taking place in Europe and trickling into other parts of the world is “discovery travel.” Travelers are passing up the Romes and Parises of the world to venture into neighboring small towns and stumble upon their own must-see destinations.
This strategy gives visitors a truly one-of-a-kind experience that is personal to the individual. In other words, people are opting for the road less traveled so they can say they were there first. That’s great news for backroad destinations that can leverage the appeal of the unknown to increase hotel bookings and restaurant reservations to make Romes out of their Puglias. (Independent)