Travel patterns have changed vastly over the last few years. We are entering a new age in the hotel industry — whilst the 5-star market continues to go from strength to strength and boutique luxury remains fashionably chic, new current trends are seeing rather unusual hotels emerging. From eco-lodges to vegan resorts, the demand from our travelers has perhaps never been more diverse. But who are our main travel groups in 2015, and where will they be staying?
The corporate sector is now traveling further afield than ever with new business hubs such as the Middle East and China creating strong bonds with the Western market. Interestingly, the corporate traveler is evolving with the modern age; people have a greater desire to combine their essential working travel with leisure-based activities. They can either extend their trip over a weekend or make the most out of local attractions.
This all certainly links to one of the strongest emerging markets, the tech-savvy traveler. These travelers are paving the way for technological change in our industry as more and more hotel bookings are being made via mobile or tablet platforms rather than traditional methods.
Accessibility and easy-to-use navigation are paramount to modern travelers. Mobile apps and complimentary Wi-Fi are now becoming deal breakers in our industry, and the tech-savvy traveler will seek out these tools when booking their travel. Hotels will need to adapt and grow their technological edge to capture this rising market, and even the quintessentially traditional Lanesborough hotel, re-opening in London this summer; has made the decision to include Crave tablets in all of its guestrooms.
We are also seeing a rise in the senior traveler. Those over the age of 50 tend to have higher spending power than their younger counterparts when it comes to their travel arrangements. They not only have the means but also the time and desire to travel, and retirement plans are commonly being built around travel packages and excursions. The elder demographic has grown enormously, and the global population of people over the age of 65 is expected to triple to 1.5 billion by 2050. It’s definitely not a market segment hoteliers can afford to overlook, and travel agents in particular will need to impress with value-added packages as well as flexible booking systems to entice these travelers to book with them directly.
With so many new trends constantly emerging, who will be the winners and losers?