8 travel, lifestyle trends in a social media world

Travel and lifestyle marketing firm KWE Partners, Miami, has reviewed the travel-related trends of the past seven years and superimposed the criteria of the social media world to create a list of eight key trends that are still worthy of monitoring, including three megatrends.

Here is a summary of the KWE list, along with a link to a more detailed report:

Mega-trend: Neo-tribalism

Identified by Futurist Watts Wacker as the fracturing of communities into smaller groups, neo -tribalism is the desire to seek out others with shared interests, sensibilities and passions. Networks of new “tribes” are ever easier to create and discover thanks to social media.

Mega-trend: Hunt for value

The search for value became a necessity borne from a weak economy, combined with the status symbol of being a smart consumer. Now it’s about the search itself: deal hunting for amusement. Look for more gamification marketing to create brand awareness.

Mega-trend: Lifestyle immersion, new experiences

Since 2008, the majority of consumers had to tighten their belts, but in the process, discovered they could live without so much “stuff.” So when they do venture out to buy, they want a retail experience, an outing that’s about more than a purchase. Lifestyle hotels are appealing to everyone from foodies (the Food Hotel) to divorcees (the Divorce Hotel).

Authenticity, localism

Tuned in travelers desire authentic experiences; the chance to interact in local neighborhoods by living, eating and paying local, non-tourist prices. It’s about uniqueness and escaping homogeneity. Prior to and during their stay, hotel guests look to the hotel’s social media channels for this hyper-localized, insider information.

A renter economy

A growing trend over the last few years is the desire for less responsibility and reluctance to commit large sums of money, but consumers still want to collect as many experiences as possible. And it’s socially evolving to peer-to-peer renting between consumers: everything from homes and fashion, to jets, cars and parking spaces.

Crowdsourcing, crowdpleasing

“We’re living in a Karaoke world,” said cultural gadfly Malcolm McLaren, meaning that everyone wants to be a star. One of the more exciting trends in travel: hotels giving guests the opportunity to customize aspects of their hotel experience, not just with a choice of pillow or mattress, but choose artwork, color, lighting and scent.

Family and friends a priority

Anything that helps foster friendships is a growing market – from ladies nights at top restaurants and communal dining tables to girlfriend getaways and lobbies that foster social interaction will continue to be much in demand.

Mobile apps transform

Hotels such as St. Regis’ E-butler app helps guests interact with staff butlers and concierges; and Four Seasons just reported that five times more bookings come from tablets than from their website.