Before we pack our bags and fill the pages of our passport this year, we turn to The New York Times coveted list of “52 Places To Go in 2017” for major travel inspiration. From the highly anticipated openings of Aman Shanghai, Las Alcobas Napa Valley and Park Hyatt St. Kitts to top “it destinations,” like Portland, Scotland and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan with Abercrombie & Kent‘s custom itineraries, 2017 brings plenty of new and exciting travel ahead.
An insatiable curiosity and passion for travel is in our agency’s DNA, and we look forward to identifying the year’s trends at the start of the year with intel from our clients, media experts, industry news and personal travel experiences. From a rise in sophisticated next-gen wellness retreats to continued interest and development in virtual reality, the future of travel is a bright one.
Wellness travel is here to stay
- Well + Good reported that travelers will continue to search for curated wellness getaways hosted by elite fitness experts/ personalities and industry specialists. And these retreats are getting even more niche and sophisticated.
Aman Wellness Ayurvedic Immersions at Amanbagh offering mindful and physical escapes in the heart of India.
Virtuoso predicts a high demand for multi-generational and family travel
- The 2017 Virtuoso Luxe Report lists “multi-generational travel” as the #1 travel trend to follow this year, with “travel with immediate family” and “celebration vacations” also making the top 5 travel trends of the year. Italy is the #1 family destination.
Next stop: A stay at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, Italy.
- Along the same realm, National Geographic forecasts that family-owned properties that capitalize on the travelers’ desire to make deep, local connections, will become an even bigger draw for luxury travelers in the upcoming year.
- According to Macaroni Kid, a leading travel blog for adventurous parents, 92% of readers believe that travel makes children better global citizens and 55% will spend more on travel in 2017 than they did in 2016.
Travel goes tech
- Augmented reality captured 2016 headlines with ultra-popular mobile gaming app Pokemon Go. Augmented and virtual reality will continue to be buzzwords and go mainstream in 2017 according to SKIFT’s Travel MegaTrends, as more travel and hospitality brands embed AI tech in their search process, chat platforms/ online communications, and other areas to better customer service and engagement.
- Mobile usage and features will continue to expand as desktop use diminishes.
- Hotels and resorts are moving towards completely digitalizing check in processes, in-room requests, reward programs and more through the development of mobile apps.
- Geo-location filters will be a catalyst for more partnerships with businesses and hotel properties.
- There’s an app for that. And hotel apps – now predominantly used for checkin-in and ordering room service – will continue to be refined and more sophisticated.
- Snapchat, Instagram, WeChat, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and text chat are all areas that travel brands need to get used to as traveler behavior shifts in the digital space. SKIFT Take: “Sitting out the race to figure out Snapchat marketing or develop robust partnerships with trusted content providers is a losing proposition for travel companies, regardless of their position in the industry.”
Off-the-grid travel to the world’s most exotic locations is on the rise
- National Geographic’s “7 Luxury Travel Trends for 2017” forecasts that traditional souvenirs are a thing of the past. Elite travelers are searching for access rather than acquisition and would spend money on experiences over materialistic goods.
- Adventure travel is a dominant trend this year. Travelers want one-of-a-kind journeys customized to their personal interests and goals and will splurge for these once in a lifetime experiences.
Views from A&K’s Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise… a true immersion experience into Asian culture
Will travel for food
- Virtuoso said that one of the top five “must-have” travel experiences this year will be for food: “Savor the flavors and eat like a local wherever you roam. Take a cooking class, peruse the markets, hunt for truffles, dine at a world-class restaurant or opt for a private, in-home dining experience.”
- SKIFT confirmed, dining out is now the MAIN EVENT. Our culture has become obsessed with food, and restaurants are evolving to become destinations in their own right serving up immersive and curated experiences rather than status quo service and expected menu items. Evoking that exclusive “only here” feel is also influenced by today’s social media behavior – we eat those #instafood pics up!
Do you have any questions about other trends, or notice something we didn’t cover here? Comment below!