The travel industry is never stagnant. While 2014 saw a mixed picture in regards to consumer confidence and sales, 2015 was a much more robust year with affluent travelers forging a path with renewed optimism. After the global economy’s slowing in recent years, global travel is on the rise, according to the IBT “World Travel Trends Report 2014/2015”. Just think, every time you get on a private jet to another destination, you’re among the leading trendsetters.
The popularity of city trips, soared in 2015, making them part of the fastest-growing market segment. In the last couple years, city destinations have been more popular than beach holidays because of the increase of lower cost flights and affordable accommodations. The most popular destinations include Paris, London, New York, Barcelona and Singapore.
Sharing Economy and Living Like a Local
Move over, travel brands. If you’re looking for a stylish cabana on the beach or a high-rise with a view in the city, a private owner rather than a hotel chain may have exactly what you seek. Taking a larger portion of the market share each year, sharing economy firms such as Airbnb and Uber are making a growing dent in the accommodation industry.
Part of the sharing economy’s appeal is the desire to live more like the local residents. Today’s travelers seek more authentic experiences and hidden hotspots that big hotel chains don’t offer. To make a residence more appealing, some hosts take cues from the hospitality industry and provide five-star amenities, such as fresh fruits, wi-fi, scented candles, ambient music, cleaning services, food deliveries and concierge services.
Curated Experiences and Vacations that Work Harder
One of the biggest trends in 2015 among affluent travelers who want to maximize their leisure time and expenses is the personalized well-curated vacation. This type of vacation is specifically tailored to a traveler or group and blends visits to cultural and historical sites, opportunities to meet local residents, and variety of eating experiences.
This trend is the result of individuals spending fewer days per year on their travels and wanting to invest wisely on that precious time off. By making a vacation, work harder, a traveler gains added perceived value from a trip.
Living Room Lobbies
Today’s travelers are more social online and in person. More jet setters wish to venture out of their rooms to mix and mingle with others at all hours of the day—not just during breakfast or evening cocktails. Because of this, several hotel chains are redesigning their lobby spaces and other common areas to resemble living rooms.
Fitness and Wellness Holidays
Up to 15 percent of travelers plan vacations around a physical challenge, adventure or a sporting event, according to the ABTA “Travel Trends Report 2015.” Such trips include going to a destination to partake in activities such as extreme sports, skiing, SCUBA diving, hiking, fishing, or watching a favorite team play.
In addition to incorporating fitness activities and sports into trips, many travelers seek to rest and revitalize with spa and wellness trips. These breaks include activities such as stress relief, yoga, fitness, spa and detox. Popular destinations for wellness trips are remote locations like Indonesia, Costa Rica, Southwestern U.S. and Oman.