Traveling and the travel industry have changed drastically in the past two decades, largely due to advancing technology. As 2016 approaches, we take a look at the latest travel trends, courtesy of Gyro.com and WTOP.com.
Combining business with leisure travel
One welcome upward trend is an increase in work/life balance, and as a result, more business travelers are combining business with leisure in their trips. Known in the industry as “bleisure” travel, people are extending trips over the weekend, and often bringing spouses, significant others, or the whole family along.
Readily available Wi-Fi, including in-flight, has freed workers from the office and allowed anyone with an internet connection to stay connected and get work done from virtually anywhere, such as a café, park, or even the beach.
More mobile travel companion apps
Another increasing trend in travel is the rise of mobile apps to accompany a vacation destination. Mobile travel companion apps can help with all aspects of your trip, from travel itinerary to location highlights and history.
Travel companies know that connected passengers usually have a more enjoyable experience, and also share more of their trip with friends and family while acting as influential brand ambassadors. So, expect more travel apps to accompany specific vacation destinations that will offer tailored content, more ways to stay connected, and help create tailored and immersive experiences.
Vacations for foodies
While many people travel to experience a city’s culture and history through museums and historic sites, a growing number of “foodies” prefer to eat and drink it in a foreign destination. So travel companies are taking notice, and customizing tours and trips for food tourism.
There are many options for those to not just taste, but experience a location’s food culture. Take a wine tasting class in Napa Valley or a baking class in Paris, for example. In Italy, tour a pasta factory; Switzerland offers a variety of cheese and chocolate tours; and tourists in Bangkok can ride a row boat through a traditional floating market or take a midnight Tuk Tuk ride to some of the city’s beloved eateries.
The rise of experiential travel
Today’s active travelers expect more than just a walking or bus tour of a city. They want to experience a city in a unique way. The goal of experiential travel, also known as immersion travel, is to not just visit a location, but connect with it byexperiencing its history and culture on a very native, street level. Some say this is connected to social media, where people love to post and tweet their travel adventures to the world. The “wow factor” is key.
Paying for silence
If the idea of visiting some place where your phone doesn’t get service and nobody knows your name, then you may be interested in another travel trend known as silence tourism. As we’re all constantly connected, it’s hard to escape work and demands, no matter how many miles we’re away from the office, so it’s no surprise that some travelers are looking for peace and quiet on vacation. And the travel industry is taking notice.
Silence tourism is kind of the next big thing, says one travel industry expert. There’s a growing demand for vacation destinations where people can get away, walk in nature, and not necessarily have access to Wi-Fi and cell service.