Six travel trends that are reshaping tourism
Human beings thirst for adventure is beyond dispute. Whether venturing to see what is over the next hill in primordial times, or globetrotting at near supersonic speeds today, we have an irrepressible desire to traverse, understand and enjoy our planet. Implicit in that statement is how substantially travel and adventure has changed during the millennia. And it continues to grow and change, driven as it is by the forces of technology, demographics and the stunning rise in global wealth in from Asia to South America.
One of the media organizations tracking the tourism industry’s explosion and evolution is Travel Market Report, which recently published an article titled Six Travel Trends to Watch in 2014 and Beyond, based on research conducted by Resonance Consultancy, an organization that monitors consumer and travel trends, among other services. Consider this post a capsule summary of that story and report. Those travel trends worthy of your attention are:
The impact of millennials. Also known as Generation Y, millennials are a more ethnically diverse group than other generations and more interested in international travel. Other preferences that characterize millennials, comprised of young people ages 18 to 30, include a greater interest in:
- Urban rather than resort destinations
- Traveling in pursuit of their favorite interests or activities
- Traveling with friends in organized groups
Seniors are unstoppable. Senior citizens, estimated to account for up to 1.6 billion people worldwide, are demanding travelers with “zero tolerance” for poor customer service. They travel primarily for rest and relaxation, and they favor quieter, less congested destinations.
The rise of conspicuous leisure. This is defined as the signaling of social status through the consumption of experience rather than through consumer products. These are people looking for new and different experiences. The trend has been fostered by the widespread sharing of vacation photos on social media sites, according to the Resonance Consultancy report.
The growth of creative tourism. This is travel directed toward an “engaged and authentic experience.” In other words, travel that provides a connection with those who reside in the destination. It differs from a cultural tourist in that the creative tourist interacts with the locals, rather than simply observe the environment in which they live.
The strength of luxury travel. This continues to be a robust segment of the industry, the report says, with millions of millionaires worldwide fueling the trend. Meanwhile, the number of affluent U.S. households is projected to increase from 10.5 million in 2012 to 20.5 million in 2020. China is often cited for its rapidly expanding wealthy class, but research indicates that travelers from the United States, Japan and Europe will dominate the luxury travel category until 2020.
More multi-generational travel. As baby boomers age they are organizing more family travel, often planned around milestone events. This market is about “trading memories, convenience and value,” the report notes. There is a short supply of destinations that provides adequate services for both children and seniors, though some cruise lines have taken a leadership position in catering to the multi-generational travel market.
It should also be noted that The Rose Hotel has been host to a good deal of multi-generational travel, with our host of amenities for all ages and persuasions right outside our door in the historic shopping, dining and entertainment district it occupies.
The other trends cited by the report also play to The Rose Hotel’s strength, from providing luxury to high-end travelers, access to urban cultures and activities, rural wineries, and outdoor coastal and alpine adventure. These are part of the advantages of our location in the San Francisco Bay Area, and that is an advantage we convey to our guests at every opportunity.
Written by Mike Consol