Travel trends and business predictions for 2017
Happy New Year everybody. It is that time when we make resolutions for the year ahead, take stock in how our lives are progressing and, of course, what the New Year will be for one and all. For those who fancy themselves futurists or people of vision, it is the time when they make predictions about what will come to pass during the next 12 months.
One travel site joined the forecast with eight travel predictions, based on traveler endorsements, reviews, preferences and insights, as well as industry leading understanding and innovation in e-commerce travel technology. They are…
- Instant gratification 2.0: Technology is fueling a more demanding and impatient traveler. Some 44 percent already expect to be able to plan their holiday in a few simple taps of their smart phone and more than half (52 percent) of respondents expect their use of travel apps to increase in 2017. With new developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence, go-to apps will go beyond mere functionality and evolve into real companions that predict travelers individual needs.
- Getting to business: The: “bleisure” (combined business and leisure travel) boom is well and truly underway, and 2017 will see a further upswing not only in the blurring lines between leisure and business travel, but in the value attached to workplace travel opportunities. Forty-nine percent of 2016 business travelers say they have extended their business trips to further enjoy the destination, while 75 percent intend to do so the same or more in the coming year. Thirty percent say they would accept a lower paid job if it meant they could travel more for work.
- Appetite to discover: The discovered world has many undiscovered places, and 2017 will see travelers unleashing their inner explorer like never before.
- Mind, body and soul: In a hectic world people are increasingly seeing travel as a way to bring balance back into their lives. Almost half (48 percent) see going on holiday as a moment to reflect and make better lifestyle choices. The coming year will see many travelers prioritizing health conscious trips.
- Go green or stay home: There is no denying the trend for both travelers and accommodations becoming more environmentally and sustainably aware as well as responsible. The coming year will see more than one-third (36 percent) of travelers planning to choose more eco-friendly travel options than they did in 2016 and 39 percent say they are interested in an eco-tour travel experience.
- Simple pleasures: Travelers in 2017 will be inspired by their own aspirations rather than material possessions, with 58 percent saying they will prioritize spending on experiences, such as travel, rather than material possessions.
- The human touch: Interacting with staff and forging genuine relationships on vacation will increasingly important to travelers in 2017. Travelers crave the kind of human interaction that makes their travels memorable.
- Fly me to the moon: Travel has become a lifestyle, not a luxury for many, and they want to explore new frontiers, with 44 percent seeing a future when tourism can take them to the far flung corners of the galaxy or the depths of the sea. That might not be as far off as one might think.
On the business and technology front, look for 2017 to bring the fusion of auto and tech. Research from McKinsey & Company points to a new “ecosystem” will be created by the convergence of the automotive and technology industries. In essence, future cars will become computers on wheels as tech player move into the automotive sector to leverage their existing capabilities. Already:
- A number of high-tech players are developing autonomous-driving systems that are quite likely to merge into what the computer industry calls an operating system (the central system that makes a unit run).
- Disruptors from the taxi and ride-sharing industries are developing innovative new business models.
- Two leading online and technology companies are focusing on in-car entertainment platforms, which they hope will become the standard for applications.
Tesla goes coast to coast. Fortune magazine is predicting that electric car manufacturer Tesla will enable one of its cars to drive itself across the country from California to New York in 2017, showing off its autonomous driving capability. But it will be the second self-driving coast-to-coast trip. Auto supplier Delphi built a self-driving car that went shore to shore in 2015.
The price of oil will hit $69 per barrel by summer, forecasts Merrill Lynch, while the Energy Information Administration is more modest in its prediction that oil will move from its current $45 per barrel to $50 per barrel this year.
Inflation will be moving higher across developed markets. “Reflation” is the theme du jour following Donald Trump’s unexpected emphasis on infrastructure spending in his acceptance speech on election night. What seems clear, according to Goldman Sachs, is that economic issues, notably tax cuts, infrastructure spending and defense spending, are high on the agenda — a recipe for reflation. Expect rising oil prices to push up CPI inflation data in developed markets early next year. Central banks may let inflation run above their 2 percent target rates after struggling for years with low inflation numbers.
Home prices have risen relentlessly of late — the S&P/Case-Shiller index is up 37 percent since 2012 — but homebuilders have not kept pace with demand, as inventory for sale has fallen 9 percent over that time. With wages rising and unemployment low, 2017 will be the year builders finally start building in earnest again.
The staff and management of The Rose Hotel will be a bit more modest in its ability to foresee the future. What we can say with confidence is that 2017 will be another strong year for business and leisure travel, and we will be here to play our role in the process — and will do so with the same zeal and commitment that has along been The Rose Hotel’s hallmark.
Here’s to 2017!
Written by Mike Consol