8 Big Travel Predictions for 2017

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Photo courtesy of Forbes

To travel is to see the world with your own eyes and discovering new experiences that’s beyond your turf. Booking.com sheds light on 8 major travel predictions for 2017. So where will your feet take you on your next adventure? Read on to find out what holiday makers and business travellers can expect to experience in the year ahead.

“Experiencing the unknown, encountering different people and cultures, and testing new limits has always been at the core of what drives us to travel and 2017 is certainly shaping up to be an exciting year,” said Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com.

Rijves said, 2017 travellers will have more insatiable appetite for adventure but are also mindful of how experiences can have on the local culture and issues surrounding sustainability. Travellers expect emerging technologies to enhance their experiences that will connect them faster and better. Rijvers believe that travellers aims to experience  the entire journey and finding new ways to empower travellers through technology to express and savour their own unique travel lifestyle at every possible moment.

So what should we look forward in 2017?

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Photo courtesy of Travel App

1. Instant Gratification 2.0

Technology is fuelling a more demanding and impatient traveller. They already expect to be able to plan their holiday in a few simple taps of their smart phone and over half expect their use of travel apps to increase in 2017.

From finding the nearest ATM or available Wi-Fi to queue jumping at top attractions and getting on the go advice on how to get over jetlag, meaningful functionality in palm-based technology will abound.

2. Getting to Business

The ‘bleisure’ 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 we attach to workplace travel opportunities. Of the 40% of global travellers who journeyed for business this year, 46% think they will travel even more for business in 2017.

No longer seen as lost time or a career inconvenience, business travel is increasingly appreciated as an opportunity to expand horizons, find inspiration and progress in a career. So much so that 30% of travellers would even accept a lower paid job if it meant they could travel more for work!

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3. Appetite to Discover

The discovered world has many undiscovered places and 2017 promises to see travellers unleashing their inner explorer like never before. 45% plan to be more adventurous in their choice of destination in the coming year, while 47% would like to explore corners of the globe that none of their friends have been to.

Whether it’s trekking into a remote mountain village or finding a gem of a guest house on the other side of tracks, we’re seeing evidence all round of an ever-growing appetite to embrace undiscovered environments in an authentic way. Booking.com found out that travellers would like to do more independent travel in 2017, a trend particularly prevalent among those from Brazil, India, the United States, China and Thailand.

unnamed-34. 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 see going on holiday as a moment to reflect and make better lifestyle choices. The coming year will see many travellers prioritizing health conscious trips that promise harmony for the mind, body and soul – particularly those from India, China and Thailand. 44% are interested to experience spa/relaxation travel and 38% in a health/well-being travel experience in 2017.

In 2017, it won’t be uncommon to find a diverse range of SanctuStays, accommodations ranging from villas to apartments, resorts and more, offering complementary meditation facilities, health spas, wellness workshops and outdoor facilities to promote a holistic lifestyle and clearer path to self-discovery.

5. Go Green or Stay Home

Sustainable travel means many things to many people, but there’s no denying the trend for both travellers and accommodations becoming more environmentally and sustainably aware as well as responsible. Travellers will choose more eco-friendly travel options than they did in 2016 and nearly 2 in 5 people are interested in an eco-tour travel experience.

This mirrors the way in which people are increasingly finding ways to fulfil their aesthetic travel needs while maintaining cultural and environmental integrity by taking longer, more scenic routes and modes of transport. Eco-friendly stays are no longer the preserve of the few, but an expectation of the many.

 

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6. Simple Pleasures

Travellers in 2017 will be inspired by their own aspirations rather than material possessions. If fact, 58% of travellers plan to prioritise spending on experiences rather than material possessions while they are on holiday in 2017. Travellers are also becoming less interested in fancy embellishments and more interested in the small moments and simple pleasures of a journey.

Only 10% of travellers said that a butler/concierge service was essential to enjoy their travel experiences in 2017. Fancy, high-end toiletries also appear to be a thing of the past as only 13% of travellers said that these would be essential to enjoying their travel experiences in 2017.

7. The Human Touch

As the ying to technology’s yang, interacting with amazing staff and forging genuine relationships on holiday will be an increasingly important hallmark of travel in 2017. Some travellers assert that they wouldn’t stay in an accommodation without friendly/helpful staff, while accommodations such as B&Bs and Ryokans look set to continue as the most highly rated by visiting travellers.

2017 travellers are starting to understand that human touch is irreplaceable and crave this human interaction to make their holiday memorable. As a result, we can expect to see meaningful human interactions becoming the currency of travel in the months ahead, prompting huge advances in chat bot technology to match the warmth, personality and spontaneity of real human communication and connections.

SUPERMOON...epa03757290 An airplane flies past the supermoon near Madrid, Spain, 24 June 2013. The 'supermoon' filled the sky on 23 June and looked 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than normal, which is the closest approach to Earth. EPA/CHEMA MOYA

Photo courtesy of Chema Moya

8. Fly Me to the Moon

Travel has become a lifestyle, not a luxury for increasing numbers, and it’s unsurprising that we are starting to see people’s desires to explore go beyond this world. In fact, 44% of people see a future where we’ll be holidaying in far flung corners of the galaxy or deep under the ocean, which may not be as far off as one might think.

High-speed rail continues to advance and is scheduled to connect travellers to the remote corners of northern Africa. NASA is investing in a supersonic passenger aircraft that will allow for faster, greener, safer and quieter air travel. Not to mention, a Tesla autopilot-enabled vehicle is scheduled to “drive” from Los Angeles to New York in the summer of 2017.

These advances are steadily stoking our imaginations, as well as our collective desire to explore beyond the horizon – who knows what new additional frontiers will open up for us over the coming year.

Photos courtesy of Booking.com

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