At Louis Karno we like to keep our clients informed of market trends. We took a survey of recent reports and forecast for 2017 and distilled the top thinking on what will be hot and emerging in 2017 – we hope this helps you have a great year!
Airline prices are forecast to increase slightly (2.5 %) in 2017, while fares may fall below 2015 levels due to lower oil prices. But fees will have an increasing impact: they grew to 7.8 % of global airline revenue in 2015, up from 6.7 % in 2014 and that will continue.
Big hotel mergers are all the rage, but their impact on prices likely won’t be known until 2018. Hotel services such as room service, laundry and security remain important to business travelers. Traditional hotels remain an attractive option for business travelers. But look for online rental services to cut into the market.
Watery, clear blue, marine-life-filled locations are always a draw, the beach being a lure in many people's travel plans. But, now we can stay underwater for the night, or even visit the dead underwater, or eat dinner underwater.
Underwater experiences, from the increasing amount of underwater lodges and hotels are opening with new underwater possibilities. There are even a few dining options underwater (beyond SeaWorld).
Getting travel inspiration is as easy as going to Pinterest, searching a destination, and pinning all the information and planning tools you can. Pinterest travel inspiration, or ‘Pinspiration,’ opens up new doors to prospective travelers who want to know more about the location, culture, food, or sights of a new city. This is the TripAdvisor of the younger set. And, here you can communicate with other travelers, get amazing tips for your specific location, and get lost in the different foods, styles, and wildlife shown through the various pins online.
One of the hottest trends in luxury travel is river cruising, and international travel company Belmond is launching two luxury barges in Champagne and Alsace over the summer of 2017. River cruising is not a new trend in the world of travel, but it is predicted that it will be a more popular type of cruising over ocean cruising in the coming years. There are more and more opportunities popping up for amazing evening or weekend river cruises, each filled with way more history and scenery.
Trains are hot too
Americans are rediscovering rail travel at home and abroad – and they recognize the quality of rail service in Europe. Over the past 10 to 15 years, rail travel has seen a huge rise in ridership as airport security becomes more and more onerous. And, Americans are looking at inter-city travel as a way to get around without car – especially millennials who don’t like driving.
From October 2014 to September 2016, Amtrak welcomed aboard nearly 31 million passengers, one of the largest annual total in its history. Some US rail stations are at capacity, Pennsylvania Station in New York sees 650,000+ passengers a day and the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak's busiest route, has more than 2,200 trains operating on the Washington-Boston route daily.
According to Fortune Magazine Bleisure is the official word for Business and Leisure travel, a mix of what you have to do, and what you want to do. Many jobs offer special ‘business trips’, conference trips, or even incentive trips to their employees, many of which are coming with increasingly enjoyable ideas such as being able to bring your family along, being able to have time to yourself once there, and being able to work for travel payment.
Airbnb & Uber
Websites like Airbnb and Uber may kick off a new era of travel - one of ‘sharing.’ Both of these convenient travel tools allow people to share and/or rent lodging and transportation in a destination city, for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the hassle. Not only is it typically easier and cheaper, but you will also be able to share a space and immerse yourself into the culture much easier than in a hotel or taxi.
Wellness that is 100% local
Immersive travel experiences that focus on wellness. Think unplugging from screens and wifi, setting aside plenty of time to be active and take care of one’s body, while remaining barefoot throughout a vacation. But not with some international brand, but rather, using local plants, wines, stones – so it is integrated into the experience.
This trend is not new for 2017, rather a trend from recent years that continues to grow. Take Lisbon, for example, where more chefs/restaurants at top-rated hotels, as well as in/around the city are sourcing local and sustainable ingredients, and elevating classic dishes and flavors to new heights.
Travel that’s good for both people and planet
Travelers increasingly seek vacations that are not only fun and relaxing, but contribute to conservation of culture, nature, and wildlife too, through genuine interactions with local people or visiting and supporting worthwhile projects. So conservation and preservation are now part of travel. Good thing too!
Grape grazing isn’t new, of course. From California’s Central Valley to the chateaus of France, tourists have always enjoyed wine country interludes. But now, the volume and range of grape escapes is booming — from escorted tours to wine cruises and immersive experiences allowing visitors to mix their own blends. This year, the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) even held its first ever-global conference on wine tourism.
Emerging spots range from Portugal to Georgia. Eurostar is even considering a ‘Wine Line’ that will whisk passengers from London to Bordeaux in 4.5 hours — pending French rail planning in 2017.