By Blake Ng — 8 Feb 2018
Tour and activity operators who want to make the most out of the new year will need to stay on top of the emerging trends in the tourism industry. These are the top trends for 2018 to keep an eye on:
Today’s travelers no longer view adventure travel as a holiday that involves gravity-defying excursions and exhilarating recreational activities. In fact, recent data shows that travelers are 45 percent less likely to book that type of vacation, opting instead for cultural immersion opportunities. In 2018, globetrotters are setting out to new destinations in hopes of experiencing the people, the culture and the flavor of a new place, rather than simply stopping by a big attraction for a quick photo opportunity.
Mobile bookings are no longer the latest and greatest innovation, they are the new normal. While tour and activity operators can appreciate the fact that 82 percent of bookings are made directly on their website, they should note that 49 percent of those direct bookings are completed on mobile devices. In 2018, a mobile-friendly website is an absolute necessity.
The first batch of Generation Z travelers are reaching adulthood, and these visitors love their devices nearly as much as they love exploring a new destination. Tour and activity operators need to be ready to meet their needs and accommodate their tech-savvy preferences.
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For the last several years, everyone in the travel industry has been talking about attracting Chinese travelers. However, it’s important to take note of the rising Eastern outbound markets. The Indian and Arabic outbound markets are growing, particularly as Millennials seek to spend their discretionary income on travel. These markets are looking for luxury products, and they aren’t afraid to spend money to get what they want.
While some destinations are experiencing too many visitors, leading to over-crowding and maximum capacities during the peak travel season, 2018 will usher in a season in which lesser-known destinations begin to dominate. As the Experience Economy takes shape, more travelers will seek to explore more authentic, less-traveled destinations such as Belarus or Cyprus.
It used to be that travelers sought to leave their homes in the winter in hopes of finding a warm weather escape. However, in 2018, nearly 53 percent of winter travelers claim that they will not choose their destination based on the weather alone. Many are completely willing to trek through snow and cold to experience someplace new.
Independent travelers are becoming more confident, and are booking vacations in greater numbers than ever before. Tour and activity companies should create products that are geared toward this niche market.
To learn more about the top travel trends and terms of 2018 and to find out how you can apply them at your tour and activity company, download Rezdy’s Travel Tourism Glossary now.