The travel industry is an ever-changing industry. The popular destinations clients asked for last year are old news. From the screens of their smartphones, everyone has access to a plethora of information online about new, exciting destinations and a multitude of travel options. It’s more important now than ever for travel agents to stay abreast of the changing travel market and how it affects their clientele. Below are three travel and tourism trends that have affected the industry recently and how they could impact travel agents:
Focus on smaller, more authentic local destinations for couples as opposed to top tourist destinations.
It’s time to brush up on those off-the-radar destinations around the world as opposed to the large “tourist traps.” Destinations that offer a taste of the local culture are in higher demand. Couples are looking for a trip that allows for a more organic travel experience. You’ll see an increased amount of clients looking for a travel agent who can help them plan a niche vacation.
Increase in people mixing business travel with personal vacations. This trend has been coined “bleisure” travel.
Travel agents should research the profile of the typical bleisure traveler. Many individuals who are interested in this trend will be younger professionals with a family or spouse. Look into more luxurious or family-friendly hotels in popular business travel destinations. Professionals may focus on their work responsibilities for the first part of their trip, but want to plan more vacation-like activities for the remainder of their stay. It’s also a great way to upsell a current business travel client. Tell her, “why not have your family meet you out in San Diego and tack on a few days to visit the zoo or Disneyland?” She’ll appreciate your attention to detail.
Sustainability and eco-friendliness have become more important to tourists.
You may notice an increase in questions about the social and economic principals of different destinations and the resort and hotel sustainability practices. Travelers want may be less likely to rent a car when they travel and instead opt to stay at a destination that allows for walking as the primary means of transport. This ecotourism trend also focuses on supporting the local economy as well as a heightened consciousness of traveler’s carbon footprint. Brush up on the best destinations for pedestrian and bicycle travel like Amsterdam, New York City, D.C., Copenhagen and Boston.