As destinations continue to ease COVID-related restrictions, the pace of travel continues to increase. Yet while most travelers long for a return to “normal,” the pandemic has in some ways forever altered the way we see the world. Fortunately, many of these changes present opportunities to provide a better overall travel experience.
Here, we’ll look at some of the trends that are likely to impact your business—along with insights on how you can use them to your advantage.
One of the biggest shifts in travel has been the growing recognition of tourism’s impact on the people and places being visited. Many people are choosing to travel more responsibly by avoiding “over-touristed” destinations, booking sustainable accommodations, supporting local businesses, and relying on greener transportation options when possible. Properties that adopt and promote a more sustainable model—such as Southall Farm & Inn in Franklin, Tennessee—are well-poised to attract conscious travelers.
For most of the pandemic, people avoided travel to big cities (for obvious reasons). Thanks to vaccines and lower rates of infection, many are adopting a more relaxed attitude. City breaks are especially appealing for those who have missed the energy and cultural pursuits found in urban areas. Big cities such as New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Nashville also are enticing to those who don’t have a lot of time for vacationing, because they are easy to reach and offer plenty to do and see. For hotels in these destinations, it’s important to offer packages that help guests make the most of every day, perhaps with exclusive access to special exhibits, concerts, and more.
Even though the world is opening up, many still prefer seclusion when they travel. Whether that means a private jet, a private villa, or a remote getaway, these travelers are looking to vacation on their own terms, away from the crowds. For some, health and well-being remain a top concern; for others, it’s about enjoying the VIP treatment that comes with private experiences. Your hotel or resort can tap into this trend by offering exclusive experiences such as a chef’s table dinner under the stars or a specially curated day-long adventure that takes in your destination’s unique highlights.
Because so many have postponed their plans over the past couple of years, travelers are now looking to book those long-awaited bucket-list trips. This sense of urgency means that many travelers are ready to seize the moment like never before; they want to splurge on over-the-top experiences. With that in mind, consider how you can create something extraordinary for them, such as pairing a gourmet picnic with a private helicopter flight or horseback ride.
With burnout rates climbing, “slow travel” can be an antidote to today’s frenetic pace. It encourages travelers to savor the journey and immerse themselves in the destination. Hotels and resorts can offer activities that let guests slow down, such as “digital detox” experiences to help untether them from their phones; a Zen dinner where guests can practice mindful and intentional eating; guided meditative walks in nature; and other calming, centering pursuits.
The Global Wellness Institute reports the wellness market will grow 10 percent per year and reach $7 trillion by 2025. That’s no surprise when you consider how we’ve come to prioritize health and well-being as a result of the pandemic—and many people are looking to enact lasting lifestyle changes by taking part in a wellness retreat. Consider teaming up with a local yoga instructor with a following of their own, as well as other wellness businesses in the area such as juice bars, integrative health practices, and more. You can even build a staycation package around the retreat for locals interested in attending.
One thing that might never fully go back to normal is the workplace—and with remote work expected to continue for many people, they will have more flexibility when it comes to travel as well. No longer limited by earned vacation days, or by having to be in a particular location at a particular time, some are choosing to combine work and play. Hotels and resorts can help travelers make the most of their time away with “workation” packages that provide complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, access to office supplies, and “Work Well” benefits such as daily yoga sessions, discounts on spa services, and a special menu of brain-boosting snacks.
For years, “all-inclusive” had a less-than-luxe reputation—some saw the approach as catering to budget-minded travelers with pedestrian all-you-can-eat-and-drink offerings. Despite this, it’s easy to understand the upside of never having to sign a bill, calculate a tip, or even think about reaching for your wallet while on holiday. These benefits are now being embraced by high-end travelers who also want to enjoy the stress-free nature of an all-inclusive vacation. You can capitalize on this trend by introducing a package that goes beyond the ordinary, perhaps with wellness courses, a spa treatment, and other upscale inclusions.
At Brown Marketing & Communications, we’ll work with you to find ways to take advantage of these trends and build new programming around them. Contact us today at 949.310.8662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.