As we step into the world of travel in 2024, exciting new trends are reshaping how travellers now like to explore the globe. By aligning your offerings with the latest travel trends, you can stay ahead of the curve and provide guests with unforgettable experiences that cater to their evolving preferences.
In this article, we provide our top predictions for the travel trends that will redefine adventures in the year ahead and highlight key areas hotel operators can focus on to capitalise on them.
Tourists are increasingly drawn to destinations offering authentic culinary experiences. In fact, a 2023 survey by HelloFresh revealed that 74% of travellers choose their destination based on its food offering. Furthermore, recent data from Global Food Tourism indicated that 80% of travellers research food and drinks in a location before heading off on their travels.
Hotel operators should consider partnering with local culinary experts to offer unique experiences such as vineyard tours, cooking classes, and curated food and drink tastings, highlighting local cuisine through on-site restaurants and collaborating with street food vendors that can enhance their guest experience.
Key focus areas: Establish partnerships with local food and drink establishments, curate food-centric experiences, provide an offering for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free guests and integrate regional cuisine into your hotel’s offerings.
With stress levels on the rise – the Workplace Health Report shows a 13% increase in moderate to high-stress levels from 2022-23 – travellers are looking for ways to unwind, relax and connect with nature for their mental health.
Hotel operators can tap into this trend by creating retreats focused on relaxation, wellness, and digital detox. Whether it’s developing spa packages, hosting yoga retreats, or offering accommodations with picturesque views of natural landscapes, hotels can provide guests with the tranquillity and mental rejuvenation they seek.
Key focus areas: Design nature-inspired retreats, offer wellness and spa packages, provide opportunities for outdoor activities, and emphasise eco-friendly practices.
The combination of business and leisure (or ‘bleisure’) travel isn’t a new phenomenon, but with 70% of UK companies now embracing hybrid or remote work, it is set to become a common occurrence. More UK workers are planning to add leisure days to future business trips, according to a recent survey from IHG. Some UK office workers are also increasingly taking advantage of remote working to work from abroad.
Hotel operators can cater to this growing trend by ensuring their properties offer a seamless blend of business and leisure amenities.
Providing reliable digital infrastructure for remote work, offering flexible meeting spaces, and promoting local attractions and activities for leisure time will attract this expanding segment of travellers.
Key focus areas: Enhance digital connectivity, offer versatile workspaces, collaborate with local businesses to provide unique leisure experiences, and promote work-life balance.
The value of authenticity
Travellers are increasingly seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations to experience the authentic essence of a place. In a recent study from American Express Travel, 89% of respondents said they want to travel to destinations they haven’t visited before.
Hotel operators should consider highlighting local cultural experiences, lesser-known attractions, and undiscovered gems in their marketing efforts. By showcasing a destination’s unique and genuine aspects, hotels can attract travellers who crave meaningful experiences and connections.
Key focus areas: Promote local experiences and cultural immersion, collaborate with local artisans and tour operators, curate authentic itineraries, and emphasise the discovery of hidden gems.
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HelloFresh: OnePoll survey, 2023
World Food Travel Association, 2023
Workplace Health Report: Stress Statistics 2023
IHG: Crowne Plaza – The Future of Blended Travel, 2022
TravelPerk: Hybrid Work Trends, 2023
American Express: 2023 Global Travel Trends Report