Technology and tourism in 2018

Travel trends 2018 for hospitality

In my mission to be up to date about all the latest trends in hospitality, I decided to read this article written by Eustacia Huen, from Forbes. In the article she talks with Konstantina Boutsioukou, who is a Travel & Tourism Analyst at a data company called GlobalData. They discuss the 3 trends within travel technology that were named by a report of TripAdvisor.

The trends:

  • Unique and local experiences (we've seen that one come across very often lately)
  • Iconic places remain popular
  • Options to skip the line

Unique and local experiences

This one shouldn't come as a surprise. It's been named in practically any trend report. Tourists becoming ‘travelers', craving local experiences. The fastest growing trend is in the food-industry though, with cooking-classes and guided street food tours raging in popularity. Especially American tourists are interested in this. Technology can play an important role in connecting tourists to locals. Think about the success of AirBnB here. And many other new, on-the-rise platforms like ‘Withlocals' and ‘Partywith'.

My take on this? As a small hospitality brand, you could make use of an existing platform (like AirBnB experiences) and offer special nights at your property. Nights where you bring locals and tourists together. Try to find out which platform works best in your area. The great thing about using a platform like AirBnB experiences is the increased reach and ease of receiving payments. But you could of course also make use of your own website, social media and word-of-mouth marketing to drive people towards your own events.

Iconic places remain popular

Even though ‘authentic' experiences are on the rise, classics remain popular. People don't want to skip them. Many of these classics are now trying to make their experiences more immersive though, by for example the addition of virtual reality. If this is going to deliver any interesting results? We'll see.

Travel trends 2018 for hospitality

Small hospitalities brands might not be able to add the same level of technology yet. But keep your eyes open: cheap options will become available soon enough. And if you can be the first one in town to offer a special experience like this, it might lead to some interesting results.

Options to skip the line

With travelers becoming more time-conscious, skip-the-line tours are increasing in popularity too. These tours try to offer guests better experiences while also reducing waiting time for popular attractions. It's an obvious development.

As a small hospitality brand, there might not be a whole lot of ‘skipping the line' going on. But maybe you could add some exclusivity to the experiences of people who make a reservation. Say, for example, your Tuesday night is always relatively quiet. Why not motivate people to stop by by offering ‘a glass on the house' for each reservation made in advance? Easy, yet effective.

Conclusion

I don't think Forbes' article brings a lot of new insights. But it's interesting to see local experiences named yet again. It has become the ultimate trend and it's something each hospitality brand should try to act upon.

Did you enjoy this post? Then please let me know in the comments. Feel free to share your thoughts and if you come across any inspiring examples from hospitality brands creating content, please do share.

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