Summertime! Time to head off to your favorite destination… will you embark on a ‘staycation’ traveling in your own country or will you fly away to some remote island or perhaps visit a bustling European city?
They say that “travel broadens the mind” and I think many would agree that exploring our wonderful and diverse planet can lead to greater understanding and sharing of knowledge between cultures. In short, travel is fantastic.” Tony Tyler CEO & DG of IATA.
The Evolution of Travel
65 billion passengers have flown in the past 100 years since the first scheduled flight to carry and paying passenger in 1914.
Air passenger numbers are 3+ billion annually now. It will take only 15 years to fly the next 65 billion passengers.
The global travel and tourism industry is now valued at $7.5 +trillion.
Low cost airlines increased industry competition and gave consumers greater choice and flexibility.
Mobile phone apps and Skype signified the end of international calling cards.
Itinerary alterations based on weather changes and local events feature in many apps.
The Smartphone camera has replaced the disposable camera. Holiday snaps are mostly shared on social media.
The Internet provides travellers with information and reviews on their chosen destinations.
Digital maps e.g. Google Maps, have replaced physical maps.
Smart translation apps and increased global use of the English language, means language barriers will disappear.
Google Glass has taken the first steps to introduce augmented reality into the travel experience.
Future possibilities include even more personalised experiences e.g. restaurant recommendations for seasonal food.
Travel Trends of the future
Some highlights to consider:
The rising trend for ‘connected’ travelers to actually… unplug! Conversely, WiFi remains a key component required for both leisure and business travellers, so hotels and destinations will need to strike a delicate balance.
Space travel? Maybe not in 2015, and certainly not anytime soon to our ‘nearby’ planet Kepler 452b. Bear in mind the Rosetta spacecraft took 10 years to reach ‘that’ comet; just landed a few weeks ago. There is a new buzz surrounding the evolution of this niche in travel, though.
Disaster tourism (unfortunately) is a new possibility. People wanted to see Ground Zero after the events of 9/11 – 2001 in New York, or the Costa Concordia cruise ship while it was still afloat off Giglio, an island on the Tuscan coast of Italy. One shipwreck, the USS Liberty off Tulamben, North Bali, has been a boon to tourism – one of Bali’s best dive destinations.
Destination Hotels are another interesting trend, as many hotels want to appeal to customers with more than just rooms and beds, but rather a more family oriented experience. Grand Mirage Bali and others on the Tanjung Benoa in South Bali offer water sports and all meals as part of their family deal. Bali Dynasty in Tuban offers loads of onsite water fun, trapeezing and special Kiddy Meals and Kids’ Club. Many hotels in North Bali exist for divers, although partners may stay over.
Event based travel will rise
Travellers will use global events as a platform to build travel plans.
Brazil welcomed 1 million visitors to the World Cup and 2 million people daily at Carnival Festival in 2014.
England attracts over 170,000 people from all over the world to its Glastonbury Festival.
The Emerald Isle of Bali is expecting 5,000 runners for the 2015 Bali Marathon. Many will stay for a week or more to enjoy what Bali has on offer.
Luxury will appear in the skies
Qantas in Australia has introduced a larger selection of meals and a 50% increase in servings.
Air New Zealand ‘Skycouch’ enables relaxed seating and more comfort for families.
HOLIDAYS OF THE FUTURE?
Highly personalised hotel services will emerge. These include: retinal door entry, electronic pillows that massage one to sleep and vitamin C showers.
Robotic hotels are now fast developing in China and Japan. Less staff to blame for mistakes? No; less staff!
The Water Discus Underwater Hotel in Dubai, UAE, is evolving the underwater experience by developing an entire hotel underwater.
The hotel will be able to rotate underwater and rise to the surface in 15 minutes in emergencies. Guests will be able to go outside in diving gear.
7 Star Hotel?
Who ever thought the hospitality industry could better 5 stars until the UAE built the Burj-al-arab at Jumeira in Dubai? $24,000 a night in the Royal Suite. Reach for the Sky! Or your Gold Card!
Overcrowding in classic destinations and a desire to explore new horizons will lead to the exploration of areas which were once restricted by conflict and political problems. Myanmar is an attractive destination nowadays. Years of isolation since 1962 mean it is pretty much in its original state since WWII. Central China and Mongolia are other Asian options ‘far from the madding crowd’.
Eco-travellers are expected to take part in an ‘extinction race’ as people rush to be the last to see a species such as Orang Utang in Borneo and remote tribes as in Papua.
Where are you heading this holiday? You could do worse than go through Things to Do on this website.