This year, health, food and entertainment will impact how people travel. Learn about these hospitality industry trends and how you can use them to boost your occupancy rate.
The travel industry is always changing. Emerging trends impact the way travellers plan their holidays, from where they’ll go to which accommodation they’ll choose. Our data shows that wellness, local food and TV programmes will have a big impact in the coming year. Read on to find out how you can make the most of these trends with a few adjustments to your hotel marketing strategy. You can download our free ebook at the end to get more information on 2018’s biggest trends.
We know that people are travelling more and more. And in the travel industry, one of our biggest goals is to find out how they’re planning their trips. Why do they choose certain destinations? Why those properties?
Thankfully, we have a team of researchers who work to find out just that. Using insights from 129 million guest reviews and 19,000 research respondents from 26 countries, we’ve put together a list of the key travel trends that will influence how people travel in 2018. By making some adjustments to your marketing and pricing strategy, you can attract more bookers and improve the overall guest experience.
One of 2018’s biggest trends is wellness travel. We found that 55% of travellers want to take a walking or hiking trip in 2018, with health-conscious activities like cycling, water sports and meditation also high on the list. Whether you have a spa resort or just a nice leafy park in the neighbourhood, adding some health-related content to your hotel website can make a big difference to guests.
This content can come in a lot of forms: try uploading some running maps and trail guides, or add links to local organisations that have kayaking or white water rafting tours. Be sure to mention any nearby parks or countryside, and include photos whenever possible.
With so many people focussing on their health and fitness, it makes sense that yoga retreats are also a big draw. If you have a yoga studio nearby, be sure to mention it on your website and include a calendar of upcoming classes and events. Better yet, attract yoga-lovers with weekly sessions held at your property. This positions you as a wellness expert and will keep yogis coming back for more.
The next travel trend influencing 2018 is local food. Trying a new cuisine has always been a factor in where people choose to go, but we found that this year, it’ll be an even bigger factor in travellers’ decision making.
Our research shows us that 1 in 5 travellers plan a trip for the food alone, while 1 in 4 actively avoid destinations that don’t have a strong food culture. Add to that the 64% of travellers who want to eat more local food on their trips in 2018, and you’ve got a recipe for food-fuelled travel.
Your website is the first place to start when it comes to attracting foodies. You could build up content about local restaurants and famous chefs in your area, making sure you mention any upcoming events like food festivals or pop-up restaurants.
It’s also important to highlight your hotel restaurant. The best way is by uploading plenty of mouthwatering photos of different dishes. And if your restaurant specialises in local food, use your website to explain that these are the region’s top foods.
To really make your property pop, consider using an app that lets guests order local dishes during their stay. This makes it easy for food-lovers to try the food they’re most excited about – and could be a big selling point when it comes to choosing your property over another. It can also be a big factor in improving the guest experience, with more guests writing reviews highlighting the delicious food available at your property.
Pop Culture Trips
Most people have a favourite film or TV programme. And in 2018, their most beloved entertainment will be a major motivator when it comes to planning a holiday.
Our data shows that in 2018, 36% of people plan to travel to the on-screen locations of their favourite film, music video or television show. The top shows and corresponding bucket-list destinations? Game of Thrones for Croatia, Iceland and Spain; Sherlock for London; Billions for New York and Manhattan; and Entourage for Los Angeles.
If you’re lucky enough to be in any of these destinations, there are a few simple steps you can take to attract fans to your property. As you’ve probably guessed, the best place to start is your property website. Is there a local walking tour with a Game of Thrones theme? Make sure you list this on your site. A simple search of organisations offering themed activities in your area should turn up a lot of fun events and outings for your guests. This will also help with SEO for your website when potential guests search for their favourite TV show and its location while planning a trip.
To really take things to the next level, create an entire weekend programme themed around the top show in your area. This can be as simple as an itinerary of things to do in the city, to a schedule of events you’ve planned with local organisations, such as restaurant owners and tour guides. You could also consider theming your rooms – die-hard fans will thank you!
Wondering what other trends are influencing travel in 2018?
We’ve put together a full report on the biggest trends for this year, including tips on how to make the most of them. Download your free ebook and discover the rest of 2018’s top travel trends.