Like everything else, travel trends are evolving and it’s important to be ahead of the game. Here are our Top Ten Tourism Trends to watch out for in 2018.
As the trend for Experiential Travel continues unabated, 2018 takes this even further to welcome in Transformational Travel. No longer just content to merely experience whale watching or paragliding – travellers now want to transform themselves on holiday. Learn how to fix insomnia by a lake in Switzerland, quit smoking at a retreat on the beach in Portugal, heal your gut in the Austrian Alps, learn yoga from a master in India or practice mindfulness on the white sands of Ibiza. Transformational Travel is here to stay – and encompasses both a sense of experience as well as a focus on wellness. It exists to excite, and energise both body and soul. Travellers in 2018 want hotels to offer them the opportunity to come home a better version of themselves.
The Edible Resort
2018 means farm-to-table, ocean-to-plate, micro-gardens, beehives, aquaponic farms on the roofs, thriving allotments and protected cropping – what’s clear is that today’s travellers are seeking fresh food and sustainable living on holiday. And it’s not just sprawling resorts; urban hotels are getting in on the act. Vertical gardening is literally on the rise in city hotels, benefitting not only guests but also the environment. Groups such as Urban Farms take unused urban space and use it to grow produce, enabling city hotels to produce a year-round harvest of fresh, leafy vegetables and fish. Surely branded fruit and vegetables are next?
The Rise Of “EY ZHN”
Swedish lifestyle Hygge has dominated the headlines in 2017 with fad fanatics rushing out to buy cashmere socks to wear fireside over a novel on a Saturday evening. But with a new year, comes a new lifestyle trend; move over Hygge – 2018 is about new wellness travel buzzword EY ZHN which means ‘a life characterised by quality and completeness’ or simply ‘well being’ in ancient Greek. The term comes from the ancient Greek adverb Eu – which means well and Zin indicates survival or life. The Greek take on ‘the art of living well’ includes an affinity and approval of the Mediterranean lifestyle: eating fresh foods, embracing herbs and spices, enjoying family, moving naturally, laughing often and getting more sleep.
The Ultra All Inclusive
What was once a bit naff is now completely cool. Here’s why. For British travellers, Europe and the World used to be comparatively cheaper than the capital – but since the Brexit referendum, that picture has changed dramatically; the Euro has strengthened, and our British Sterling feels more insignificant by the day. The rise in staycations in the UK has had an impact on the European hotel industry. Keen to entice the Brits, this has paved the way for a luxurious all-inclusive fare. Ultra All Inclusive is an uber luxury package holiday that includes the finest wines, daily gastronomic feasts and experiences at a price that brings with it no unpleasant surprises. Transparency in holiday costs is what many travellers desire now, and 2018 will see many more of these packages on offer for the luxury traveller.
The Pared-Back Hotel
Hoteliers take note – today’s discerning traveller is looking for a new definition of luxury. Gone is old-school opulence, the overblown, fussy and formal. What’s now is a pared-back, unpretentious approach with a strong focus on hyper-locality, relaxation and style. Less is more. Luxury hotels offer a sense of place and are de-cluttered and simplified. Rooms are dressed down with an emphasis on a large, incredibly comfortable bed and luxe textiles, bathrooms are smart, spacious and decadent with space for relaxation, and intelligent technology abounds.
Seeing Is Believing
Photography is a way of life traveller’s today and hotels should be welcoming this with arms wide open. And why not? It’s an army of stylists looking to show off your property. Photos are no longer just for memories – they are to ensure bragging rights across half a dozen social media portals. Forward thinking hotels will add in room menus suggesting photo stops, create official hash tags for individual highlights, install better lighting in restaurants for Insta-worthy meal shots, engage food stylists and influencers to photograph their dining offerings, and participate in social media interaction including repurposing shots taken by guests for hotel promotion.
Go Big Or Go Home – In Room Dining
Next year sees the complete transformation of In Room Dining. Guest rooms are now more spacious, offering room to dine and today’s travellers demand the flexibility to have eggs benedict at midnight or sushi for breakfast. Solitude for solo travellers, privacy for couples and families worried about unruly children’s composure are jumping on this trend. And the standard is higher than ever. Goal posts have changed as Nobu Resorts and Hotels amongst others have started to offer Michelin star standard cuisines served within the comfort of the room. The demand for exceptional food in room, 24 hours a day is something that will increase exponentially in 2018.
The Art Of Doing Nothing
As the ambitious traveller of all ages seeks transformation, there is another sector of the market seeking good old-fashioned rest and relaxation. Stressed out, adrenal depleted and utterly exhausted – there is an increasing number who desire to do nothing more than lie on a sun lounger, take a few photos for Instagram, eat delicious food, have a massage, avoid answering emails and drink cocktails poolside. The Maldives, famed for being a destination based on spectacular lounging, is testament to this, having seen a large year-on-year increase in tourism, with over 1.2 million international tourists each year. Hotels should ensure that as they embrace the modern – they find new ways to preserve the art of doing nothing.
The Culinary Tour
2018’s traveller wants a culturally immersive experience – and embracing the local culture rather than simply dropping by. This includes experiencing the cuisine that locals eat on a regular basis. This trend is a direct reflection of Airbnb, always keen to position itself as about ‘belonging’ and experiencing a place ‘like a local’. Hotels in 2018 would be wise to partner with local restaurants in order to provide guests with a culturally relevant food experience or organise culinary tours of the neighbourhood to include market stalls, local hot spots and the best of local cafes etc. Hotel dining in 2018 should include an experience that closely mirrors the flavours and atmosphere of local cuisine.
The Wake Up Call Gets A Makeover
In 2018 the Wake Up Call Gets a Makeover. A bracing phone call from a tired hotel operator just doesn’t cut it anymore. Whether it be an early business meeting or a gym session, next year will see the wake up call transformed, offering more creative ways to entice guests out of their plush emperor-sized bed. Instead of a phone call, a knock at the door with fresh lemon and hot water, a cup of tea, a ginger shot, a strong flat white, an energy boosting smoothie, or raw breakfast platters brought to room, ready to boost and energise for the day ahead.