Global Travel

8 big travel predictions for 2017

Travel trends 2017 are all about consumers looking to get more out of their travel experiences. Be it the rise of travellers who prefer simple pleasures over luxury or those who travel to spa sanctuaries to reflect and relax or the traveller looking to explore and discover new places, travel is sure to get more exciting in the years to come. Also, the story of technology as a travel enabler continues.

Backed by a wealth of data, traveller endorsements, reviews, preferences and insights as well as industry leading understanding and innovation in e-commerce travel technology, the experts at shed light on eight major travel predictions for 2017. The firm’s website is available in 43 languages, offers over 1 mn hotels and accommodations including 520,000 vacation rental properties and covers over 96,000 destinations in 227 countries and territories worldwide. Take a look at the trends set to shape travel in 2017 and beyond.

1. Instant Gratification 2.0

travel trend 2017 - smart phonesTechnology is fuelling a more demanding and impatient traveller. 44% of travellers in 12,781 respondents survey across 13 markets expected to be able to plan their holiday on their smart phone. Over half (52%*) expect to use travel apps more in 2017.

Travellers are looking to technology to solve any and all on-the-road niggles, deliver answers to specific needs in the moment and enhance experience with recommendations and short-cuts. The coming year will see this expectation addressed in an unprecedented way. From finding the nearest ATM or available Wi-Fi to queue jumping at top attractions and getting on-the-go advice on how to get over jetlag, meaningful functionality in palm-based technology will abound.

2. Business + Leisure = Bleisure

travel business and leisure or bleisure trend risesThe ‘bleisure’ boom is well and truly underway. And 2017 will see a further upswing not only in the blurring lines between leisure and business travel, but in the value we attach to workplace travel opportunities. Of the 40% of global travellers who journeyed for business this year, 46% think they will travel even more for business in 2017.

Nearly 49% of business travellers already extend their business trips to further enjoy the destination, while three quarters (75%*) intend to do so the same or more in the coming year. No longer seen as lost time or a career inconvenience, business travel is increasingly appreciated as an opportunity to expand horizons, find inspiration and progress in a career. So much so that 30%* of travellers would even accept a lower paid job if it meant they could travel more for work!

3. Discover and explorer

more people want to travel to undiscovered locationsThe discovered world has many undiscovered places and 2017 promises to see travellers unleashing their inner explorer like never before. 45% plan to be more adventurous in their choice of destination in the coming year, while 47% would like to explore corners of the globe that none of their friends have been to. Whether it’s trekking into a remote mountain village or finding a gem of a guest house on the other side of tracks, there is an ever-growing appetite to embrace undiscovered environments in an authentic way. 56%* of travellers would like to do more independent travel in 2017, a trend particularly prevalent amongst those from Brazil, India, the United States, China and Thailand.

4. Travel for the mind, body and soul

holistic travel experience for the mind body and soul are risingPeople are increasingly seeing travel as a way to bring balance back into their lives. Almost half (48%*) see going on holiday as a moment to reflect and make better lifestyle choices. In 2017, many travellers will take health conscious trips that promise harmony for the mind, body and soul – particularly those from India, China and Thailand. 44% were interested to experience spa/relaxation travel and 38% said that they wanted a health/wellbeing travel experience in 2017.

The days of leaving paid holidays on the table at the end of the year are fading even in the most demanding work cultures, with over half (51%) intending to take more of their annual leave in the coming year than this year.

Accommodations across the world are upgrading their offerings to match this growing demand. In 2017, it won’t be uncommon to find a diverse range of SanctuStays, accommodations ranging from villas to apartments, resorts and more, offering complementary meditation facilities, health spas, wellness workshops and outdoor facilities to promote a holistic lifestyle and clearer path to self-discovery.

5. Responsible and sustainable travel becomes a trend

green and eco friendly travel is risingSustainable travel means many things to many people. But there’s no denying the trend for both travellers and accommodations becoming more environmentally and sustainably aware as well as responsible. The coming year will see over a third (36%) of travellers planning to choose more eco-friendly travel options than they did in 2016 and nearly 2 in 5 (39%) were interested in an eco-tour travel experience.

This mirrors the way in which people are increasingly finding ways to fulfil their aesthetic travel needs while maintaining cultural and environmental integrity by taking longer, more scenic routes and modes of transport. As the year progresses we will likely see increased discussion around economic incentives such as tax breaks for eco travellers (41% of travellers would be in favour), introduction of an international standard for sustainable accommodation (41% in favour) and transport providers giving travellers more information about carbon offsetting (26% in favour).

6. More want simple pleasures over luxury

Travellers in 2017 will be inspired by their own aspirations rather than material possessions. If fact, 58% of travellers plan to prioritise spending on experiences rather than material possessions while they are on holiday in 2017. Travellers are also becoming less interested in fancy embellishments and more interested in the small moments and simple pleasures of a journey. Only 10% of travellers said that a butler/concierge service was essential to enjoy their travel experiences in 2017. Fancy, high-end toiletries also appear to be a thing of the past as only 13% of travellers said that these would be essential to enjoying their travel experiences in 2017.

7. The human touch becomes critical

As the ying to technology’s yang, interacting with amazing staff and forging genuine relationships on holiday will be an increasingly important hallmark of travel in 2017. 42% of travellers said that they wouldn’t stay in an accommodation without friendly/helpful staff, while accommodations such as B&Bs and Ryokans look set to continue as the most highly rated by visiting travellers.

Our reliance on those who’ve gone before remains undiminished with 40% of travellers confirming that they would not stay in an accommodation with more than three negative reviews. We can expect to see meaningful human interactions becoming the currency of travel in the months ahead, prompting huge advances in chat bot technology to match the warmth, personality and spontaneity of real human communication and connections.

8. Travel transport to become super tech

travel transport technology becomes more advancedTravel has become a lifestyle, not a luxury for increasing numbers, and it’s unsurprising that we are starting to see people’s desires to explore go beyond this world. In fact, 44% of people see a future where we’ll be holidaying in far flung corners of the galaxy or deep under the ocean, which may not be as far off as one might think.

High-speed rail continues to advance and is scheduled to connect travellers to the remote corners of northern Africa. NASA is investing in a supersonic passenger aircraft that will allow for faster, greener, safer and quieter air travel. Not to mention, a Tesla autopilot-enabled vehicle is scheduled to “drive” from Los Angeles to New York in the summer of 2017. These advances are steadily stoking our imaginations, as well as our collective desire to explore beyond the horizon – who knows what new additional frontiers will open up for us over the coming year…

“Experiencing the unknown, encountering different people and cultures, and testing new limits has always been at the core of what drives us to travel and 2017 is certainly shaping up to be an exciting year,” said Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at




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