The travel and tourism industry in 2016 may look a little different to how it's looked in the past. Actually that's an understatement, it's going to look a lot more different to how it used to; but that's a good thing.
2015 was a significant year for the travel and tourism industry, with a number of changes beginning to unfold that are now set to develop further over the coming months. We've consolidated some of the changes we predict will have the biggest impact on the industry this year:
Wellness initiatives given precedence
Forget holidays focussed on creating an all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink, all-inclusive resort vibe; 2016 will be the year that holidays take wellness into consideration. For a few years now the concept of a 'detox' holiday has been gaining traction and this will really take off in the coming months. Travellers will seek a detoxifying, de-stressing and healthy time away, incorporating exercise, cleansing diet plans and a reboot of the mind.
If 2015 was the year of travelling solo or as a couple or small group, 2016 looks set to be very different. The trend this year is for large families with every generation imaginable all travelling as one, from grandparents to grandchildren. Family groups may well take up whole sections of planes and accommodation providers will begin offering rooms or cabins suitable for every member of the family.
Cultural immersion desired
Along with partaking in various wellness initiatives, travellers will also be seeking to leave the comfort of their resort or hotel and truly integrate themselves in the culture of their chosen country. This year will see travellers actively chasing an authentic experience of a location, opting to explore less tourist-focussed locations and avoid anything considered cliché or forged. This could also lead to fewer holiday selfies being taken, as travellers seek to live in the moment more.
Intuitive customer service
Technology will play a key role in the travel industry of 2016, helping to improve customer service and make it more intuitive. Travel planning, booking accommodation and signing up for activities will be enhanced by the use of smart technology; algorithms will make the whole process simpler and completely focussed on individual customer preferences.
More travelling for bleisure
No, that isn't a typo – the combination of business and leisure travel (or bleisure) will become more common. Travelling for business reasons is already common across a number of industries, but in 2016 professionals will be looking to combine a bit of leisure time into their trips, potentially bringing family and friends along, too. Travel companies will need to be able to offer the best of both worlds for these travellers, providing both businesses necessities like WiFi and activities for relaxing.
If the above predictions come to fruition we personally think 2016 should make for an energising and revitalising year, for both travellers and travel companies alike. What else do you see happening within the travel and tourism industries this year?