Will the future tourist be a time travelling wanderer with a hoverboard and leather jacket? Probably not, but we do still expect to see some significant changes to tourism and traveller demographics in the years ahead. We investigate who the traveller of the future is and what trends are anticipated in the tourism and hospitality industries.
An increase of silver travellers
When thinking about the future, one of the concepts often discussed is the ageing population. Affecting all socio and economic spheres of life, this demographic will have a big impact on travel and tourism. Due to improvements in health and greater disposable income, we expect to see the silver traveller (aged 65+) continue to indulge in holidays abroad over the coming years.
As a demographic, silver travellers are a very strong income stream to the tourism industry, as they have more time on their hands than other generations, and many have specifically saved up money for travelling. Another unique feature of this demographic is that they are able to travel out of peak season, filling the normally quiet times for many holiday hotspots. As such, the tourism sector is increasingly catering holiday packages towards Baby Boomers.
Accommodations for the single traveller
Single holiday makers, across all generations, will form a larger proportion of travellers in the future. As such, we expect to see reductions in the single supplement as well as increased marketing specifically to this group.
Blogs, travel alerts and travel apps will enable solo travellers to tailor trips around their travel preferences. Even if the traveller goes on holiday with friends or family, they will be easily able to participate in solo activities thanks to increasing sharing platforms and a chance to meet other like-minded travellers.
Meeting the business traveller’s needs
Whilst the needs of the business traveller will change very little in the next 15 years, hotels will become more sophisticated in their technology and design to cater to the business traveller’s requirements. By 2030, facial recognition software and interactive motion sensors will be increasingly used across hotels, speeding up the check-in process, reacting to guest movement and further personalising the hotel experience.
3D motion technologies will also be present in on-site business centres to assist travellers to create authentic meeting environments while interacting with colleagues around the globe. The hotel lobby will also transform to a more social space, and a home away from home with a comfortable lounge and bar area, creating an informal environment to work or relax.
The ethical and green traveller
As Millennials and Generation Z (born after 2000) continue to travel more often, we expect to see ethical, philanthropic and green travel become an even greater part of our culture. In fact, according to the World Tourism Organisation, ecotourism is the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry expanding by 20% to 34% every year since the 1990s.
No longer niche, ethical and green travel will be intertwined with our everyday travel choices. Hotels may strive to market themselves as more eco-friendly, highlighting their renewable energy use, minimal waste processes and community give-backs. Just as hotels have a star rating, by 2030, they may display their carbon footprint too.
To learn more about future hotel trends, read the European Megatrends Travel Report (June 2017).