Travel trends that would be driving the industry in 2018

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Travel and travel preferences are continuously evolving especially when given the backdrop of global safety concerns and over-tourism. Service providers and tour operators are facing the rising challenges of meeting high and varied expectations from travellers who too are becoming more sophisticated.

Here are a few travel trends of 2018 and how the industry needs to gear up for a whirlwind year.

1. Quality of experiences

Travellers are always on the lookout for authentic and unique experiences. From learning about different cultures to adventures to getting lost amidst the beauty of nature- it is always the experience that any traveller carries back. Those operators and travel providers who centre their efforts to make the experience will thrive in 2018.

2. Mobile bookings

Online bookings and bookings made on the mobile will grow in 2018. Basis data accumulated, 82% of bookings were made on the operator’s website, of which half were mobile bookings. While the rate of mobile booking completion is low when compared to other industries, it has definitely grown from 30% in 2016.

3. Impact of online reviews

Reputation management is something that tourism companies requires to consciously manage as travellers would definitely find what they want to. 9 out of 10 travellers read online reviews and 95% believe the reviews that they read on third party sites. A TripAdvisor ranking can have a positive impact on business growth and it takes a lot of dedication gain the confidence of a traveller.

4. Cross-generational travel

The key is to cater to the needs of travellers irrespective of age. There are no age boundaries and set patterns to traveling. 2018 will witness extensively travelled Gen X-ers and millennials, tech savvy Gen Zs, people post 50, eagerly reaching out to new destinations. There would be no particular area for a particular age group or a type of holiday- but a cross generational factor that need to be catered to.

5. Eastern outbound markets on the rise

In 2017, there was a lot people who travelled from the East for example, the Indian and Arabic countries. Researchers predict that by 2020, the Arabic market would grow by 50% and 50 million Indians would take foreign trips as per the UNWTO.

Tour operators need to create experiences that unique and informative at the same time for any destination. Gone are the days when people travel half the globe for a cookie-cutter experience.

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