Welcome to part two of our ‘trends for 2018’ series. What will the 2018 future trends in travel and tourism sector be? Today we discuss a few potential future trends that could affect us here in the UK alongside some broader patterns that are certain to make a mark on the travel and tourism industry in 2018.
Political Tensions Could Cost the Tourism Sector
As discussed in our recent articles on Catalonia and Barcelona, political tensions can have a significant impact on tourist numbers. Likewise, the UK’s decision to leave the EU is sure to have a knock-on effect on the travel and tourism industry here in Blighty, but will the impact be positive or negative? The EU referendum has weakened the pound, and subsequently increased the power of foreign currencies, meaning that the UK may have opened up to markets that were previously priced out. This increased purchasing power from foreign markets coincides with political tensions regarding immigration in the UK; what does this mean for tourism in 2018? Increased domestic travel from UK residents appears likely due to Brits’ weakened spending power. Increased travel from destinations benefiting from political instability through improved exchange rates also seems inevitable.
Euromonitor International, a global market intelligence publisher, created a report in 2017 outlining the changing face of modern consumers: “In 2017, almost a quarter of everyone on the planet will be over the age of 50, a record number.” The report highlighted a generation defined by the term “midorexia” – “middle-aged and older consumers who act younger than their years.” This group has created an increased demand for marketers to shift emphasis away from younger generations if they want short-term profits. Depending on individual companies’ focus, we could be seeing more experienced-based travel marketed towards older groups in 2018, although companies should ignore younger generations at their own risk.
Attitudes towards sustainability and the impact humans have on the environment have led to changes in consumer behaviour in travel and tourism; this goes beyond picking up your rubbish. Barcelona is one such example of a city aiming to control their tourist numbers in a bid to lower the financial impact of rapidly increasing house prices for residents. The result should see tensions between tourists and residents of the city fall.
2018 is all about unique experiences that don’t scrimp on the luxuries. High-end, bespoke travel is growing, and holidaymakers in 2018 look set to part with more of their cash if the experience ticks both the exclusive and comfortable boxes. Black Tomato is one such company filling this niche; ‘Blink’ is their temporary hotel service where accommodation is created in seemingly impossible locations; once the trip is finished, the structure that hosted the guests is taken down.
No Middle Ground – Luxury and Budget Keep on Winning
Creating “unique experiences” is more important than ever, and consumers are seemingly more willing to part with their cash for the right package. Likewise, at the lower end, holding onto the pennies for the basics is a priority. Budget travel remains strong, although somewhat less stable from an economic standpoint. The profit per head on a budget flight means that gaining large percentages of the market share is increasingly important if a company wants to be in the black. Don’t be surprised to see smaller, mid-range airlines suffer the same fate as Monarch this year.
What did we miss? Do you have anything to add to our list of trends for 2018? Comment below.
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