These Are The Biggest Travel Trends of 2017

The travel news and analysis site, Skift, has released its explanation of the biggest trends that will affect travel this year.

Skift, a travel news, data and analysis site, recently issued its Travel Megatrends 2017 report. “Travel is the global crucible for everything. It is where the largest consumer and tech trends first meet and are quickly tested. Everything converges in travel,” says Rafat Ali, Skift’s founder and CEO. Skift uses its insights like brushstrokes, painting the broad outlines of changes occurring in the industry and reporting on how these trends are likely to transform the travel experience for business and leisure travelers.

4 Highlights of Skift’s Travel Megatrends for 2017

Humanity returns to travel: Even frequent travelers who stay highly connected via their mobile devices, “want the humanity back in travel,” says Skift. That means that in addition to being high tech, companies need to be hi-touch. “All of the data in the world is much more powerful when placed in the hands of a well-trained, empathic person who can anticipate, be flexible, and help steward a cohesive experience," says Skift.

Overtourism is a problem: Destinations can be victims of their own success. Venice, Barcelona and many other popular places can be overwhelmed by throngs of tourists, especially in summer. That makes getting a feel for the local culture — why you visited in the first place – difficult. Some destinations try to manage tourism by promoting lesser-known neighborhoods and by limiting new hotel construction. New York City, for example, publicizes Brooklyn and even Queens as authentic Big Apple experiences in order to spread out tourists and deliver their dollars to more than Manhattan. Other cities seek to restrict hotels and vacation rentals.

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Fifty-year-olds are a new target demographic: People in their fifties represent an important group for brands to target. While difficult to pigeonhole, travelers in their fifties have the tech savvy of the millennials but possess deeper pockets. According to Skift’s Jason Clampet, travelers in their fifties are likely to hail an Uber XL rather than rent a car, dislike packaged tours; and spend on travel but are also cautious. Fifty-something vacationers might book an Airbnb apartment or a hotel in Madrid. It all depends on the moment and their budget.

Dining out is the main event: Dining is an experience and restaurants continue to evolve to create Twitter moments and Instagram-worthy pics. Technology allows diners to research and reserve tables using mobile devices. As part of our “social culture,” chefs are creating menus that feature items meant to be sampled and shared.