The future is unwritten. There is no crystal ball to tell us with absolute certainty what new travel opportunities may arise in 2017. All we have are a myriad possibilities and travel trends that look set to become mainstays should the current climate continue. With millenial travellers making way for Generation Z, there’s a new breed of traveller on the rise breaking new ground.
1.Looking for real experiences
Greece has embraced the growing global trend for more authentic travel. If anything, the economic crisis has made hard-hit locals more open to giving tourists a glimpse into their “real” lives in the hope of breaking negative stereotypes while earning some extra cash on the side. As a result, a bevy of immersive, interactive experiences are available for travellers who can wander off the beaten path and feel like insiders with visits to local food and veggie markets, Greek brunches with food bloggers, or even Shedia magazine’s alternative tours to soup kitchens and squats by those who have experienced homelessness.
The Daily Mail’s controversial article on how refugees ruined British people’s holidays, accompanied by photos of irate Brits looking down their noses at Syrian and Afghan asylum seekers, fostered debate. The article was slammed, however it drew attention to the brewing migration crisis and led to a growing trend of tourists coming to work with locals in containing the problem while feeling like heroes in the process. Hollywood helped fan this trend with visits by stars such as Angelina Jolie, Susan Sarandon and the Game of Thrones cast members amongst others.
3.High-tech and easy
Technology has led to exponential advancements to travel. From the 360-degree virtual reality app created by SpinAround, an Athens-based Greek startup, to well-crafted apps that makes it possible for a traveller to literally hold Greece in the palm of their hand.
4.Business + Leisure = Bleisure
The idea of a business traveller catching a few sights between meetings is nothing new, but now there’s a word for it – bleisure. The creation of a word for something that business travellers have been doing for years anyway, has created a focus on the mindset that is helping to nurture it and see it grow. In fact, more than three in five business travellers are more likely to combine leisure to their business travel than they were five years ago.
5.Roaming charges… Who cares?
Just a few years ago, the European Commission was on a rampage to lower roaming fees. Thanks to Wi-Fi everywhere, with the exception of Cuba, there are mega changes to the way people communicate when abroad. Viber, Facebook Messenger and other messaging platforms are the new places of connection that travel brands would do well to exploit. In fact, social messaging is expected to account for 2.5 billion global users by 2018.
6.The rise of Airbnb
On a quest for world domination, Airbnb – a business founded on thin air – is a growing success story. The trend does not seem to be abating after Greece’s first regulatory framework affecting Airbnb owners and property rentals via websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey and HouseTrip that introduced a 5 percent tax per night. Of course, the Airbnb providers drew the line when a group of Syrians advertised the tent they were living in on Airbnb so that tourists could experience firsthand the miserable conditions of the refugee camp in Ritsona, north of Athens. The listing was taken down as it did not meet the site’s conditions.
7. Alterative Accomodation
As if Airbnb isn’t authentic enough, a new breed of tourists want to experience something different. They don’t just want a bed for the night, they want to sleep in a wine cellar overlooking Santorini’s caldera, experience a night in a lighthouse or relax at a seaside monastery converted into a hotel.
8. Seeking greater security
Some of the world’s most enticing holiday destinations are currently out of bounds due to an increased terror threat in their region. News reports showing blood on Tunisian beaches, bombs at Christmas markets, airplane crashes over Egypt and airport shootings have caused travellers to recoil making the pickings slimmer as countries climb up terrorist rankings. As global security is threatened, travellers in 2017 will choose safer destinations like Greece.
9.No Frills, Maximum Value
Travel is more affordable than ever before thanks to low-budget carriers, no frills accommodation and a more creative mindset by travellers willing to forego luxury. These days, it is more acceptable to au pair, teach English abroad, or take up seasonal work at an olive grove at the Peloponnese while seeing the world. There is an increasing rate of people who have ditched the 9 to 5 lifestyle for a life of travel blogging, and greater mobility than ever before as travel becomes a way of life. In fact, the World Travel Market found that by 2020, over 320 million international trips will be taken by millenials born in following the year 2000, who now make up for 20 percent of travellers.