Booking.com Travel Predictions for 2018
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1. New tech frontiers
Immersive experiences will reach the next level in 2018, with travellers looking to technology to help better understand a destination or accommodation before they book. Artificial intelligence and digital technology are helping consumers turn the corner when it comes to smart destination intuition, reshaping the way we research, book and experience travel. Almost a third (29%) of global travellers say they are comfortable letting a computer plan an upcoming trip based on data from their previous travel history and half (50%) don’t mind if they deal with a real person or computer, so long as any questions are answered. Over six in 10 (64%) of travellers say they would like to ‘try before they buy’ with a virtual reality preview, while 50% find that personalised suggestions for destinations and things to do encourages them to book a trip.
2. From dream to reality
2018 is the year to dream big as 45% of travellers have a travel bucket list in mind and the majority of those (82%) will aim to tick one or more destinations off their list in the coming year.
Most likely to feature on a bucket list is seeing one of the wonders of the world, as almost half of travellers (47%) will look to tick this off in 2018.
3. Retro reboot
As well as new experiences, travellers will be revisiting their favourite childhood memories as part of their trips in 2018. Blending the future with the past, next year’s travellers will be inspired to return to previously loved destinations and explore them in a whole new way. A third of travellers (34%) will consider a holiday they experienced as a child for 2018.
4. Pop culture pilgrimage
In 2018, television shows, films, sport and social media in particular look set to have an increasingly significant sway over booking decisions, as travellers turn to pop culture for their travel inspiration.
The top television programme locations travellers most want to visit in 2018 are Croatia, Spain and Iceland inspired by Game of Thrones (29%), London as seen in Sherlock and the Crown (21% and 13%), New York and Manhattan from Billions (13%) and Los Angeles viewed in Entourage (10%).
5. Walk your way to wellness
The trend for wellness getaways isn’t slowing down for 2018, with almost double the amount of people planning to take health and wellbeing trips in 2018 compared to 2017 (from one in 10 in 2017 to nearly one in five in 2018). Trips enjoying particular prominence will be those that involve travelling on two feet.
6. Economic intuition
Every year, travellers are becoming savvier, especially when it comes to getting the most for their money. More confident to follow their own intuition, travellers are less obliged to follow the herd, with over half (57%) wanting to do more independent travel in 2018, placing growing value on personalised endeavours, looking for the best deals and putting together their own packages – all with the help of apps and technology.
7. The great mate escape
2018 is gearing up to be all about the group get-away. When asked who their 2018 travelling companions were likely to be, the segment with the biggest increase when compared to 2017, was travelling with a group of friends, increasing from 21% to 25%.
Friend based getaways also have financial advantages as four in 10 (42%) said that joint holidays with friends will allow them to stay in accommodation they wouldn't be able to afford on their own.
8. Live like a local, not with one
In 2018, rental homes are going to be particularly popular – not just for travellers looking to stay in one, but also home owners who are thinking of inviting others to stay in their own abode. One in three travellers (33%) say they’d prefer to stay in a holiday rental (a holiday home or apartment) over a hotel and one in five (21%) would consider listing their home on a travel accommodation site.
In 2018, it will be important for travellers that their host is available but not too over-bearing (30%) and one in 10 (12%) want a host who they don’t have to speak to at all.