Like most industries, the travel industry has evolved over time. This can be due to the demographics of travelers, the accessibility to services through mobile devices, the popular and constantly-changing demands of culture, and the competition between travel agencies and travel providers. These were travel predictions that came true from 10, 20, even 50 years ago.
What follows major evolutions like those are new trends that grow out of these major trends. The sharing economy has given rise to a whole business division of Airbnb. The widespread use of smartphones has led to the use of mobile boarding passes and airline check-in.
We’re continuing to see more and more new trends grow out of the continuing technological evolution in society. Here are five travel predictions and trends we expect to see growing in travel in 2020 and beyond.
1. Travelers will prioritize health and wellness more
According to Boston Consulting Group, more than 50% of business travel spending will be made by Millenials. With a spike of health and wellness postings and information on social media, it’s no wonder that this group cares about their health, even while on business trips.
We’re already seeing more indicators of these health priorities: More than half of all business travelers bring their own food onto their flight, which may mean a chosen or special diet. Also, 18% of Millenials carry on their own alcohol, and just under 50% of Millenials continue to follow their exercise routine during their travels. This means the demand for accommodating gyms and health-centric amenities will continue to grow year-over-year.
2. Bleisure Travel will increaseThat is a new-ish term — business + leisure — that means employees who extend their business trips by a day or two to have some pleasure for themselves. For example, staying for the weekend at the end of a business conference that ended on Friday is a bleisure trip. Typically this can be an issue on some expense reports for companies, and it may raise some potential questions of trustworthiness on the part of the employee.
However, companies have become more flexible with allowing this option. In turn, this has encouraged loyalty on behalf of the employee and the ROI has worked in favor for many companies. Our prediction is that we will only see more bleisure travel, as the trend has continued to grow for the last three years.
3. Home-sharing will be more prominent
With the rise in popularity of the sharing economy, home-sharing companies like Airbnb, Vrbo, and HomeStay have become a more trusted option for business travel. In fact, some companies are developing partnerships, such as between Airbnb and Delta Airlines, or home-sharing companies and travel agents.
For example, New Zealand’s largest TMC (Travel Management Company) has teamed up with AirBnB for Work to get their employees to stay in properties that are highly conducive for business travel. This option often provides savings for the company and has proven to work well for all involved.
4. Analytic data will improve companies’ business travel
As a recent Phocuswire.com article said, “Finally, we expect cloud-based business travel tools to continue to be instrumental in helping you gather data on all of your corporate travel activities. With enough data, companies will be able to analyze travel-related spending and set KPIs for 2020.”
There are apps that already exist to help companies understand how well their travel expenses are being spent, whether they’re seeing an ROI on their various trips and conferences, and even how much and which ones are worth repeating and which ones should be dropped. They use past data to accurately predict the necessary budget needed for future ventures.
As more and more cloud-based companies are using AI and big data analytics in their work, we expect to see apps offer more comprehensive usability to improve the ROI for the company and the convenience of the traveler.
5. Efficiency will increase with AI
Digital platforms are embracing the effectiveness of machine learning. With the data that has been inputed into laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, apps like Hopper are able to provide plausible budgets for hotel stays, flights and other travel expenditures for the traveler. This is all based on data from previous trips they have made, or even from colleagues within the company.
AI apps will also be able to remedy any unfortunate circumstance, if possible, such as rescheduling flights that get canceled, or finding another bus if your bus is delayed, etc.
Chatbots are also becoming more available and easier to create because of AI, and will effectively help users better than ever before. Instead of waiting so long to speak to a human, these chatbots will use AI to answer many questions and solve problems. Imagine being able to rebook a canceled flight with a chatbot on your phone, rather than waiting on hold for 20 minutes to speak to a real human being.
What are your travel predictions for 2020, or even five years from now? Are you taking advantage of any of these new trends, or have you seen other important trends we should examine? Share them with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: Erik Deckers (Used with permission)