One of the many beauties of traveling is being able to learn from the different places we visit and the various cultures we experience. Oftentimes this process is not only based on external circumstances but also our outlook on life. To put it simply, the more we interact with others and experience their idiosyncrasies and daily habits, the more we learn about ourselves.
Even if the covid-19 global pandemic is still among us, and we have yet to find a full-proof, mass-produced vaccine, countries are beginning to open up to visitors from the outside. People from different nationalities are once again traveling. As the days and months go by, more and more individuals will continue saving money, packing up their bags, and heading for near and far-flung destinations all across our globe.
As we look forward with hope and optimism to this reality, let us explore some of the most interesting trends currently in the travel and hospitality industry.
The Acceptance of Exoticism
A hamburger is a hamburger. No matter who you are or where you are from, you won't be confused when you see one. Yet, other dishes from other nations are far from common, and many times when you see them, they make you wonder if they are actually food or whether it might be time to get an eye checkup on your annual visit to the ophthalmologist.
Still, as the trend towards globalization and interdependence continues to gain traction, people are slowly beginning to understand and accept others who are different from them, namely when it comes to food. Today, it is no surprise to find exotic Japanese dishes for dinner at the heart of a traditional American family or high-end German bread at the dining table of a Chinese household in Beijing.
The Bleisure Boom
A portmanteau, also known as a blend, is generally understood to be a word that results from the combination of two or more words or parts of words. Common examples include smog, brunch, sitcom, and mockumentary.
When it comes to the travel and hospitality industry, there is one more of these terms currently at the vanguard. In case you didn't already know it, it is “bleisure,” or business and leisure.
While the concept of spending a few extra days at a foreign locale after a business trip is nothing new, what is indeed novel in the kind of products and services hotels and other companies in the accommodation arena are providing their guests. After all, business travel is about business, but a trip should always include a bit of fun and relaxation.
Travel With a Purpose
There are several reasons why people travel. First, many of them want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a few days without stress. Others go to domestic and overseas destinations to get an education on culture, languages, and even cuisine. Finally, a third group likes to engage in activities aimed at improving health and overall well-being.
Close to a quarter into the 21st century, there is yet another group of globetrotters rising to prominence. They are those who want to use their voyages and experiences to make the world a better place. For instance, they use their holidays to join environmentally-friendly efforts in forests and jungles or volunteer for weeks teaching children or helping protect endangered animals.
360-Degree Technological Approach
If there is one factor that influences all industries and areas within any society, it is the development of technology. In travel and hospitality, this represents a 360-degree technological approach that encompasses both guests and those providing services.
From a guest perspective, it has never been easier to book online, browse a wide variety of hotels, guest houses, motels, and hostel options. Also, social media and 5G internet connections have enabled travelers to share good and bad experiences with their peers in real-time.
On the other side of the spectrum, hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality-related businesses can easily cater their services and engage in advertising at a fraction of the price of years past. For example, they can use augmented and virtual reality to offer visitors pre-travel experiences and aid them in deciding where to go and what to do when they are there.
Four important trends in the travel and hospitality industry are the acceptance of the exotic in terms of food, the boom of bleisure trips, traveling with a purpose, and the constant evolution of technology.
Similar to what hotel rooms with pay-per-view services and resorts with giant swimming pools and high-end cuisine did in the past to the industry, they continue to influence people's choices as it pertains to both business and leisure travel.