- World Travel Market report identified nine emerging trends
- Poshtels mix modern and luxurious design with high-tech facilities
- Smartwatches can be used as a room key or a boarding pass
- Peer-to-peer dining trend aims to duplicate the success of Airbnb
- Africa is poised to become the surfing capital of the world
- Popularity of cycling is threatening golf tourism in the Americas
Forget eating in fancy restaurants, travellers are increasingly opting for meals in private homes for the ultimate ‘local’ experience, according to a new travel trends report.
Predicting the trends that will take off in 2015, a new study revealed that more travellers than ever before will eat local, stay in posh hostels – dubbed poshtels – and use new technology like smartwatches to plan their trips.
The popularity of cycling holidays is also set to endanger golf tourism, while Africa has been named the world’s new top surfing spot in the World Travel Market and Euromonitor International report.
British travellers are embracing ‘poshtels’ – affordably-priced hostels that have been giving a luxury facelift and are giving boutique hotels a run for their money.
Mixing modern and luxurious design with high-tech facilities, poshtels go above and beyond basic hostels, offering restaurants, twin en-suite rooms, free wifi and breakfast.
The ‘cheap but chic’ concept is a hit with families and young, business and single travellers. It is especially popular among Generation Y, those born between 1981 and 1990 and who embrace mobile technology and favour designer brands.
Wearable technology: Iberia and Samsung have create a smartwatch app that acts as a boarding pass
Travel professionals are expecting the Apple Watch to take the sector by storm once it goes on sale in 2015
TOP GLOBAL TRAVEL TRENDS
- Design-led ‘poshtels’ across the UK are gaining in popularity among stylish and cost-conscious Brits.
- Wearable devices such as smartwatches and Google Glass are expected to drive travel’s next phase of e-commerce as they go mainstream by 2016.
- Peer-to-peer dining is on the menu in Europe as new start-ups offer visitors in-home meals, cooking lessons or guided food tours.
- The rise in popularity of cycling in the Americas poses a threat to golf tourism as middle-aged men swap their clubs for their bikes.
- Hotel chains are offering reward schemes set up to encourage ‘braggies’, where guests take photos of the hotel and share the images on social media.
- Africa is tipped to become the surfing capital of the world as its countries benefit from intra-regional and domestic travel.
- The Middle East is repositioning itself with design tourism in an effort to revitalise visitor arrivals and attract creative minds.
- WeChat, the second largest global messaging service after WhatsApp, has emerged as a viable sales channel for Chinese travel companies.
- India’s rail network is expecting an increase in online and mobile bookings, which represent a strong driver for travel and tourism.
And it appears the rise of the poshtel is creating a favourable situation for travellers as budget and mid-range hotel chains rethink their design and lower their pricing in order to compete.
World Travel Market senior director Simon Press said: ‘Poshtels are more than a buzzword. They represent a viable accommodation option for a number of traveller segments and are helping to raise standards across the entire UK hospitality sector.’
Another trend is the rise of wearable devices, such as Google Glass and smartwatches, that are making it easier to plan and manage holidays.
A handful of hotels, airlines and travel companies have already released smartwatch apps that act as room keys or allow users to book flights, download boarding passes or find the best holiday deals.
The report said: ‘Wearable electronics will become an important tool for travellers, who will be increasingly connected to the internet through different types of mobile devices.’
Wearable devices are expected to go mainstream and experience sharp growth within two years with sales forecast to skyrocket from nine million devices in 2013 to 180 million in 2016.
Travel professionals are expecting the Apple Watch to take the sector by storm once it goes on sale in 2015.
The report said 35 per cent of online travel bookings will be done with mobile devices by 2018.
One of the emerging trends that will delight foodies is the influence that the peer-to-peer concept is having on local cuisine.
Riding the success of websites such as Airbnb, new online start-ups are pairing travellers with home cooks at their holiday destination.
Cowabunga: Africa is poised to become the surfing capital of the world, according to the WTM report
The rising popularity of cycling is posing a threat to golf tourism as middle-aged men swap their clubs for bikes
Cheers: The peer-to-peer dining trend is taking off as online start-ups pair travellers with home cooks
Visitors are invited into the cooks’ homes for meals or cooking lessons as the websites cater to holidaymakers who are looking for value and more authentic experiences in their quest to sample local cuisine and meet new people.
After the meal visitors can review their hosts in terms of food quality, venue and cleanliness.
The concept has seen rapid growth even though it hasn’t gone mainstream just yet.
One of the websites, Bookalokal, was founded in Brussels in 2012 and has rapidly expanded to 20 other countries, while another start-up, EatWith, has expanded from Spain and Israel to 21 cities worldwide in less than a year.
Mr Press said: ‘When travelling and on holiday we all like to think that our experience is authentic to the destination. How much more real can you get than by eating local food cooked by a local in their own home, or being taken to a restaurant which isn’t featured in the guide books?’
The report also said more hotel chains are offering reward schemes to encourage ‘braggies’, where guests take photos in the hotel and upload the images to social media to promote a hotel’s brand.
Other trends include design tourism in the Middle East, the WeChat messaging app in China, and online and mobile bookings for India’s rail network.