Here is what to expect in 2018 as per the latest Virtuoso Lux Report and other industry experts. Plenty of food for thought for fellow hoteliers to turn trends into packages.
Skip The Parents
Multigeneration travel is in full swing including “skip-gen” trips, where grandparents take grandchildren on a special adventure, leaving the parents behind to experience their own time off.
Eat, Play, Love
Whether it’s meeting the locals, wandering neighbourhoods or learning traditional crafts, travellers nowadays want culturally immersive experiences they can’t find in a guidebook. Plenty of opportunities for hoteliers for local partnerships and packages before airbnb steals it all.
Fly Me To The Joon
There are two things millennials love – travel and social media so they can brag about travel. Hoteliers have long ago put those two together and launched chains like Moxy by Marriott, Jen by Shangri-La, Canopy by Hilton and JoandJoe by Accor. These new select service brands target millennials with “just the right room”; packed with digital tech and “surprises”.
Air France, however, is the first to launch the new generation airline. Joon has been entirely designed to meet the tech-savvy requirements and aspirations of the 18-to-35-year-olds. Those include tablet plugs in every seat; organic menu; VR headsets and in-flight entertainment streaming to personal devices. The cabin crew uniforms, inspired by Silicon Valley start-ups, feature white sneakers, electric blue polo shirts and sweaters made of recycled fabrics.
The airline’s partners offer cheap parking at the airport, airbnb experiences and surprise trips (you pay a bulk sum online for a trip including flights and hotel and find out the destination 48 hours to departure). Like everything millennial, Joon is a lifestyle brand before anything else i.e. “Rooftop bar with tapas and smoothies but also an airline”.
Try Me A River
There’s been talk for some time about younger travellers’ love of cruising, with festival-cruises and boutique river cruises like Aqua Expeditions along the Mekong appealing to millennials.
This year, Uniworld River Cruises debuts its U by Uniworld brand targeting youngsters with sleek all-black vessels; international DJs sets, mixology classes; rooftop yoga and adventurous excursions including rock climbing and white-water rafting.
Gone With The WiFi
Thought millennials were the only digital nomads around? Think again. On the rise are longer getaways for baby boomers travelling abroad for several months while working. In response to this, Brownell Travel have launched “sojourns”; three-month trips which include stays at short-term-let apartments, and access to co-working spaces such as WeWork.