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Booking.com reveals 2017 travel predictions
Posted on 26/11/2016

TipUnited Kingdom

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Experts at Booking.com have revealed what they believe will be the major travel trends for the coming year.

Online accommodation site Booking.com has released its travel predictions 2017, forecasting what holidaymakers and business travellers can expect from travel in the year ahead. Using information taken from a wealth of data, surveys and leading industry experts, the site complied a list of eight predictions for 2017.

Clever travel apps

Clever travel apps
1971yes/123RF

With technology becoming ever more present in our lives, it is hardly surprising that travellers are becoming more demanding when planning a holiday from their smartphone. According to Booking.com, the influence of technology on travel is set to increase further in 2017.

Leading the pack, Airbnb recently unveiled Trips, the brand's all-in-one travel app that allows guests to plan every aspect of their trip in one place. It is more than certain that other travel apps will follow this lead, evolving from mere functionality into real companions, capable of everything from finding the nearest ATM to queue jumping at top attractions.

Business + Leisure

'Bleisure', the art of finding leisure in business travel, is currently one of the biggest travel trends. Experts believe that leisure will become even more important in business travel in 2017, so much so that 30% of travellers would even accept a lower paid job if it meant they could travel for work. No longer seen as lost time or an inconvenience, business travel is increasingly viewed as an opportunity to expand horizons.

Desire to discover

Next year will be the year of adventure, with many travellers unleashing their inner explorer. Whether it's for the bragging rights on Instagram or because of a genuine curiosity for undiscovered destinations, 47% of travellers would like to explore places that none of their friends have been to. There is an ever-growing appetite to embrace undiscovered environments in an authentic way, and what's more, many more people will be venturing out to explore solo.

Mind, Body and Soul

In a technology-fuelled world, travelling to a new destination is often viewed as a time to truly switch off, with almost half of all travellers see going on holiday as a moment to reflect. Thus, the coming year will see many travellers embarking upon health conscious trips, such as spa breaks, that promise benefits for the mind, body and soul.

Accommodation options across the world are closely following this trend, upgrading their offerings to match growing demand. In 2017, it won't be uncommon to find a diverse range of SanctuStays that offer meditation facilities, health spas and wellness workshops to promote a holistic lifestyle.

Going green

Eco-tourism is a rising star in the travel industry, with more and more travellers embarking on sustainable travel and hotels becoming more environmentally responsible to appeal to the market. The coming year will see more than a third of travellers planning to choose more eco-friendly travel options. This trend could also lead to enacting positive change; as the year progresses we will likely see increased discussion around the introduction of an international standard for sustainable accommodation and transport providers giving travellers more information about carbon offsetting.

Simple Pleasures

The year 2017 is also set to be the year of the humble traveller, in which people will be inspired to travel by their own aspirations rather than material incentives. In fact, almost two thirds of travellers plan to prioritise spending on experiences rather than material possessions while on holiday in 2017. Less interested in fancy toiletries and more interested in the simple pleasures of a journey, travellers in 2017 are more likely to be found in the sociable surroundings of a bustling hostel than requesting the service of the concierge in a pristine hotel.

Human interaction

Despite the rise of travel apps and technology that reduces almost all contact with other people, 2017 travellers understand the importance of human interaction. This will be an increasingly important hallmark of travel in the coming year, with 42% of travellers saying that they wouldn't stay in an accommodation without friendly or helpful staff.

Travellers also rely on the help of fellow explorers, with 40% confirming that they would not stay in an accommodation with more than three negative reviews. However, the contact may not be completely human, with predictions of advances in chat bot technology to recreate the warmth, personality and spontaneity of real human conversation.

Fly me to the Moon

As the world becomes smaller through advances in technology and transport, travel can become a lifestyle. It is hardly surprising that people's desires to explore are stretching beyond this planet - 44% of people envision future travel in far flung corners of the galaxy or deep under the ocean.

But it may not be as far-off as you might think. High-speed rail is scheduled to connect travellers to the remote corners of northern Africa, Branson is offering supersonic travel by 2023, and a Tesla autopilot-enabled vehicle is scheduled to "drive" from Los Angeles to New York in the summer of 2017. Who knows what additional frontiers will open up for us over the coming year...

All data was collected by Booking.com in two surveys conducted in March 2016 and September 2016.

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