As we head into the new year, travelers are looking to explore more than ever before. Where do we expect travelers to visit and how will their behaviors may change? Here are some predictions for 2017.
Technology is all the rage
We expect more innovative travel apps and gadgets to help travelers cope with travel hiccups, track their itineraries, get recommendations, and find short-cuts. Booking.com reports that (44%) of travelers are planning this year’s holiday trips trips in a few simple taps of their smart phone and over half (52%) expect their use of travel apps to increase in 2017.
Travel agents in demand
While travel booking sites are all the rage, expect travel agents to make a comeback in 2017. According to Reservations.com travelers are now craving a more human experience when booking a vacation and plan to rely on the expertise of local agents more than they did in 2016.
More travel to Cuba, Spain and Portugal
Our friends over at Oyster.com are expecting a jump in travel to Cuba in 2017. While there is still some strict travel requirements in place, the island is expected to lure more Americans. Part of the reason for this, commercial airlines are now making trips to Cuba and more cruise lines are planning Miami-to-Cuba trips for next year. Also, expect travel booking sites like TripAdvisor to finally jump on board and offer more options, like accommodations and travel packages.
But Cuba isn’t the only hot destination on travelers’ radar. The strong dollar will continue to attract US tourists to Spain and Portugal.
Business and leisure travel gets blurry
The ‘bleisure’ boom is here. That’s right, in 2017 we plan to mix business with pleasure as more travelers plan combination business-and-leisure trips. Despite all the advances in communications, like Skype and Facetime, business travelers still prefer to see clients face-to-face. Booking.com reports that out of all global travelers who journeyed for business this year, (46%) think they will travel even more for business in 2017.
Airfare goes up and down
While airfares always fluctuate, the Global Business Travel Association predicts a possible overall (2.5%) increase in ticket prices during 2017. The good news? Ticket prices may also drop significantly for some destinations, especially for trips to Asia.
Expedia also rounded up their own data forecast and expect the following:
- Average Ticket Prices (ATPs) continue to drop around the world in 2017.
- Generally, the best deals on airplane tickets can be found if the tickets are purchased on weekends, Sunday in particular, more than 21 days in advance.
- In most parts of the world, trips with Saturday-night stays still are priced best.
- Increased competition is a good thing for travelers; more flights from more airlines mean more options for consumers.
- Bundling your travel products, for example, flight and hotel, by booking more than one at the same time can provide big savings.
River cruising keeps getting hotter
More cruisers will take to the river in 2017. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports that increased demand will result in 13 new cruise ships for 2017, that’s a 7 percent increase.