As someone who has made it a point to travel as often as I can, it always fascinates me to see what the factors are driving other people to travel. I was interested to see what trends in travel may have an impact on stocks over the next year, namely booking sites, airlines and lodging companies like AirBnB.
Here are seven fun trends that have been driving the travel sector in recent years and the companies that support these trends aren't about to let up on growth anytime soon.
1. Millennials - It's true. They are officially the largest generation in history, beating out the Baby Boomers. However, they are also younger with more disposable income not yet allocated to children and houses, so they travel. Thanks to the power of the internet and smart devices, Millennials now research, plan, book and document their travels online and are subsequently the largest drivers of the travel sector.
2. Adventure Trips - These Millennials are also responsible for the rise in adventure trips for things like African safaris, hiking the Swiss Alps, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, or riding camels in Egypt. According to Trekk Soft, customer demographics for adventure travel lean in the direction of ladies (53% to 47%), especially in Africa (57%). North and South America are the top adventure destinations for customers.
3. Solo Women Travelers - It's pretty amazing, but nearly 80% of all travel decisions are made by women, no matter if they are married, single or divorced, women are driving the travel industry and companies are taking notice. However, women are no longer looking for gender stereotypes that are marketed to them like 5-star hotels with day spas -- women want REAL adventure. In fact, in 2014, 72% of American women took a solo adventure.
4. Food Tourism - Food is driving as much as 95% of the motivation behind travel experiences. But it isn't just the Michelin Star restaurants that are seeing some action. Cooking courses, farm tours, food markets and hole-in-the-wall restaurants are often the biggest drivers behind food travel.
5. Responsible Tourism - Planes burn a lot of fuel, and more travelers are aware of the impact their experiences have on the planet and as a result, are opting for sustainable measures in their travel. According to Trekk Soft, "there will likely be many mindful changes ahead for the modern traveler, like staying closer to home to reduce their carbon footprint. Tour businesses with a strong awareness of the impact they're making will benefit greatly from their already established ecotourism practices. However that's not to say that businesses who are just waking up to this trend will be far behind! Companies will need to develop a strong social focus." Hint, hint -- we've been talking about this for a long time.
6. Mobile Photography - Nowadays, everyone's a photographer thanks to smartphones, and some are turning out to be very good at what they do. I have personally seen many more photographers with massive cameras and equipment at airports than ever before. The amateur photographer is becoming a star on social media and travel is allowing them to come across more subject matter.
7. Business & Leisure Travel - This is not really an emerging trend, but it still worth considering since many Millennials are traveling for work. Many workers will head to different locations for business trips, but some will pay a little extra to take a short vacation while they are there. Not a bad deal, but not a big trend for 2018 I would imagine.
Greetings, GradMoney Readers!
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