Travel enthusiast and the industry are eagerly watching what lies ahead in the coming new year. This early, analysts are forecasting some interesting new and continuing trends in travel.
“Braggies” and “Botlers” are just two of those you would likely to encounter more in the coming year and affect the travel industry to a significant extent. If you are not sure what these are or how they would hit your travel and the industry, check out what Mairi Mackay has to say about them in “Botlers,” “braggies’ and The Sharing Economy: What will travel look like in 2015? This is a blog posted at CNN Travel – Money Section.
If travel industry experts are correct, next year will see us snapping holiday “braggies,” eating dinner at a local’s house, being served by a “Botler” and, more than likely, heading to Asia.
Singapore, Thailand and Japan are among top destination picks for next year, while world-class sports events like the 2015 Rugby World Cup will also see fans flocking to host nation England.
Why Asia’s hot right now: “One of the hottest regions is Asia and there are a couple of different drivers,” says Elizabeth Crabill, president of global travel provider TravelBound, which serves 40,000 travel agents worldwide.
Japan, which used to be beyond budget-conscious travelers, will attract more visitors with its depreciated yen. Okinawa, “Japan’s Hawaii,” will become a popular destination with its subtropical climate and rich indigenous culrure.
Thailand, suffering from a coup (curfews and turmoil) this year, will make a strong comeback to regain its popularity as a world’s top tourist destination. It will not be easy to quench the world’s thirst for Thailand’s majestic beaches, rich culture and gastronomic offerings; it will reclaim its position as a top and coveted destination for international travelers.
Singapore will reach new heights as the celebratory events for its 50th anniversary of independence in 2015 fill the calendar. The colorful festivities, eclectic cuisine and modern attractions, such as the 100-hectare Gardens by the Bay (an ambitious plan to transform Singapore into a city in a garden), will take the center stage in the Golden Jubilee celebration. Events expected to be crowd-drawers are the debuts of the Jubilee Walk and the National Gallery Singapore.
Instant messaging, wearable tech, robots: Tech continues to drive the future of travel and it’s shaping everything from the way we show off about our holidays with “braggies,” like a selfie, but taken within 10 minutes of arriving at your hotel.
Technology will be “hot” as ever. “Technology is the strongest disruptive force in the travel industry today,” says Angelo Rossini, a travel analyst of the Euromonitor International.
Instant messaging will soar high to invade travel bookings. Message services – WeChat (with 440 million subscribers) and Whatapp – will be playing strongly in the ball game. It will soar to the extent of threatening the livelihood of telecom companies and certain social media.
With Apple Watch (and iPhone App) hitting stores in 2015, will it make dramatic changes to travel, like unlocking hotel rooms with an iPhone than with a key card? Wearable tech, such as Google Glass and Sony SmartWatch, will be up and about foreseen to rule travel tech for the next two years or so.
“Selfie” will expand into “braggie” as tourists take their own pictures in every posh and exotic attraction to brag about their travel online (mostly in the social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). It will surge to what once thought to be extreme with the concept of “Botlers,” a twist of the word “butler.”
Just like a “real butler,” “Botlers” will make sure your comfort will be well attended. “Botler brings you things you need, for example toothpaste, your slippers, a newspaper,” says Caroline Bremner of Euromonitor. You can get a trial in Aloft Hotels in Cupertino, California.
Robot bartenders on board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas would be another good place to discover “robot efficiency and mastery.” Find out if they have been improved to uprightly set cocktail glasses after a failed program during their “baptism of fire” in the inaugural voyage.
Do-it-yourself holidays and the sharing economy: In 2015, more of us will likely book our own holidays, use online forums to research destinations and rent from locals when we get there.
Package holidays will be threatened as travelers learn to apply technology and use travel sites more to tailor their own travels. The trend is apparent in the upsurge in the number of users and visitors in sites like TripAdvisor. As DIY travel reaches a new height, “sharing economy” will also gain popularity fast.
Travel blogs work like word-by-mouth promotion encouraging DIY holidays and obliterating fears for travel effectively. “People might have been hesitant but then they hear of (others) who have had a positive experience — or not — and they are more inclined to try it out,” says Bremmer.
Hanging with the locals: What we’re all likely to be doing a lot more next year is eating with the locals — not in restaurants but in their homes, according to the WTM Global Trends Report 2014.
DIY holiday will also offer more opportunities to mix and mingle with the locals. Not only will it let travelers save big bucks; the experience will offer authentic taste of gastronomy and culture… plus factors in any travel.
If the growing popularity of sites, like Bookalokal.com, Eatwith.com and Vayable.com, are good indicators, street foods and home cooking as well as brushing elbows with the locals will be great attractions for tourists. Gone is the snobbish attitude upscale travelers used to extend to exotic foods and culture. These days, these experiences are “to die for” being the marks of an educated globetrotter.