2012 was a year of disruption and upset for much of the travel industry. The Arab Spring hit bookings and visits to Egypt, Syria and Libya by businesses and tourists as there was uncertainty about security and travel. Meanwhile the ongoing dips in the global economy meant that many corners of the travel industry had to find new ways of attracting customers while reducing costs and outlay. It was also the year that consumers became much savvier. The hit on commercial budgets was similarly mirrored in household budgets so travellers wanted more bang for their buck and were much happier to shop around for the best deal.
As 2013 gets underway attention inevitably falls onto what impact global events and trends might have on the travel industry over the next twelve months. Experts try to predict what might be heading our way in an effort to help companies make the most of it. Here’s a roundup of the key anticipated trends;
Oil prices have been turbulent to say the least in the past five years. That has had a huge impact on the travel industry as many have been put off my high airline costs. That has lead to the growth of the “staycation”. Yet in 2013 analysts predict oil prices will start to drop. While that means in the UK that people might be likely to venture further afield for their holidays for the UK’s capital and major cities it means they should be prepared to welcome visitors from further afield. After a buoyant year with the Jubilee and the Olympics, London might not receive the same high level of visitors but there will be plenty who see the city on the TV and want to sample it for themselves. For Clarendon UK enabling travellers to create a bespoke trip staying in serviced apartments in the capital will help us stay popular.
For business travellers the hot destinations are China, India, Russia and Brazil and these economies rise in profile. Yet as more firms head to those locations the chances are the costs for business travellers will start to rise. The International Business Times quotes a report that says that could mean more expensive hotel bookings, expensive plane tickets and car rentals. It means that business travellers will get savvier, spending much more time looking for cheaper alternatives, like serviced, apartments, that enable them to continue with the trip but reduce the overheads. Cost effective travelling will be important in 2013 for the business that wants to grow but doesn’t want a huge budget attached. Serviced apartments offer a cost-effective alternative to luxury hotels. (http://www.ibtimes.com/business-travelers-heres-where-costs-will-increase-2013-849137)
In 2013, travel industry experts predict it won’t just be business travellers who become savvier when it comes to using technology to find the best deals on trips. Social media, cross-platform browsing, integration with tourism route planning and booking; visitors expect a one stop shop when they’re booking their break and providers will have to respond. This includes having the technical know-how to make your website compatible with browsing on PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones. It also means offering more so advice and tips on cultural activities or suggestions for visits to places that coincide with their stay. Online booking and a chance to navigate or explore the accommodation on offer to find something that best suits them will be attractive. Customer reviews are increasingly important as consumers look to their peers for recommendations. Profile raising on social media helps to keep a brand current and responsive.
The family that holidays together stays together and Lindsey Ueberroth of Preferred Hotel Group predicts that multi-generational travel will be a major trend for 2013. While travelling on masse might seem like a stressful diea at first it means that accommodation providers who anticipate a family’s needs will become much more attractive. Providing space, amenities for a flexible visit and accommodation that can be adopted and adapted to suit a family with young children will make it easier to have a problem-free visit. Clarendon UK has designed a dedicated family section on its website allowing people to plan accommodation for a family holiday basing their choice on location or cost.