Travel trends to look forward to in 2015

The world of tourism has seen steady growth since 2013, despite the economies of several nations not doing too well. The fact is, the economic downturn has not really impacted tourism to the extent as was feared in the initial stages. This indicates that people still want to go on trips and holidays and is heartening news for all those whose livelihood depends directly or indirectly on this sector. In 2013 it had seen a growth of close to 5% and statistics indicate another 4-4.5 increase in 2014. That does indeed portend well for 2015 both for the industry as well as holidaymakers.

shutterstock_204467917That is music to the ears of the hotel industry in London that is using a variety of marketing ploys to rein in customers. From offering amazing discounts to promotional offers, to labelling themselves as being the ideal romantic hotels in London, every strategy is adopted. Of course this is great news for newly married and soon to wed couples who would be delighted to spend their honeymoon or plan a getaway trip at such romantic hotels in London. Whatever the reason for going on a holiday or trip, some of the trends to look forward to in 2015 are:

More of self-service
With a steady increase and advancement in technology making human service redundant, and a rise in the cost labour, hotels will begin to look for new ways to streamline their businesses and cut costs. Profitability is the recurring ‘mantra’ and to achieve this most travel businesses and industry will be on the lookout to find new ways to make guests and customers more self-reliant. That would mean a greater emphasis on D-I-y or self-service methods. Already we see mobile boarding passes and check-in kiosks at airports. This trend is expected to follow suit in hotels with self check-ins for guests, as well as in other areas like baggage and room service.

Personalization is the way forward
You will find more and more travellers are losing interest in the so called all-inclusive packages, and rather are becoming more demanding and expecting highly personalised or customized itineraries. The importance and emphasis on top notch customer service has moved to new frontiers, with most travel companies and tourism service providers realising it is a necessity for each and every client. No longer is it the exclusive preserve of a select few but rather is becoming the norm. The hotel industry is increasingly using social media platforms to learn about their customers and their preferences. It should come as no surprise in the future, if when you check-in you find that the hotel already knows your personal choice in food and wines before you tell them.

Complimentary Wifi for everyone
The good news that experts seem to agree about is that Internet charges in the not-so-distant future will be waived off at least for travellers and hotel guests. There has been a steady improvement in Internet related technology and the benefits are going to percolate to net users. It is expected that more efficient and cost-effective 3G data connections will be made available along with improved Wi-Fi capabilities. As a result guests will want and expect to have all round connectivity 24/7. Also it has been surveyed that majority of travellers rate hi-speed Wi-Fi as a priority need and all hotels including the top notch ones will have to ensure that these requirements of guests are met effectively. They will have to slash the rates or even offer it absolutely free of cost!

It will all about Apps
With so much of technology in every stage of our life perhaps the single most important development after the Internet has been that of smart-phones. Before the coming of this technology most of our transactions were carried out using the desktop or laptop. Well it is time for them to step back and make way for the relatively new and trendy smartphone revolution. The introduction of apps has complemented the existing smartphone technology just perfectly. In fact it is estimated that by the end of 2015, businesses can expect up to 25% of bookings for travel and accommodation in the USA to be done using smartphones.  There are millions of apps available with increasing numbers being introduced on a daily basis. Also using these easy-to-use and expertly designed travel apps has made it possible to make hotel bookings and reservations without needing to use a laptop. Besides you can expect these very same apps to offer you a keyless entry in your hotel room, with prototype apps being currently tested on the iPhone both by Hilton and Starwood.

Long term Sustainability
We have heard the terms ‘Go Green’ and ‘Eco-friendly’ umpteen times in the past decade. It is not new to any of us but this trend is increasing in each and every sector and the hotel industry also lays a strong emphasis on it. Sustainable services is the motto and for this hotels strive in every area of their functioning be it lowering energy consumption, using solar energy and other alternative sources or using electronics that are energy efficient. You will find eco-friendly lighting in rooms, amenities like towels, shampoo, soap etc in the bathrooms and right up to being served organic food when dining. Shuttle and limousine services are increasingly using gas-efficient or hybrid vehicles with a strong focus on reducing CFC generation and reducing their carbon footprint on the environment.

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