Fall is officially here and that means the holidays are now top of mind for travelers.
According to insights from PwC’s latest Holiday Outlook Trends Report, travel-related spending will increase by 12% from 2022 with 40% of respondents indicating they are spending more this year than last. Nearly half of consumers (47%) indicated they plan to travel this holiday season, with 58% of Gen Zers alone reporting that they plan to travel for the holidays this year. The report also indicates that 82% of emerging technology users are open to getting help from a chatbot when booking their travel.
The following is a summary of global travel trends and industry shifts that our PR teams in the U.S., UK and Europe have compiled from recent media feedback, widespread coverage, industry conferences and webinars:
TRENDS IMPACTING THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
- Emerging Technology Boosts Travel Research and Planning: MMGY Travel Intelligence’s recent report, Emerging Technologies in Travel & Tourism™, revealed travelers are open to incorporating emerging technologies as part of the travel experience, especially for research and planning purposes. In fact, nearly 2 in 3 travelers relied upon some kind of emerging technology during a travel experience in the past year. When asked which technologies they feel have the most potential to improve the travel experience in the next five years, travelers and destination marketers differed in their responses. Travelers’ top three choices were the Internet of Things (47%), Virtual Assistants (41%) and Virtual Reality (17%). Destination marketers, on the other hand, were most enthusiastic about the prospects for Generative Artificial Intelligence (70%), Virtual Assistants (32%) and Augmented Reality (31%).
- Technology Takeover: Singapore’s Changi Airport is set to ditch passports beginning in 2024, with biometric data from fingerprint scans and facial recognition technology replacing travel documents and passports for those departing from the airport. Other destinations offering technology-led experiences include iGA Istanbul Airport that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to provide new services and seamless passenger experiences, as well as Eurostar, which is launching a new facial recognition service to speed up the check-in process this summer.
- Milestone-Moons to Lead 2024: While celebrating milestones like anniversaries and birthdays has long been a driver for travel, recent reports from leading travel forecasting agency, Globetrender, such as “Travelling with Purpose: Milestone Motivations & Luxury Travel Trends,” and Inspiring Travel show that consumers are keen to celebrate smaller milestones like getting a new job or purchasing a new home.
- Early Bird Catches the Worm: The Advantage Travel Partnership reveals that UK travelers are booking earlier than usual for the year ahead, with 76% of people booking early to save money. This demonstrates that consumers are prioritizing travel experiences and trying to optimize their budgets.
- Asian Market Is Back With a Fervor: MMGY Travel Intelligence recently released the findings of its inaugural Portrait of Asian International Travelers™, a study that highlights the travel intent and behaviors of outbound travelers from four key Asian markets: China, Japan, South Korea and India. Respondents indicated they planned to take an average of 2.3 international trips over the next two years. According to the report, the historically affluent market has a preference for luxury with 70% of respondents indicating they are willing to spend more on luxurious experiences. ITB Asia just wrapped in Singapore and reports reinforced that the Asian market is traveling again. In fact, a recent article by CNBC noted the Chinese domestic travel market has returned to pre-pandemic levels. The National Immigration Administration recorded 11.8 million trips in and out of mainland China during the recent Golden Week holiday, which is roughly 85% of 2019 levels. All of these insights point to a strong return for the market as all eyes will turn to Asia for 2024.
U.S. MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES AND SHIFTS
- Thrillist will focus almost exclusively on travel following a recent acquisition by Vox Media. Content will be a combination of international travel and local travel guides by editors across the U.S.
- The Michelin Guide will award hotels with “keys” as part of a new rating system launching in 2024 that will be aimed at recognizing hotels based on five factors including location, design, service, uniqueness and value. While the editorial team will operate separately from sales, Michelin has reported they will be making commission from hotels booked through their website.
- Sarah Kopit has been named as the new editor in chief of Skift. Prior to Skift, she served as editor in chief of The Block and spent 14 years at Bloomberg
- Melanie Lieberman has left The Points Guy and joined Chase as vice president of editorial hotel content.
- The Global Business Travel Association has launched a new quarterly subseries called GBT-A.I. that will air on its official podcast The Business of Travel. It will focus on the ways AI is impacting the business travel industry.
- Lizzy Rosenberg has been appointed the new lifestyle editor at PEOPLE where she will be covering home, travel, pets and food.
UK MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES AND SHIFTS
- Forbes welcomes Lewis Nunn as luxury travel and cruises contributing editor.
- The Telegraph has promoted Harriet Jones to senior hotel guides content editor and Oliver Smith to deputy head of travel.
- Christy Spring has been promoted to staff writer at Escapism and Foodism.
- City A.M. is bringing back its glossy magazine in late November. It will be distributed by hand in central London and will feature interviews, travel, wellness, health, trends and more.
- The Sun’s travel team has launched a new travel show that will be distributed organically across TalkTV’s social platforms, including TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. It will be based on the format of 60-second “how-to” travel hack videos such as “how to avoid airport chaos,” and there will be sponsorship opportunities available to tailored audiences.
- News UK and DMG Media have proposed combining print operations in a bid to ensure a sustainable future for national newspaper printing, following a decline of more than 60% in print newspaper circulation over the past 10 years.
- In November, Roxhill Media will be hosting another Brunch Club, designed to connect PR professionals and top UK journalists. Look out for more information on the company’s social media channels (@roxhillmedia).
- Synapse launches as the first marketplace for stories, designed to enable a more efficient and meaningful working relationship between journalists and PR professionals by allowing journalists to find relevant pitches and filter through mass emails.
- The TTG Luxury Travel Awards 2024 are still open for entry until Friday, November 3. The awards recognize luxury travel businesses and individuals that have made their mark on the industry over the past year.