Thanks to the internet, there’s more accessible information available on travel, both international and domestic than ever before. And in the travel industry, service providers are having to cater for a more diverse group of travelers of all ages, origins and reasons for travel; some for leisure and relaxation, others for business, the adventurers and thrill seekers. Let’s take a look at 3 global markets that are thriving and find out why they are, and how these trends are going global.
1.European Style Hotel Meets Hostels
Backpacking across the stunning European terrain has long been immensely popular for travelers of all ages of origins. Affordable and convenient transportation – both by air, rail and road between European countries may be one reason for the popularity of hiking across the Western region of this continent, but the traditionally simplistically frugal hostel type housing that originally catered for backpackers and students is becoming more popular. Providing basic, practical and useful facilities and amenities with a casual social atmosphere at a low cost is becoming increasingly popular and this trend is spreading across bigger cities in Asia and the US alike such as Singapore, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York and Miami. This provides much sought after alternative housing options in traditionally pricier and mainstream chain hotel type lodging and attracting millennials who are more cost conscious and make up an increasing segment of the travel industry.
- Latin America’s Homegrown Brands
Latin America is so diverse – culturally, economically, politically and geographically and the travel and hospitality industry is fragmented as a result of this. While this presents a set of challenges, a lot of opportunity is also created.One of South America’s strengths lies in intimately knowing the local terrain and local consumer preferences – this is how small and medium businesses have an advantage over larger multinational companies. Partnering with local institutions from banks to restaurants and attractions rather than seeing them as competition is important and creates a win-win situation for the community. Smaller boutique type hotels have been gaining popularity as are smaller businesses and unique vacation rental and a lot of small businesses thriving simply by maximizing what is unique to them. Young travelers are looking for unique, undiscovered gems to create unforgettable memories and they don’t have to be 1000 miles away – ‘Staycations’, or staying closer to home are becoming increasingly popular. Latin America’s homegrown brands are an example of how smaller, independent businesses can flourish simply because they know the area better than anyone else.
- China’s technology and infrastructure advancement
In 2012, Chinese tourists overtook the Germans and American tourists by spending $102 billion on tourism – it’s no wonder that Chinese tourists are much sought after, and such growth was a major talking point of the US Travel show this year. While the habits of the Chinese tourists – good, bad, ugly or stereotypical is a whole topic for another day, let’s focus on how the Chinese get to travel at this rate. The limelight is on the technology and infrastructure present in China. China’s travel market today is based on rock solid foundations of airports, airlines, and traditional distribution methods with well established relationships all across the market. And the Chinese get all the information they need even without websites and apps, for which some of us can barely go a day without using – such as Google (Drive, Maps, Docs- all of it), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. But China’s startup and tech industry is exploding and they’ve got their own platforms, and many travel websites such as TripAdvisor have launched their Chinese .cn versions. WeChat, for example is immensely popular and has over 500 million users who discuss and share everything – travel experiences included. China does have the world’s largest smartphone market after all. So if you aren’t already on board and making use of all the innovative technologies for maximizing bookings to providing ancillary services- we suggest you jump on the bandwagon.
What are your thoughts? What are some other global trends we may have missed ? We want to know what you think!
 Roth, Howard and Fishbin, Michael., pg. 14 EY Global hospitality insights Top thoughts for 2015
 Luke Bujarski, and Hoffman, Colie., pg. 8 Mexico Online Travel Overview Second Edition (January 2015)
 Cripps, Cripps., Chinese tourism: The good, the bad and the backlash (February 2013) http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/travel/chinese-tourism-impact/