The industry’s leading global event has revealed a few wonderful and worldly trends that will shape our future travel plans.
The World Travel Market (WTM), the industry’s leading global travel event, has not only managed to bring more than 50 000 industry execs to the proverbial table but, by its third day, has managed to detect key travel trends for 2015.
At the fore is the major shift in LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and Transgender) tourism. A prominent mover and shaker in the travel industry, the LGBT travel market, according to LGBT2020 research, is now valued at over (USD) $200 billion annually.
The competitive nature of the LGBT travel market is not set to change. However, the destinations considered LGBT hot spots are certainly set to feel a shift.
Out Now Global has detected a move away from traditionalist Berlin. Instead, the top three global destinations are New York, Sydney and Amsterdam.
The USA still remains a firm first for countries planned to be visited by LGBT travellers in 2015. France follows in second place. The biggest gains were experienced by Australia, who moved from position seventh to third over the past four years.
Drops were detected in Spain, who has fallen five places since 2011 and Argentina who has dropped out of the top 10 entirely.
“Spain and Argentina underscore the vital need for consistency and ongoing connections with LGBT customers being the central campaign focus,” CEO of Out Now Global, Ian Johnson, said.
“Given Spain’s economic crisis it is completely understandable their tourism office needed to pull back on budgets.”
A second emerging trend is surf tourism. While surf tourism manages to attract 35 million dudes and bunnies per annum, the former must surf destinations- the Americas, Australasia and Europe – have been snubbed for Africa.
Madagascar, Zanzibar and Mozambique are considered family-friendly surf spots. Experts also evidence potential in Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde and Senegal.
This is great news for African states who struggle under enduring economies as it has the potential to open up the market for tourism employment and revenue. However, the potential for the Ebola outbreak to have a negative impact on this emerging trend has also been considered.
World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press believes the explorative nature of the surfing cult will potentially avert the crisis.
“Surfers are adventurous travellers and Africa offers them a vast coastline with undiscovered and uncrowded beaches,” he said.
A perception that moved past the realms of the immediate future was the potential to have agents replaced by holograms and robots.
The World Travel Market Industry Report quizzed 1,229 senior industry executives from the travel trade and found that 59 per cent expect robots or holographic images to take over from human reps in the resort of the future. Virtual reality holidays were tipped by 54 per cent.
However, before most of us start considering a career change or dipping into our retirement savings, this is a prediction the industry believes will take place 2049, leaving the industry plenty of room to continue experiencing destinations on foot and relying on agents to plan the trip of a lifetime.
What do you think will be an emerging trend in 2015?
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