Five years ago, hardly anyone had heard of Airbnb. Ten years ago, budget airlines numbered about a 50th of their total numbers now. And 20 years ago, booking websites were a pipe dream.

Such is the travel industry. Trends come, and trends go.

But what’s in store for 2017, and what new trends are you likely to hear about around the office and at your next industry event?

KarryOn have done a little digging around and here are four new trends that are about to peak in 2017…


1. Pared-back hotels



In 2017, consumers will be seeking hotels that skimp on extravagant displays of opulence in favour of de-cluttered room spaces that subscribe to the philosophy of “less is more.”

Enter the Pared-back Hotel.

Trading old-school luxury with minimalistic comfort and design, these hotels of the future (check out The Mezzanine Hotel and Mi Amor Boutique Hotel & Spa) will focus on only the important things that matter to the modern traveller, such as large, comfy beds, intelligent technologies (such as smart mirrors), and uber-awesome bathrooms with top-shelf beauty products.


2. Room Mate



Watch out Airbnb: you have some competition at your heels!

This year you’re likely to hear about a new service offered by hotel chain Room Mate called Be Mate. The new service allows travellers to stay in apartments near Room Mate hotels whilst still giving them the freedom to use the neighbouring hotel’s facilities, such as the pool, gym and left-luggage facilities.

This way, travellers can have more space and independence (such as the ability to cook their own meals using the apartment’s kitchen) whilst still receiving all the perks that staying at a hotel provides – basically like Airbnb 2.0.

It’s easy to see how this will take off with business travellers, for example. But the appeal is much more global than that. This may be the anti-dote to the growing popularity of Airbnb


3. More women will travel solo



A new study has found that there’s been a 230 percent increase in the number of women-only travel companies over the last six years, catering to a growing segment of the travel market: solo female travellers.

More than at any other time in the past, women are feeling safe enough to travel independently, and the numbers support exactly this.

For example, in the case of Intrepid Travel in the American context, 63 percent of the 100,000 passengers who toured with them in 2012 were females aged between 25 and 39-years-old.

So Travel Agents: prepare to see heaps of women-only tours kicking off this year as more and more women feel empowered enough to travel the world!


4. Stripped down Economy Class



Travellers are looking for products and services that are better tailored to what they want out of a holiday. And the travel industry is responding to these wishes, offering a ton of new “choose-your-own-adventure” style products that literally give customers what they pay for.

Take United, for example. The American carrier is now offering a product it’s calling “basic economy,” which gives you a seat, checked luggage and food, but charges you extra if you need to put anything in the overhead compartment.

It’s basically like a stripped down Economy Class that blurs the line between flying a full-service and budget airline. Look out for this trend in 2017 and beyond.

What other travel trends are you predicting this year? Let us know in the comments below.