Spafinder Wellness 365 recently released its 11th annual trends report of the top 10 spa and wellness trends that will impact the hospitality, spa and wellness industry, as well as consumers, in 2014. As wellness takes on new dimensions and becomes a key ingredient in travel and technology, spas help people face life challenges; and new fitness and beauty trends help us all be healthier.
The U.S. travel industry is expected to continue growing in 2014, as consumers are increasingly becoming more confident in the economy and are comfortable spending more of their discretionary income on travel. New surveys highlight popular destinations and cruise trends for the new year. In addition, business travel will increase substantially in 2014 and further trigger growth in the travel and hospitality industries.
Approximately 34.1 million Americans are expected to journey 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming Labor Day holiday, a 4.2% increase from the 32.7 million people who traveled last year, according to AAA Travel. The anticipated increase in holiday travel is predominantly due to increased consumer spending and the improving housing market. The total number of 2013 Labor Day holiday travelers is expected to reach a new post-recession high.
U.S. Hispanics have been on the leading edge of mobile adoption. By yearend, an estimated 25.6 million Hispanics (46.9% of this demographic group) will be using smartphones. Hispanic travelers are heavy mobile users during travel as well. Nearly 24% of U.S. Hispanic travelers “almost always” used their mobile phones to search for a hotel before traveling.
Mobile traffic is becoming increasingly significant for the travel industry, and hotels in particular. With tablet and smartphone usage increasing, consumer behaviors on each device are becoming more distinct. Tablet browsing is much more like PC usage than smartphone research, the latter of which tends to occur in last-minute, on-the-go situations.
Direct travel spending in the United States totaled $855 billion in 2012, generating $2 trillion in economic output and more than $129 billion in tax revenue. While “travel” frequently connotes tourism, business travel accounts for nearly a third of all travel spending, according to a new survey. U.S. business travel is responsible for $246 billion in spending and 2.3 million American jobs.
Twenty-six percent of U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) tour operators expect 2013 to be a "boom year" for travel, with sales increasing more than 10%. Top Travel Trends predicted for 2013 include multigenerational travel, a rise in longer trips, and "insta-travel" social sharing. Travel advisors still continue to be the lead influencer in determining their clients' travel decisions, followed closely by input from friends and family.
According to a new study by TripAdvisor, there is a strong correlation between social media and travel, as 76% of consumers polled said they share travel experiences via social networks. Forty-two percent use social channels for travel planning while 40% do so for travel inspiration. Thirty-seven percent think social networks have made travel planning easier.
The lure of lower prices and fewer crowds have convinced 68% of respondents to plan a trip before Thanksgiving, according to a recent Orbitz survey. The top spots for travelers to head this fall are Las Vegas, New York and Chicago. 39% of survey respondents deem fall the most economical time of year to travel, followed by summer (23%), winter (20%) and spring (18%).
According to a new study on mobile travel activities from comScore, 51% of smartphone owners accessed travel content on their devices during the three month period ending February 2012. Nearly 1 in every 5 smartphone owners use their device to book air travel or hotel reservations. “The on-the-go convenience of smartphones has facilitated their emergence as an essential companion for travelers,” said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of mobile.
Fifty-six percent of Americans expect to spend more or the same this year as they did in 2011 according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. Consumers say they expect to spend more on in-home decorating, travel, remodeling/home improvements and health & fitness. Over a third (35%) say they are optimistic about their finances and most have set benchmarks to help meet their 2012 financial goals (87% vs. 83% in 2011).
The typical hotel focuses on two segments of the travel industry: business and pleasure. The corporate travel budget has recovered somewhat since the recession ended, but hotel operators are using new tactics to get more from business travelers. This includes introducing a suite of services designed to assist the business traveler.