Recent research conducted by travel industry experts has shown the most recent trends in travel and indicated the path that tourism needs to follow in order to keep up with the rapid changes.
According to research from the Green Hotel Association, a trade organization in Texas that promotes ecological consciousness in the hospitality industry, today’s biggest trend is eco-awareness.
Alexander Chemla, president and owner of Altour International, a luxury travel consultancy, said: “A couple of years ago you didn’t hear much about this but now upscale travelers want to do whatever they can to be eco-conscious.”
Research has shown that the travel industry has taken action to promote green initiatives and travelers have become increasingly eco-friendly as a result. Car rental companies such as Hertz, Budget and Avis have increased the number of fuel-efficient cars to their fleet and hotel chains incorporate green programs.
Another development in the travel industry is that despite the boom of Internet travel sites such as Expedia and Travelocity, many travelers opt for the more traditional approach to planning trips. According to Bjorn Hanson, a principal in the hospitality and leisure practice at Pricewaterhouse Coopers -a major international accounting and consulting firm- “the Internet is obviously a major tool that travelers use to book their vacations, but surprisingly, many travelers want human interaction and use travel agents and consequently the growth of booking travel on the Internet is slowing.”
One more trend in tourism currently is the growth in adults-only trips. According to the 2007 national leisure travel monitor from travel marketing firm Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, six out of ten travelers recently took a trip with another adult. This is twice the number of adults who traveled with children.
As a result, many hotels opt for segregation of travelers with children from those without. The Emerson Resort & Spa in New York has a new 25-suite, adults-only inn separate from its main lodge, and the hotel and restaurant at the Grace Bay club in Turks and Caicos is just for adults.