As suppliers of linens and other goods to the hospitality industry, it’s our job to know what’s changing in the business.
That’s why we were eager to read a recent piece by Cliff Johnson of the Young Entrepreneur Council on this year’s up-and-coming travel trends.
Here’s what’s happening this year, and how your business can adjust.
- Big brands won’t matter as much
First on our list of emerging 2017 travel trends is what Johnson calls “the death of the big brand.” Travelers will move away from gravitating to widely-known brands, and rely more on “marketplaces and reviews when deciding to spend their money.”
Johnson points to a recent BrightLocal survey that found that 84 percent of respondents said they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
So, rather than relying solely on brand recognition, companies should try to build their reputations on places like TripAdvisor and Yelp.
And instead of aiming for a “blandly consistent experience” for customers, Johnson says businesses should look for ways to customize their visits. He uses the example of Netflix, which gives recommendations to users based on their preferences.
- Virtual reality is the reality
Next in the line-up of emerging 2017 travel trends: the continued rise of – and demand for – virtual reality. For our purposes, this involves travelers who want to take virtual tours that let them judge the amenities of their vacation rentals or hotel rooms.
Airbnb has begun testing a live-stream on its social media sites to let users get a glimpse inside its rentals. Other businesses, Johnson says, can begin thinking about how they can leverage virtual reality to build innovative marketing campaigns and better customer satisfaction.
- New customers, new places
The last entry on our list of emerging 2017 travel trends deals with new kinds of customers heading to new places.
In 2016 places like Dubai and Reykjavik became more affordable to visits by direct flight. In 2017, look for places such as Cuba and Colombia – once considered off limits – to become popular destinations.
“Budget-conscious young travelers will take advantage of these offerings to pursue spur-of-the-moment adventures in undiscovered countries,” writes Johnson. “According to Hospitality Net, adventure-driven millennials can be expected to dominate travel over the coming year.”
More and more people are working remotely, which makes it easy for them to vacation longer, because they can mix work with leisure. Companies that ignore the attitudes of millennials will be ignoring a massive demographic.
And it’s worth noting that millennial vacationers and business travelers alike are turning to bed and breakfasts and country inns, which can provide comfort, good food and a new experience.
For more than 60 years, InnStyle has helped hotels, beds and breakfasts and vacation rental owners outfit their rooms with quality linens and other goods. No matter what’s happening in the industry, we can make sure your guests feel at home.