Trends & Insight
June 2018

Trend Watch: The top travel trends to look out for this summer

According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), summer holidays are on the rise - and with a greater number of travellers expected to spend more on their summer holiday than the year before (31%), some exciting media opportunities are expected to emerge. By engaging in the following summer travel trends, PRs will generate a strategic response to their work. From responsible tourism to transformative travel, here are some of the key summer travel trends we will be looking out for this year.

Non traditional stays

The search for alternative accommodation is on the rise, with more of us hoping to overnight unconventionally in the summer of 2018. AirBnB saw bookings for nature lodges rise by a staggering 700% in 2017, while the keen glampers among us helped yurt bookings rise by an impressive 155%. These figures are expected to rise further this summer as an increasing number of travellers select their accommodation based on its ‘instagramability’

PR tip: Campaigns which combine style and sustainability will see an influx of attention.

Transformative travel

The bog standard wellness retreat will no longer satisfy our insatiable appetite for spiritual zen. According to the Global Wellness Summit, the traditional wellness break will this summer leave travellers feeling not only relaxed, but physically and mentally transformed. In 2018 those seeking a wellness break are expected to look for those which promise a more wholesome, experiential and transformative experience which lasts beyond their one or two week stay.

PR tip: For a campaign which leaves a lasting impression, opt for those which offer real physical and mental transformation.

Responsible tourism

Following the huge rise in public sentiment towards environmental issues, responsible travel is high on the agenda for summer 2018. Thanks to popular television programmes like David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet II’ – the most watched programme of 2017 -  travellers are more aware than ever of the impact their adventures are having on the planet. According to research carried out by ABTA, 70% of people believe travel companies should ensure their holidays have a positive impact on local people and local economy. This summer, we can expect holiday makers to take on a more integrated approach to travel, taking on more trips which give back to communities, beaches and animals. Animal welfare is also set to improve in the tourism industry, with Thomas Cook recently pledging to remove elephant rides and swimming with dolphins from their activities list.

PR tip: Campaigns which take a stand against irresponsible tourism are likely to see a positive response from holiday makers.

Last minute travel

This summer will see a rise in the number of holiday makers opting for last minute deals when booking their travels. With more on demand information than ever, we can expect an increasing number of holiday makers to shop around until the last minute before booking their travels, with many leaving bookings until the last minute. As a result, we are opting for more last minute deals. The biggest drivers behind the humble last minute deal this summer will be millenials, who are not only tech savvy, but thrifty and more flexible when it comes to finding a holiday to best suit them. According to Google 16% of people researching summer trips will even book their trip on the go, as they travel.

PR tip: Companies which promote last minute deals in accordance with destinations trending online are more likely to generate a response.

European breaks

Despite our Brexit woes, Europe will remain the UK’s top travel destination this summer, according to ABTA. In spite of a few EU-related hiccups, nearly two thirds of people told the travel company they still intend to travel to a European destination in 2018. The one to watch? When it comes to combining food, culture and sustainability, Germany is well on trend. The country is fast gaining the reputation for being a no.1 vegan destination and has shot up the list of UK holidaymakers’ favourite overseas destinations, entering the top 10 in 2017. With cities like Leipzig combining active and city travel, the European powerhouse is set to make an even greater mark this summer.

PR tip: Take heed and do as the Germans do: Keep campaigns simple, stylish and timely to attain enviable levels of German efficiency.

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