As 2018 approaches, travel marketers must consider what will shape consumer travel decisions in order to properly prepare and be as successful as possible. Booking.com has combined customer insights from over 128 million guest reviews with research from 19,000 travelers from 26 countries worldwide to formulate travel predictions for the upcoming year. Here is a roundup of their findings:
• In 2018, travelers will continue to rely on technology to better understand a destination or accommodation before booking. Sixty-four percent say they would like to try a virtual reality preview before booking a trip and 50% find that personalized suggestions encourage them to book a trip.
• Forty-five percent of travelers have a travel bucket list in mind and 82% of that group plan to cross one or more destinations off that list in the upcoming year. Top bucket list items include seeing one of the wonders of the world (47%), trying a local delicacy (35%), and vacationing to an island paradise (34%).
• Travelers plan to revisit their childhood memories in 2018. Thirty-four percent of travelers will consider a destination they experienced as a child.
• TV shows, movies, sports and social media will have a significant influence on booking decisions in 2018 as travelers will use pop culture as travel inspiration. Blogs and YouTube recommendations will influence 39% of travelers worldwide, on-screen locations will influence over 36% and sporting events will influence 22%.
• Nearly one in five travelers will plan a health and wellness trip in 2018. Fifty-six percent of these travelers will take a walking or hiking trip.
• Forty-seven percent of travelers will take currency exchange rates into consideration when planning a trip in 2018 and 47% will consider the economic climate of a destination before booking.
• Twenty-five percent of travelers plan to travel with a group of friends in 2018. In addition to getting social time away from everyday pressures and reducing stress, traveling with friends can be financially advantageous. For example, 42% of travelers said that joint holidays with friends will allow them to stay in an accommodation they wouldn’t be able to afford on their own.
• Rental homes are predicted to be popular in 2018 – 33% said they’d prefer to stay in a vacation home or apartment. When it comes to hosts, 25% percent of travelers want their host to have strong knowledge about local food and attractions but also the flexibility to interact with their host on their own terms.
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