Experiences: Consumers in pursuit of the “E Factor” remains a primary driving force in travel, particularly among Baby Boomers. Experiences topping the list include culinary and culture, with interest noted in nature, adventure, photography and golf.
Mystery Trips: Within the budget travel category, “Mystery Trips” are projected to be one of the fastest growing trends for 2012. There are so few surprises left in life that travel suppliers are finding that consumers are increasingly interested in booking a trip to an “unknown destination” – provided that the destination is guaranteed to offer experiences that match their personal interests and travel budget. That’s great news for suppliers who are now better able to move excess inventory without having to heavily discount rates.
Ancestry/Heritage Travel: Top luxury suppliers cite “tracing your roots” trips as popular in the luxury segment.
Tourism Dollars Matter: Across market segments, travel to destinations impacted by natural and political disasters, as well as destinations where cultural sites depend on tourism dollars for preservation, is on the rise. Travelers are becoming more educated about where their visitor dollars have the greatest impact.
Cruising and Island Getaways On The Rise: Cruising and island escapes can expect a resurge in popularity while amusement/theme park trips, lake trips and hiking tips are expected to decline in 2012.