A Trump effect in the US, greater awareness of healthy eating and the ongoing dispute over term time holidays have been picked out as trends to watch in 2017.
UK metasearch and deals site Cheapflights has listed seven predictions and trends it says the industry should watch out for in the coming year.
Also included is the impact of royal visits, the rise of cannabis tourism as more destinations legalise the drug, and the increase in so-called ‘bleisure’, mixed leisure and work trips.
Andrew Shelton, managing director of Cheapflights, said: “In addition to these trends, my belief is that portable travel search is set to be the biggest step change in travel.
“Increasingly, travellers can expect text alerts for airfare sales, to get a price from their favourite voice-based internet device, or find a flight through Facebook Messenger.
“We’ve launched Facebook chat, emoji and drag and drop search functions this year, and now 60% of demand comes to us from portable devices. It really is a case of travel planning on the go.”
Cheapflights’ seven trends to watch in 2017:
1. What a carry on!
With British Airways announcing charges for food on board this year, the beginning of the end for all-inclusive airlines has officially arrived. The majority of carriers are adopting the no frills model of charging for anything they can, and the consumer has voted with their luggage with stats showing already 22% are willing to travel hand luggage only.
2. Buy before you fly.
New EU legislation will increase awareness of the high sugar and salt levels in airline food. This, and the continued health food revolution means travellers may well make better informed food choices and avoid airline food.
3. The Platt Effect.
The High Court victory of father John Platt, who refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on holiday during school term-time, sparked a surge in demand for term-time travel.
4. The Bleisure Boom.
The line between leisure and business travel is blurring further. In 2017, look for more people exploring the world by working business hours at their day job and then exploring in their time off.
5. The Trump Slump?.
That ‘special relationship’ will endure. However, Shelton said: “It’s fair to say that uncertainty around which restrictive policies will be implemented by the new government could trigger a Trump Slump to this traditional favourite and perhaps mean Brits delay booking their Stateside holidays or even consider switching to an alternative destination, such as Canada.”
6. A royally good New Year.
Royal visits can give destinations a boost in the public consciousness: think Princess Diana at the Taj Mahal and more recently, how Canada enjoyed the limelight when it rolled out the red carpet for the Cambridges. Top destinations due to benefit in 2017 include Toronto (where HRH Prince Harry will open the Invictus Games in September).
7. Green Tourism.
Protecting the planet and eco-tourism may well continue to inspire travel choices but the other kind of green will prove popular in 2017. The spread of the legalisation of cannabis means ‘bud’ and breakfast will see destinations such as Alaska, Colorado, Jamaica and Uruguay capitalise on cannabis.