Travel Predictions 2019
8 Travel Predictions for the ‘Indian Traveller’ in 2019
From cultural exchanges and sustainable travel, to virtual agents, augmented reality and a ‘less is more’ mentality – here are the biggest travel trends for next year
Leveraging its unique position as a travel and technology leader, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with incredible places to stay, has delved into its unprecedented insights from over 163 million verified guest reviews and research from 21,500 travellers across 29 countries, 1000 from India alone - to reveal eight key travel predictions for Indian travellers in 2019, giving an exclusive peek into the crystal ball of what travellers can expect in the year ahead.
Commenting on the release of the report, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, Booking.com India, said “2019 is set to see a lot of exciting developments in the Indian travel space. Technological advances coupled with growing consumer appetite, will compel the industry to go beyond conventional travel experiences. We at Booking.com are consciously learning the preferences and habits of our consumers to bring to them innovations that best suit their needs.”
1. The Appren-trip: Indian travellers will focus on making choices with extra significance as they look to add more purpose to their trips.
- Over three quarters of Indian travellers (76%) agree that travelling has taught the invaluable life skills
- 86% of them either have or would consider participating in cultural exchanges to learn a new skill
- 60% of travellers would like to try a volunteering trip and an international work placement respectively
2. Easy does it: Think keyless room-access with your phone, personalised travel tips or a robotic concierge who can communicate with guests in their mother tongue – ‘ease’ will be the gold standard for all tech innovations to be judged against in 2019.
- When it comes to travel tech, Indian travellers are most enthusiastic about a single app for all their planning, booking and travel needs (80%), and real-time luggage tracking through a mobile app (75%)
- Over two-thirds (67%) are interested in self-driving transport at the destination.· While 63% like the idea of a ‘virtual travel agent’ in their home using voice-activated assistants to answer their travel queries
- One in five traveller wants to see technology such as augmented reality helping them familiarize themselves with a destination before they arrive
3. Watch this space - unchartered territories: In 2019 and beyond, Indian travellers will continue to push the extreme limits of where travel will take them and as space technology advances, even the prospect of space tourism won’t seem such a giant leap anymore.
- Seven in ten Indian travellers (71%) confirm they are excited about the prospect of space travel in the future and are open to considering the experience themselves (70%)
- Until space travel becomes a reality, three in five travellers say they would stay in accommodation under the sea (60%)
4. Up, close and personal: The months to come will see rapid developments in the way travel information is consumed and used. Generic, comprehensive travel guides of the past will make way for increasingly short-form, hyper relevant and individualized content, which can be neatly integrated in travellers’ feeds.
- 61% Indian travellers want someone or something to do the hard work and make travel recommendations for them
- While seven in ten want travel brands to use technology to make suggestions based on their past travels (71%)
- Three quarters are excited about travel tech innovations like a digital tour guide, giving them a bespoke service (75%)
5. Conscious travel: Reflecting increased global interest in social issues such as human rights, equality and working conditions, 2019 will see the rise of a more conscious traveller, who will ask more questions around social, political and environmental issues in potential travel destinations before deciding on where to visit.
- Almost seven in ten (69%) Indian travellers take social issues into account when choosing a holiday destination
- 70% of them choose not to travel to a destination if they feel it will have a negative effect on the people who live there
- Three out of five (62%) plan to attend a Pride festival during their travel in 2019
As travellers increasingly seek new and authentic experiences, they also want to ensure that they can travel in safety, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
6. Plastic not-so-fantastic: The issue of single-use plastic will continue to be a hot topic, but in 2019 environmental concerns will turn into greater environmental action. Millennials and Gen Z travellers will look for sustainable experiences in their destination, while accommodation providers will look to reduce their plastic usage and increase their sustainable credentials.
- 97% of Indian travellers say they would be willing to spend time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay
- While almost half say they would be willing to clear plastic or litter from their destination while on holiday (46%)
- With deeper interrogation from travellers into the sustainable practices of both their destination and accommodation choices, investment in sustainable start-ups will be considered ever more imperative.
7. The experience curator: Travel with experiences at its core was one of 2018’s major travel trends but 2019 will take it even further. ‘Doing’ will weigh equally with ‘going’, if not more, when it comes to travel reflection. 2019 will see travellers packing in many different and authentic experiences with an emphasis on creating moments that will bring them joy and comfort long after the fact.
- For almost three in four travellers experiences are now valued higher than material possessions when on holiday (73%).
- 76% plan to travel to a destination that makes them feel like a kid again. We’ll see properties looking to add more playful touches such as ball pits and bouncy castles for adults, millennial and Gen Z audiences.
8. Maximizing the micro – Less is more - it’s a year that’s predicted to be all about made-to-measure, bite sized travel with more curated travel itineraries squeezed into shorter time frames. With developments in tech which make booking a trip easier than ever travellers are looking to make the most of short trips.
- Almost three quarters of traveller’s plan to take more weekend trips in 2019 (73%).
With continued innovations in transport, from more flight routes, keenly priced airlines to sharable and easy, on-demand car rentals, as well as real-time public transport insights served up to visitors seamlessly in situ, the micro trip will become more varied and tailored, making shorter trips more personal and rewarding. We’ll also see a continued surge in desire to stay in unique and remarkable types of accommodation, which offer the chance to make a serious travel statement, even on the shortest of getaways.
Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com comments: “2019 is set to be an exciting year for travel. With technological advancements, an ever more connected world and a continuously growing consumer appetite for the best travel experiences, we’re poised for groundbreaking developments, taking travel to unexplored heights. With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com learns and innovates continuously and we’ve never been more excited to be at the epicentre of thrilling industry.”
- Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months.
- In total 21,500 respondents were polled (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel).
Respondents completed an online survey between 10th August to 30th August 2018
Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com now employs more than 17,000 employees in 198 offices in 70 countries worldwide. With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, we connect travellers with the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&Bs to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos. The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in 43 languages, offer over 29 million total reported listings, including more than 5.8 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, and covers more than 144,000 destinations in 229 countries and territories worldwide. Each day, more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on our platform. So whether travelling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal place to stay quickly and easily with Booking.com, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Via our customer experience team, customers can reach Booking.com 24/7 for assistance and support in over 40 languages, any time of the day or night.