From the Editor: On the Horizon

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Another year has arrived and it promises to be interesting. The election of Donald Trump as president of the U.S. is fuelling anxiety and trepidation. What’s on the horizon for this year? Will the global economy be impacted; will consumers travel less as result of geopolitical tensions; and will life change dramatically? For now, we can only speculate. Based on various pundits, 2017 appears to bode well for travel. In Canada, the country’s sesquicentennial means celebrations will be the order of the day.

At Kostuch Media, we’ll be shining the spotlight on all things Canadian, both with our Oh Canada! signature series (running in both Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier magazine) and our Made-in-Canada photo contest (see p. 30). While Canadians are being urged to join the party, tourism bodies across the country hope the world will discover more Canada in 2017. It’s a safe bet they will. According to booking.com, travel will be on the minds of many in 2017, with eight key trends dominating.

The biggest trend of the year is what the online-booking agent refers to as Instant Gratification. Today’s travellers are becoming more demanding and impatient. Of those surveyed, 44 per cent expect to plan their holidays with a few simple taps on their smartphones.

In a world where buzzwords develop daily, this year’s new term will be “bleisure,” defined as the blurring of the lines between business and leisure travel. Of the 40 per cent of global travellers who travelled for business last year, 46 per cent think they will travel even more for business in 2017, tacking on a few days at the end of their trips as personal vacation.

Not surprisingly, 45 per cent of respondents plan to be more adventurous in their choice of destinations. Almost half (48 per cent) see travel as a chance to reflect and make better lifestyle choices. Consumers (44 per cent)are also looking to prioritize health-conscious trips that promise harmony for the mind, body and soul.

In the next year, 39 per cent of consumers say they plan to take more eco-friendly trips. Aspirational travel continues to be important, with 58 per cent of travellers interested in spending money on experiences.

While technology may fuel many of today’s choices, the human touch has never been as important, so interacting with amazing staff and forging genuine relationships will be an increasingly important hallmark of travel in 2017. Finally, the last big trend of the year: the desire to travel into the unknown (think deep under the ocean and space tourism). Can’t imagine that’s on the horizon any time soon? Think again: as the American election proved, anything is possible.

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