By Rosanna Caira
With the new year now in full swing, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what’s ahead. At a time when travel and tourism has taken on greater significance, it’s interesting to see how consumers are changing their travel expectations, and from a hotelier’s perspective, it’s important to note how those changes will play into your business for the coming year.
Recently, Hilton Hotels released its 2024 Trends Report: What Millennials, Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Bomers Tell Us About Travel in the Year Ahead, which examines how each generation views travel. According to this report, conducted by Ipsos, there are four themes that will serve as the catalyst of change and innovation for travel in 2024: travellers will invest in their sleep; travellers will invest in connectivity; culture and experiences will drive leisure decisions; and business travel trends will re-define experiences.
Not surprisingly, given the frenetic pace of life post-pandemic, and regardless of their age group, the number-1 reason travellers want to travel in 2024 is to rest and re-charge. When looking to relax, 60 per cent of travellers prefer resort locations, while 40 per cent prefer city destinations.
The need for increased connectivity means 80 per cent of travellers feel it’s important to book their trip entirely online. While on the road, 76 per cent of global travellers appreciate travel apps that reduce the friction and stress of travel. For 80 per cent of global travellers, being able to utilize personal devices seamlessly with on-property technology, from Wi-Fi to streaming apps, is important.
Increasingly, today’s travellers are looking for experiences when they travel so it’s not surprising that 64 per cent of global travellers say they aim to reduce other areas of their personal spending to prioritize leisure travel in 2024. Forty per cent of respondents’ top reason to travel in 2024 is to learn about different cultures and/or destinations; 24 per cent of global travellers are planning getaways for one-of-a-kind experiences, such as concerts or sporting events. And, approximately 45 per cent of each generation will travel to re-connect with friends and family.
Of course, as consumers plan their travel budgets for 2024, 49 per cent of their top focus is on culinary experiences, regardless which age group they fall into. Eighty-six per cent of travellers are interested in eating local and regional cuisine, while 82 per cent want to have a good restaurant within their hotel. Three-quarters of Gen Z’ers and millennials are interested in experiencing local, unique hotel bars during their 2024 travels.
And with time at a premium for all of us, those planning to travel for business are committed to maximizing that time on the road by incorporating opportunities for work, family or friends, and leisure, adding to the blurring of lines between business and leisure. Forty-six per cent of global full-time and self-employed workers plan to travel for business or bleisure; 24 per cent of business travellers plan to take a friend or family member with them on a business trip next year; and more than a third of Gen Z and millennial business travellers said they plan to extend a business trip in 2024 to enjoy leisure time before or after their work obligations.
And, with sustainability continuing to be top of mind for consumers and businesses alike, 74 per cent of travellers agree it’s important to minimize their environmental footprint.