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Booking.com Reveals Eight Travel Predictions for 2018

October 27, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Looking for inspiration for your 2018 travel? Facilitating reservations for more than 1,500,000 room nights each day, the experts at Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, have combined customer insights from over 128 million real guest reviews with research from 19,000 travellers across 26 countries around the world to reveal EIGHT biggest travel predictions for 2018.

With dwindling patience, instantaneous appetites and empowered by technology, Hong Kong travellers in 2018 will tend to be more spontaneous and savvier than before. Meanwhile, the yearning for experiences over material possessions will continue and drive the desire for more incredible and memorable trips. They also have a bucket list to tick off in 2018.

Travellers are getting smarter, and tech-savvier

  1. Economic intuition

Every year, travellers are becoming savvier, especially when it comes to getting the most for their money. With significant numbers basing their travelling decisions on finance-related matters, 2018 will see travellers looking to be even more economically intuitiveNearly six in 10 (59%) of Hong Kong travellers will take currency exchange rates into consideration when planning their travels for the year, and 58% will think about the economic climate of a destination before making the decision to travel. Interestingly, these figures are much higher than the global average of 47% and 48%, respectively.

Shot of a group of young friends walking on the beach on a sunny day

Good news for the retail industry, a third of Hong Kong travellers (33%) also plan to make more purchases from airport duty free shops in 2018 and almost half (45%) will even go on holiday specifically to buy goods such as fashion items because they are cheaper than in Hong Kong.

  1. New tech frontiers

Immersive experiences will reach the next level in 2018, with travellers looking to technology to help better understand a destination or accommodation before they book. Artificial intelligence and digital technology are helping consumers turn the corner when it comes to smart destination intuition, reshaping the way we research, book and experience travel. 44% of Hong Kong travellers say they are comfortable letting a computer plan an upcoming trip based on data from their previous travel history (compared to 29% globally) and almost seven in 10 (69%) of travellers say they would like to ‘try before they buy’ with a virtual reality preview (64% globally). 68% of Hong Kong travellers find that personalised suggestions for destinations and things to do encourages them to book a trip, much higher than the global result of 50%.

The tech-savvy Hong Kong travellers find travel apps and technology more useful, with 53% of them will use travel apps more in 2018, compared to the global figure of 44%. Technology also gives Hong Kong travellers more confidence to do more independent travel in 2018 (66% compared to 57% globally).

The yearning for the experience inspires travellers to get on trip again in 2018.

  1. Live like a local, not with one

With more property options, rental homes will become hot picks as travellers desire to experience local live. In 2018, rental homes are going to be particularly popular – indeed not just for travellers looking to stay in one, but also home owners who are thinking of inviting others to stay in their own abode. 27% of Hong Kong travellers say they’d prefer to stay in a holiday rental (a holiday home or apartment) over a hotel and 29% would consider listing their home on a travel accommodation site.

When it comes to playing the role of a host, travellers reveal that it isn’t about having them there all the time. Travellers are keen to have a local experience and will look to hosts for their expertise, as just over a quarter (28%) of Hong Kong travellers say it will be important that their host has strong local knowledge about local food and places to visit, but they will want the flexibility to interact with hosts on their own terms. In 2018, it will be important for travellers that their host is available but not too over-bearing (32%) and only 4% want a host who they don’t have to speak to at all.

  1. Retro reboot

In 2018, Hong Kong travellers will be revisiting their favourite childhood memories as part of their trips. Blending the future with the past, next year’s travellers will be inspired to return to previously loved destinations and explore them in a whole new way. Nearly a third of them (31%) will consider a holiday they experienced as a child.

These popularity of these vintage vacations stems from the feelings of nostalgia and happiness the destinations evoke. Travellers say that former family holidays recall the fondest memories, even more so than childhood sweethearts or family pets. Millennials look set to be even more sentimental with 42% of 18 to 34 year olds keen to hark back to favourite family destinations. With 78% of Hong Kong travellers in 2018 intending to post on social media each day (compared to the global average of 60%!) , we can expect to see these nostalgic places brought back to the future and captured for social posterity.

  1. Pop culture pilgrimage

With the world at our finger tips, we rely on many sources to inspire us to travel to new destinations. Tapping into our passions is one way of helping to identify the locations most suited to us. In 2018, television shows, films, sport and social media in particular look set to have an increasingly significant sway over booking decisions, as travellers turn to pop culture for their travel inspiration.

  • Hong Kong travellers are found to be more social-addicted, with six in ten (60%) of their ideas sparked by reading blogs or watching YouTuber recommendations, compared to 39% globally.
  • On screen locations from television, film or music videos will win over 40% of travellers, with “Descendants of the Sun” attracting the most Hong Kong fans to visit the destinations (43%), followed by “Sherlock” (23%).
  • Almost a fourth (24%) of travellers will be tempted by travelling for a major sporting event, with 40% of those considering the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
  1. Walk your way to wellness

The trend for wellness getaways isn’t slowing down for 2018, with almost double the amount of Hongkongers planning to take health and wellbeing trips in 2018 compared to 2017 (from 10% in 2017 to 18% in 2018). With 42% saying they prioritise experiences over material items when on holiday, and over half (59%) saying that going on holiday is a moment for them to reflect and make better lifestyle choices, partaking in a health and wellness trip may easily facilitate the needs.

Trips enjoying particular prominence will be those that involve travelling on two feet. A brilliant way to take in the local landscape, walking will be the ultimate way to explore next year, with 51% of Hong Kong travellers saying they want to do walking or hiking trips in 2018. Other health and wellness inspired activities high on Hongkongers’ travel agenda in 2018 include:

  • Visiting a spa or receiving beauty treatments (35%)
  • Cycling (27%)
  • Taking a full body detox holiday (22%)
  • Water sport activities (21%)
  • Going on a yoga retreat (17%)
  1. The great mate escape

2018 is gearing up to be all about the group get-away. When asked who their 2018 travelling companions were likely to be, the segment with the biggest increase when compared to 2017, was travelling with a group of friends, increasing from 33% to 40%.

With 2018 shaping up to be all about the experience, it’s not just about the destination but also the people that matter to create memories. Mate’s escapes are the ultimate social time away from our everyday pressures, reducing stress and building connections with your friends. With the world only a click away it’s never been easier to find the perfect place to stay and explore with a large group of friends looking for adventure across every corner of the globe.

Friend based getaways also have financial advantages as four in 10 (42%) said that joint holidays with friends will allow them to stay in accommodation they wouldn’t be able to afford on their own. 

These travel experience are in the bucket list for 2018

  1. From dream to reality 

2018 is the year to dream big as 34% of Hong Kong travellers have a travel bucket list in mind and the majority of those (77%) will aim to tick one or more destinations off their list in the coming year. While Hong Kong travellers tend to be more spontaneous, they also have a wish list to tick off in 2018:

  • 55% want to see one of the wonders of the world
  • 41% yearn to tantalise their taste buds by trying a local delicacy
  • 37% are thrill seekers wanting to visit a world famous theme park
  • 37% look set to be experiencing a unique cultural event
  • 33% will visit an extreme location
  • 27% will plan an island paradise holiday

Calvert Lo, Area Manager of Hong Kong and Macao at Booking.com comments: “As technology continues to advance and enhance the way we travel, it empowers the spontaneous Hong Kong travellers for a perfect holiday. At Booking.com, we build and design everything we do around our customers, responding to their wants and needs when it comes to researching, booking and enjoying travel. As the new trends rise to the fore, we strive to continue to invest in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel, and provide travellers with more Convenience, flexibility and options than ever before.”

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