As people shift their allegiance from stuff to experiences, the travel and leisure industries are set to grow considerably in the 21st century. Here are nine of the most exciting changes:
1. Happiness holidays
As people understand more about what makes them happy, they will increasingly expect holiday makers to provide adventures, encounters and experiences that enhance their happiness. Think of experiences that create what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls "in flow", and what Eckhart Tolle calls "in the present", and what athletes call being "in the zone".
2. Social travellers, memory makers
With billions on social media, travellers know more than ever. This shift of power is a threat, and an opportunity. Smart travel brands will harness their guests' inclination to share by creating the sort of memories that make people want to show off.
3. Not-spot destinations
Where once we sought hot spots, we will increasingly seek not spots, to escape the 24/7 connected lives we lead.
Now that digital means travel companies can know their guests even better, they have the opportunity to increase the anticipation and excitement before someone goes, and enhance the memory once someone has come back. Smarter holiday companies will shift their positioning from once-a-year providers, to year-round partners.
5. Sharing economy
The rise of Airbnb et al is a huge threat to many travel and hospitality brands. But it's here to stay.
6. Eco travel
Increasing concern about the environment will mean more will avoid ecologically destructive forms of travel. Stay-cations will become more popular, as people enjoy the feel-good of not flying, and the status that comes with that.
7. Virtual travel
It's here! Finally. After all the hope and the hype, it is now possible to have a realistically good conference call with someone for far less than a plane ticket. For more on virtual, augmented and mixed reality, read our brief on the Future of Reality.
8. Limited-edition trips
As tens of millions join the throngs to visit Machu Picchu, Bagan et al, more attractions will set limits to how many can visit.
9. Wellness first
Instead of a secondary concern, the wellbeing nature of your trip will become more important. As society shifts from a focus on the material to the experiential, from standards of living to quality of life, people will shift how they view holidays, and travel companies will shift how they sell holidays.
To read more more on the future of travel, click the links to the articles below.