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Stay Ahead of the Curve: Top Changes in Travel That Will Impact Bookings in 2024

As the travel industry evolves, travel companies and startups must stay on top of the latest trends and changes to ensure they provide the best experiences to their customers. We have filtered through travel trends and market reports to highlight the top 5 changes that will have the most impact and opportunity in the travel & hospitality industry.

Personalization through AI

According to Skift, by 2024, 85% of customer interactions will be handled without human interaction. Travel companies can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for every step of the customer journey. From brand awareness, consideration, booking, product experience and loyalty building. AI tools can help with targeted content, personalized recommendations & itineraries, and even suggest products and services based on individual preferences - enhancing the customer experience. We created a list of the top 10 best AI tools for travel & hospitality brands to use in 2024.

Sustainable Travel

A 2023 report by Forbes stated that 87% of travelers want to travel sustainably - indicating the importance of sustainability in the travel industry. This figure has continued to rise from 2015, when first surveyed travelers. Since then Booking, Skyscanner, Expedia and other OTA’s have provided filters and eco labels that continue to be used by travellers to prioritize their search. Travel companies that offer eco-friendly accommodations, carbon-offset programs, and responsible tourism initiatives will continue to be prioritized in terms of reach and choice.  Destination deluxe lists some of the best eco-resorts in the world that have taken a spotlight for their initiatives.

Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

Wellness experiences

Physical, mental and emotional wellness is front and center for 2024. Forbes reports on the future of wellness travel with the latest stats from a GWI report that consumers will continue to increase spending on wellness, and the global wellness economy will grow at an annual rate of 8.6 percent. By the end of this year, it will reach $6.3 trillion, $7.4 trillion in 2025, and $8.5 trillion in 2027. Resorts are responding to this demand by adding new facilities for yoga, wellness programs and menus. This is a trend that is predicted to stick around. 

Evolution of business Travel

The way we work has changed, and that includes the operating model of many businesses across industries. Remote-first teams have changed the rules of business travel. As BBC reports, business travel has evolved from customer-meeting to team-meeting purposes. This change has helped business travel recover 2 years sooner than predicted, expecting to hit $1.4tn in 2024. The freedom of remote workers and location-agnostic company policies is also yielding changes for length of stay and demand of lifestyle amenities. Travel companies can tap into these changes by providing packages tailored to teams including co-working spaces, team building facilitation and services, and updated models for business travel planning. Hotel Engine lists out the hotels with the best co-working spaces.

NEST at Tryp by Wyndham Dubai

Integration of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

According to Forbes, the AR and VR market in the travel industry is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2024. Travel companies can use AR and VR technologies to offer virtual tours, immersive experiences, and interactive planning tools to engage customers.

It is evident that this is a fast changing world, and travel seems to be at the forefront of that change as travelers tend to be earlier adopters of technology - adventuring the world and the digital landscapes. By embracing evolving customer preferences and enhancing the overall travel experience, companies can continue to drive the success and growth of their businesses. 

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