What’s In and What’s Out? Top 10 Travel Trends for 2016
What’s Trending in Travel, Hospitality, Culinary and Wellness in the Year Ahead
2015 was a good one for travel – hotel occupancy rates hit an all-time high, travel companies worldwide went above and beyond to meet travelers’ demands for wellness and technological advancements, and hotels’ commitment to sustainability continued to pick up steam, but NYC-based Hawkins International PR predicts that 2016 will be an even better year for travel. With airfare prices expected to remain relatively steady, U.S. business travel volume predicted to reach 502.8 million person-trips in 2016 and over one-third of millennials (who account for close to $300 billion annual spending worldwide) planning to take more vacations in 2016, the year ahead is sure to be adventurous. Travel brands will keep things fresh and continue to intrigue and impress with creative programs, amenities and experiences. From multi-sensory dinners to farewell amenities that leave guests with inspiration to return, below Hawkins International PR predicts the top ten trends travelers will experience in 2016.
1. DINING FOR THE SENSES
What’s out: Multi-Course Tasting Dinners
What’s in: Multi-Sensory Dinners & Drinks
Hotel restaurants are turning dinner time into story time with multi-sensory dining experiences that provoke more than the sense of taste. At The Dolder Grand in Zurich, Executive Chef Heiko Nieder works with Swiss concert pianist Gabriel E. Arnold to develop custom five-course menus inspired by Arnold’s classical piano compositions, with each course of the meal accompanied by complementary songs. Guests at Solage Calistoga in Napa can try Mindful Awareness Practice (MAP) Wine and Food Tastings which incorporate the senses of taste, smell and sight into a guided meditation that encourages tasters to appreciate wine and food from a new perspective. Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg’s Bar du Faubourg invites guests to enjoy a menu of cocktails created by Parisian Chef Yannick Alléno inspired by the visual beauty and luxe textures of couture fashion. Haute libations include the Christian, a champagne cocktail with floral notes, as delicate as an organza corolla skirt designed by Dior; the Yves, where the Moroccan flavor of spicy mandarin evokes Saint Laurent’s oriental satin decorated with mauve sequins; and the Gabrielle, reminiscent of Coco Chanel’s white tweed decorated with black ribbon.
2. THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
What’s out: Ultra Niche Travel Services
What’s in: Hybrid Travel Services
Hybrid travel companies that combine the best qualities of two “traditional” travel services to offer an innovative, new service will be hot in 2016 as brands strive to make travel easier and more convenient than ever. Madrid-based Room Mate Hotels’ BeMate.com offers travelers a roster of stylish apartments with the services of a local hotel – from luggage storage to airport transfers to housekeeping to concierge access – combining the hospitality of a hotel stay with the convenience and flexibility of an apartment stay. Tradewind Aviation’s Signature Shuttle Service throughout the Northeast and Caribbean offers the comfort and convenience of a private charter – with no TSA security checkpoints, complimentary snacks and drinks, free checked bags and a flexible booking and cancellation process – for the cost of a single seat on a scheduled flight. All-business class airline La Compagnie recently unveiled their own Chauffeur&Co service which enables travelers to book car transfers through the airline to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.