Top travel trends that will influence local operators over the coming decade

The way we travel is always evolving, and new technologies are transforming the way we behave and engage as visitors.

Destination Byron President David Jones and Development Director at North Beach Resort Jeremy Holmes shared their top travel trend predictions at the 2019 Tourism Symposium. Here’s a quick recap of their presentation.

David Jones (left) and Jeremy Holmes present at the 2019 Tourism Symposium

10. The space tourism race will heat up

Soon, we’ll be holidaying on the moon. Virgin Galactic is set to send the first-ever commercial flight into space later this year. Similarly, Orion Span’s luxury space hotel will welcome its first guests in 2022.

9. Cities are the new countries and suburbs are the new cities

Suburbs are now competing head-to-head for the visitor dollar. Will we start to see the emergence of North Beach alongside Byron Bay proper? Can places like North Beach begin promoting themselves as destinations in their own right?

8. Under-tourism is the new over-tourism

Over-tourism is the mainstream – look at destinations like Venice and Mt. Everest. Travellers will begin looking for more peaceful alternatives.

The growing popularity of under-tourism goes hand-in-hand with the concept of ‘last-chance’ tourism. That is, a rush to visit endangered destinations that may not be available for much longer, such as the Great Barrier Reef.

7. Lifestyle hotels go mainstream

Lifestyle hotels are cropping up in both urban and regional locations across the globe as consumers increasingly desire unique, authentic design over cookie-cutter branding.

6. The SEQ drive market will continue to grow

Byron is welcoming a record number of day-trippers, up to 1.1 million, with Sunday being the most popular day to travel. The SEQ market is set to grow even further.

5. Byron visitor demand will grow

Visitors to the region are up 14.7 per cent, the majority of which are day-trippers and domestic overnight visitors. Byron should work to attract longer stays and non-leisure markets, such as conferences and wellness retreats.

4. Labour shortages

Staff make or break a visitor’s experience. And with hundreds of new hotels in the pipeline, where are all the skilled employees going to come from?

3. 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT)

As 5G rolls out over the next decade, how will increased speed and lower latency impact the way we travel? How will the IoT transform the visitor experience? Will things like driverless taxis and a bidding system for accommodation become realities?

2. Full automation

Consumer-facing automation is expected to revolutionise how we engage with travel. Things like facial recognition check-in could become the norm.

1. Everything now mentality

With a world of information at our fingertips, we want everything right now. This mentality is sure to put extra pressure on the real-life humans that operate in the industry.