We receive and gladly publish this research by Simona Graziani of Skal Roma and co-founder of Takyon.
After the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism industry has exhibited remarkable resilience and the ability to recover. Emerging changes in the tourists’ experience necessitate preparedness among industry professionals to capitalize on these changes and offer unique experiences aligned with client expectations. The main trends currently under discussion in the industry include sustainability, enhanced tourist experiences, technology, and health and wellness.
The global demand for sustainable and responsible travel has been on the rise, and Italy is no exception. Travelers are actively seeking eco-friendly accommodations that utilize renewable resources, support local communities, and engage in activities with minimal environmental impact. Consequently, there has been a notable increase in the number of eco-friendly hotels and accommodations. To help travelers identify sustainable tourism options, various institutions are creating certifications and labels such as EarthCheck and Green Globe. A recent poll on traveler intentions for 2023 revealed that 78% of respondents plan to book eco-friendly lodging this year. Moreover, recent research indicates that sustainability-conscious travelers are willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly accommodations. This not only highlights the potential for increased revenue in environmentally friendly vacation rentals but also the opportunity to offset any costs associated with transitioning to more eco-friendly practices.
The tourism industry has enthusiastically embraced technology to enhance visitors’ experiences. The advent of digital transformation has revolutionized the way travelers plan, book, and engage in their trips. This includes the use of online booking platforms, mobile applications for travel planning, virtual reality (VR) tours, and personalized recommendations based on individual preferences. The Covid-19 pandemic has expedited the adoption of contactless technologies, such as contactless payments, digital check-ins, and touchless experiences. In fact, a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company revealed that 57% of travelers prefer contactless check-in/out options. An important emerging sub-trend in this domain is the application of blockchain technology to hotel reservations, with Takyon leading the way.
There has been a notable surge of interest in “slow travel,” which emphasizes a more leisurely and immersive travel experience. Travelers now desire to spend more time in each destination, exploring local communities, interacting with residents, and truly immersing themselves in the essence of a place. In response to this trend, hotels are offering customized activities and programs that enable tourists to explore local culture in a more authentic manner. These may include visits to historical landmarks, cultural sites, tastings of local cuisine and wine, as well as outdoor activities that bring individuals closer to nature. The demand for experiential tourism is increasing, as travelers seek immersive and authentic experiences. A survey conducted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) revealed that 65% of adventure travelers prefer unique and transformative experiences, which leave a lasting impact or impression.
Health and Wellness
The fourth trend revolves around health and wellness. Tourists are increasingly prioritizing their health and well-being, and hotels are responding by offering an expanding array of wellness programs and physical activities. These offerings may include the provision of gyms, health clubs, swimming pools, and spaces dedicated to meditation and yoga. Certification programs for health and wellness tourism establishments are also gaining significance. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness tourism market was valued at $720 billion in 2019 but experienced a decline to $436 billion in 2020 due to travel disruptions caused by the pandemic. However, the organization projects rapid growth in wellness tourism in the coming years as the world emerges from the pandemic, with an expected annual growth rate of 20.9%. It is anticipated that the market will reach $1.1 trillion by 2025.
Author Simona Graziani, Skal Roma
Co-founder and CMO of Takyon.