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Top Travel Trends for 2015
Times they are a changin' and the travel industry is no different. Between robot concierges, in-room massages for Fido, tanning butlers and vacation dronies, there is always something new to experience when on the road.
With so much to do and see, Hotels.com is narrowing it down with their predictions for top travel trends in 2015.
"As we compiled our top 10 list, we looked beyond technology for data and travel patterns that signaled some trends that we think will really stand out in 2015", said Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert for Hotels.com. "We found that everything from food to bicycles to fashion will impact travel in Canada and beyond."
Top Travel Trends in 2015:
Increase in Luxury Travel: Whether it's five-star accommodation, fine dining or activities, Canadians aren't afraid to open their wallets to improve their travel experience. In the most recent report by The Canadian Tourism Commission Canadian travel spending was $30 billion a year, making Canadians one of the highest per capita spenders worldwide.
Demand for Complimentary Breakfast & Wi-Fi: We all love getting something for nothing, but based on the latest Hotels.com Amenities Survey, these two topped the list. Breakfast ranked as the most important overall hotel amenity, while Wi-Fi topped the list for in-room offerings for the past two years.
Use of Mobile Wearables: Another item that's likely on the wish list for techies across the country, smart watches, are also changing the face of hotel bookings. Travellers can conveniently access details about their hotel and receive notifications when it's time to check in.
Visits to the Big Apple and Big Ben: The U.S. is the most visited international destination for Canadian travellers – not surprising considering its close proximity – and we don't see this slowing down. Although New York City and Las Vegas dominate the top spots, the folks across the pond in London are close competition in the third spot.
Checking Guest Reviews: Savvy travellers are doing their research and reading and writing reviews have become an integral part of the hotel booking process. With 11 million genuine guest reviews on the Hotels.com site, travellers can choose properties based on their ranking in categories including service, comfort and cleanliness.
Local Redemptions for Free Nights: When the opportunity arose to use loyalty credits for a free* night in Canada, members of the Hotels.com Welcome Rewards™ program preferred Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. These cities will remain popular amongst travelers according to Hotels.com research.
Booking Bike Tourism: Already popular in Europe and growing in the U.S., with new routes popping up cross-country, Canada is poised to be next in line for bike tourism. The close proximity to the U.S. and expansive landscape makes it a natural fit for cycling and Quebec is a great example being home to La Route Verte, North America's longest bike path. Plus, it's eco-friendly.
New Purchasing Options: Technology and innovation has made it easier than ever to pay for your travel, and new payment options continue to enter the market. Canadians are likely to embrace new and convenient payment tools like Apple Pay, Google Wallet or even gift cards like the new Hotels.com gift card.
Travelling to Give Back: The holidays can bring out the spirit of giving, but Canadians are no strangers to volunteer work all year round, ranking third in the 2014 World Giving Index. Whether it's within Canada or abroad, "Voluntourism" will grow in popularity as travellers look to give back to the countries they visit.
Getting the Local Experience: With the rise of personal home rentals or swaps that provide a more authentic taste of the city or country, it's expected that experiential travel will continue to be sought after among Canadians. In fact, a recent Hotels.com survey, showed the highest guest-rated hotel accommodations in Canada are two locally-run bed and breakfast establishments.