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Report Published: 29 Jun 2016

Anchored in travel and hospitality – and contextualised against unfolding social, cultural, technological and environmental shifts – this Industry Trend unpacks and distils the evolving needs and priorities of tomorrow’s guest.

The Empowered Customer Journey charts how travel and hospitality has become increasingly customisable as tiered and dip-in/dip-out membership schemes, pick-and-mix services, peer-to-peer transactions and ‘bendable bookings’ offer unprecedented freedom for time-strapped, deal-savvy consumers. In addition, alternative search engines enable non-linear decision-making.

Meanwhile, as traditional notions of luxury fade and splinter, New Luxury Travel explores how personalisation has become the lifeblood of premium. Here, we reveal increasingly influential traveller tribes – such as ‘wandering women’ and ‘location independents’ – that are demanding tailored offers from hospitality brands. As consumers increasingly value ‘experience’ over ‘possession’, we also unpack the idea of ‘lean luxury’, where upscale and budget knit seamlessly together.

Charting how the hospitality industry is embracing the ‘kindness economy’, Hospitality with Heart spotlights socially conscious enterprises that provide ample and varied opportunities to give back. Meanwhile, ‘the modern commune’ wraps itself around evolved collaborative living, fluid families and new modes of working.  

Wandering Wellness (also published as part of The Business of Wellbeing) explores how health and wellbeing is being baked into the fabric of travel and hospitality, reflecting widespread shifts around the democratisation of health. Building on these ideas, Focus on Family drills deeper into what wellness means for the modern family, and how travel brands are tailoring their offers to meet the needs of mini ‘experience collectors’.

Finally, Marketing to New Travel Tribes provides lessons in how to communicate with key consumer groups, taking a keen look at the impact social media can play in reaching today’s tech-savvy audiences.

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Future Insights

Working lives are becoming increasingly fluid, while more individuals and families are embracing enriching gap years and sabbaticals as well as location-independent lifestyles. Hospitality brands are responding with supportive products and services that tap into myriad needs and priorities.


As luxury becomes increasingly subjective and new iterations of ‘upscale’ stretch traditional constructs, what matters most is understanding where the customer’s sweet spot lies. Furthermore, the on-demand economy has unleashed a new world of ‘micro luxuries’, where real-time and responsive services smooth, enhance and upgrade everyday living.


‘Experience collectors’ seek content-rich experiences that provide learning opportunities and cultural enrichment. However, in order to be social-media-ready, it’s critical to also think visually – consider how your space translates across to Instagram or that all-important ‘selfie’ shot.


While the drivers and behaviours of key demographics such as millennials and Gen Z (tomorrow’s decision-makers) are worth careful scrutiny, consider the needs of underserved groups that crave equally sophisticated products and services. Mixed-use, multipurpose, mindful hospitality is needed to support and encourage these rising influentials.


There is much to gain by understanding, leveraging and even partnering ‘frenemies’. Established hotel brands, online booking agents and sharing economy enterprises are finding mutually beneficial purpose. Harness these ‘helping hands’ in challenging times and outshine them during peak periods.

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