Agents' Choice 2019
Women in travel
Issue Date: Dec 17, 2018
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The shape of things to come

ANN RUPPENSTEIN

Over the course of the year, Canadian Travel Press’ Women in Travel series featured some remarkable individuals across the travel industry from Canada and around the world. In the second instalment of a year-end feature, some of the experts previously profiled in the section share their thoughts on the big trends for 2019.

#Trending: travelling with ease
Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com
“At Booking.com, we’re seeing that 2019 will be the year of ease for travellers, with technology that can help ensure all aspects of the trip are seamless. We’re also seeing a rapid development in the way travel information is consumed and used. Long, generic travel guides will be replaced with short-form, hyper-relevant, and individualized inspirational content, which will be neatly organized into travellers’ feeds and distributed by producers and publishers when travellers need it most.”

#Trending: multigenerational travel
Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-owner of AmaWaterways
“The next year is going to be such an exciting one for the travel industry, and for river cruising specifically. There are several emerging trends we are seeing, but if I have to choose just one, I feel multigenerational travel will be the most significant. The demand for family-friendly vacations continues to grow, and at AmaWaterways, we are growing with it – providing connecting staterooms and suites, partnering with Adventures by Disney, and more. Having travelled extensively with my family as a child, and creating so many wonderful memories, this is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. I think families are seeking to spend more quality time together and share experiences in meaningful ways, making memories that last a lifetime. Travel can also be incredibly educational, and enriching, so I think there is a lot of value in so many ways to travelling together as a family.”

#Trending: responsible tourism
Adrienne Lee, director of programs & partnerships, Tourism Cares
“I think a growing travel trend, and one that will continue to play a significant emphasis into 2019, is the demand for more authentic, socially, economically, and environmentally-responsible tours. With overtourism being a significant rising issue in many top travel destinations worldwide, and with a growing demographic of more mindful consumers, a demand for responsible tourism that is creating a net-positive impact on destinations is growing.

Sixty-six per cent of consumers are willing to spend more for brands that show a commitment to social and environmental values [CREST] and 72 per cent of all travellers report that it’s important that their travel spending help the communities they visit [Tourism Cares].”

#Trending: travelling with purpose
Ulla Hefel Böhler, CEO, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold
“Travelling with purpose and with a company committed to sustainable travel will continue to be a prominent trend through 2019. Travellers want to know the company they choose to travel with is supporting the local communities they visit and helping preserve these remarkable destinations for generations to come… Another big travel trend for 2019 is being fueled by the experience economy, as travellers are seeking the most unique, extraordinary experiences. Consumers’ priorities are shifting, as they are less concerned with owning the most extravagant material items, instead focusing on being able to share unprecedented experiences. Guests want individualized itineraries, out of the ordinary opportunities and intimate insights… Egypt and Turkey are both expected to be trending destinations for 2019. Lastly, following the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018 and anticipating the royal baby fever of 2019, Britain will continue to be a trending destination.”

#Trending: solo and female travellers
Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, president, Collette
“We’re anticipating continuing to see a rise in both female travellers, as well as solo travellers in the marketplace. As more tour providers put an emphasis on personalization and the power of exploration, we know that the future is bright in terms of a focus on local culture and unique experiences.”

#Trending: personal fulfilment
Carolyne Doyon, senior vice president, Canada and Mexico, Club Med
“2019 will continue to focus on transformational and wellness travel, which was a huge trend throughout 2018. While authentic and immersive travel dominated the industry last year, this year will see curated experiences and personal fulfilment as the new aspiration. Travel is becoming a way to experience new activities and check off bucket list items, which are opportunities Club Med consistently offers. By offering a variety of unforgettable, immersive activities such as a sports academies, the flying trapeze, circus classes, and more, Club Med plays a key role in offering a well-rounded travel experience for guests, complete with curated moments and personal satisfaction.”

#Trending: sustainable travel experiences
Carolyne Doyon, senior vice president, Canada and Mexico, Club Med
“Now, more than ever, travellers are taking the environment into consideration when choosing a travel destination. Guests truly appreciate when brands respect local culture; it’s a key factor in deciding where to plan a vacation. Two proud accomplishments becoming key factors in the decision-making process for our guests are Club Med’s Green Globe Labels and BREEAM certification. In terms of environmental protection, contribution to local development and acceptance from surrounding communities, these practices will be a major movement in upcoming travel trends and something Club Med continues to strive for.”

 

 

 

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