Emerging travel and tourism trends worldwide

Tourism trends

The WTM Global Trends Report 2012 has just been released and highlights the nine key emerging travel and tourism trends worldwide, looking at how the global, regional and national political, social and economic situation is shaping the travel industry. My attention goes especially to 3 major trends.

Tingo, a new business model within the travel industry

Tingo, owned by TripAdvisor, takes advantage of cancellation and refund policies to offer customers the best hotel rates. Tingo.com is a brand-new site that automatically rebooks travelers at the lower rate if their hotel drops its price—and then automatically refunds the difference to their credit cards.

How does it work?

You book. Price drops. Automatic refund.

Many travelers have had the frustrating experience of trying to “time” their hotel booking: waiting to make the reservation just in case the price drops. Many, too, have felt foolish when they’ve booked their room and then discovered that the price dropped afterward.

Booking a hotel often feels like too much of a gamble. Until now. Tingo takes the gamble out of booking!

With Tingo, Travelers Win – No Matter What

Even if travelers book a Money Back room and the price doesn’t drop, they have still booked at a competitive rate. And if the rate does drop, they can rest easy knowing they’ll get their Money Back refund. Either way, Tingo is watching out for them.

Benefits:

  • Tingo offers an extensive worldwide hotel inventory powered by the Expedia Affiliate Network.
  • Hotel rates on Tingo are competitive with other popular hotel booking sites.
  • If the price of a traveler’s Money Back reservation drops, Tingo automatically rebooks the exact reservation at the lower rate and refunds the difference to his or her credit card.
  • More than 95% of the hotels on Tingo have the potential to earn travelers Money Back refunds.
  • Even if the price of a reservation doesn’t drop, travelers still get a great rate and can enjoy peace of mind knowing that Tingo was looking out for them.

Among Tingo’s rivals are Backbid and TripIt, although their value proposition differs as they do not handle the transaction and do not automatically refund room bookings.
More information : www.tingo.com

Travel Technology: Smart TVs

Smart TVs are on the verge of taking off, integrating TV, internet and social media with opportunities for travel brands.

Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba launched their first smart TVs, which will become increasingly sophisticated in the future. Similar to smartphones, smart TVs integrate television with internet technologies and social media. The days of TV as a one-way entertainment medium will soon be over.

Viewers and companies can share their videos and even create their own internet TV channels to be easily watched via smart TVs.  Some travel and www.wupoint.co.uk tourism players such as Teletext Holidays and the Serbia Tourism Board have already launched their own smart TV apps. These apps allow TV viewers to watch pictures and videos about travel destinations and services, also to find out about prices and offers via their internet-connected TVs.

Global Village: Digital Detox

As consumers become increasingly addicted to their devices, so I am, some hotels are going against the tide, offering technology-free holidays to help them de-stress.

With the growing penetration of smartphones, tablets and smaller laptops, consumers are addicted to their devices and as a result, some hotels now offer digital detox holidays. The “Our Mobile Planet” report by Google indicates that in the US, 80% of smartphone users do not leave home without their device in 2012. According to the UK Post Office, 13 million Britons suffered from “Nomophobia” (no mobile phobia) in 2008, feeling stressed when their mobile was out of battery or service, or lost.

Going tech-free
  • Hotel technology-free packages offer discounts on stays or promote their relaxation-inducing hotel amenities, while others offer technology-free rooms.
  • The Hotel Monaco in Chicago has a “tranquility suite” and a “technology break” package, the Quincy in Washington DC offers a “Be Unplugged” package.
  • In the UK, the Lifehouse Country Spa Resort offers the “BlackBerry Crèche”.
  • In British Columbia, Canada, the Echo Valley Ranch & Spa rewards customers who part from their devices with herbal oil massages and horseback rides.
Business opportunities for promoting more  human interaction
  • Hotels may look at digital detox packages as a means to improve guest wellness.
  • Technology-free spas, cruises and safaris present strong opportunities in the digital detox arena, as these offer an ideal context for consumers to disconnect and relax.
  • Promoting family time or quality “human” time with loved ones is another aspect of the digital detox offering, as electronic devices weaken human communications in everyday life.

Offering WiFi is standard for many hotels and even campsites, event airlines start also providing WiFi on board whereas others are heading in the opposite direction and helping guests to check in and switch off. Who will win?

For more information: