Now that 2016 is well on its way, it’s time to define the travel trends that are here to stay and which ones will be left in the 2015 dust. Here are five what’s out/what’s in travel trends that will interest meeting planners.
What’s out: Crowded Tourist Destinations
It’s difficult to organize an outing to a crowded tourist destination for groups. That’s why hotels such as the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa are creating cultural experiences for groups onsite. The resort offers a two-day Venetian mask workshop in which attendees will work with a local artisan to create a customized mask. They can even use their own faces as a mold before decorating it in true Venetian style.
What’s out: Isolated Zen
Hotel spas are introducing group-focused programs that allow attendees to spa together. Groups at Solage Calistoga in Napa can book a Floating Meditation experience, which leads attendees through a calming sequence of visualization and breath work while floating atop rafts in the resort’s geothermal mineral pool under the stars.
What’s out: Dining in Restaurants
What’s in: Food Trucks
While hosting an event in a restaurant is always going to appeal to groups, food trucks are continuing to gain in popularity for groups. Not only does choosing several food trucks for an event add variety, it also introduces attendees to the local culture.
What’s out: Travel Videos
What’s in: Virtual Reality Experiences
As virtual reality gains in popularity, destinations and hotels are creating virtual reality experiences for meeting planners to be able to explore without having to spend the money and time visiting a particular place or proerty. For instance, Marriott Hotels launched its Teleporter 4-D sensory experience to allow users to take a journey through virtual reality versions of London and Hawaii, complete with motion, sounds and even sprays of water that mimic the ocean.
What’s out: Mega cruises
What’s in: Smaller, river cruises
While large cruises are perfect for big groups, the local experiences that smaller, river cruises offer are hard to beat. Brands like Crystal, Viking and Vantage are launching newer river boats to cater to the experiential trend that appeal to today’s travelers, as these smaller boats can get attendees into lesser-known places.