New holiday trends set to re-shape the travel industry, finds Nine & The Future Laboratory

Insights provided by global futures consultancy, The Future Laboratory released this week at Nine’s State of the Nation travel event showed a new era of holiday trends is set to re-shape the travel industry.

Hosted by 2GB breakfast presenter Ben Fordham with a panel that featured Stephanie Tully, Qantas Group chief customer officer; Michelle Mickan, head of marketing of Abercrombie & Kent Australia; Fiona Dalton, general manager ANZ, Virtuoso Travel; and Ryan Taibel, VP sales and marketing P&O Cruises and Cunard, the event was aimed at providing new consumer travel trends within Australia post-pandemic.

Some of the findings included a culture of remote working, a passion for having a positive impact on cultures and the planet, and a desire to push the boundaries of bespoke experiences that will drive future travel trends.

“This event explores the changing role of travel agents, the push for regeneration and the promise of luxury’s most extreme frontiers, to show smart travel brands how they can stay ahead of the curve,” Nine’s Michael Stephenson, said, who opened the event.

“We launched the State of the Nation series to explore the sentiment of the Australian public, and we wanted to dig deep into the cultural drivers that impact consumer behaviour,” he said.

According to the new data, 81% of Nine’s audiences are set to travel abroad in the next 12 months, and travel and luxury trends are already shifting.

The Future Laboratory associate strategy & foresight analyst, Barry Mowszowski, said: “The growth opportunities in the global travel sector are immense and Nine and its travel partners are well placed to capitalise in the areas of regenerative travel, educated experiences and wandering workers among others.”

These trends include how remote working has broadened the role of travel to create a new mode of traveller who desires a slower pace of life with a longer-term stay that combines work, leisure and travel.

Qantas’ Tully said that post-pandemic, Qantas is seeing really strong demand for point-to-point travel with travellers wanting to avoid connections. “We saw it pre-COVID with Perth to London direct which was successful, but COVID has really accelerated that trend.

“Project Sunrise is only a couple of years away and will see the East Coast of Australia connected directly to London and New York. We are seeing a strong strength in demand for that. We’re also seeing a growth in premium so the desire and the booking patterns in premium cabins are stronger than ever before. People are spoiling themselves with the way they are travelling.”

Abercrombie & Kent Australia’s Mickan agreed, adding: “People are really wanting to treat themselves and we’re seeing transactions up by 25-30% by each traveller who wants to do each destination well. They’re spending longer in destinations and we’re seeing much smaller lead times, with people not booking as far in advance as they were pre-pandemic. And in terms of what people are booking, they’re looking for new frontiers and anything that’s new and exciting; the Middle East has made the biggest comeback we’ve ever seen.”

The insights also revealed consumers will pay a premium for trips which have a positive impact on both people and the planet, this trend seeing pressure on brands and travel companies to offer tangible evidence that shows their commitment to purposeful travel.

“We’re tailoring cruising to our clientele – if you’re a couple who wants a refined experience, then we have smaller cruises for those people, or we have the kids’ friendly holiday cruises,” said Taibel from P&O Cruises and Cunard.

Meanwhile, nearly half of US travellers who rarely or sometimes used travel agents in the past, said they were now more likely to use one post-pandemic, according to the American Society of Travel Advisors.

Virtuoso Travel’s Dalton said: “We’re seeing people spend a lot of time online planning and finding inspiration, and then coming to a trusted travel advisor and working with them to curate not just one trip, but the next three or four trips because if you are solely focused on what you’re doing next, you will probably miss out on that experience.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.