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Shifts & Strategies in Travel & Tourism

Shifts & Strategies in Travel & Tourism

Our finger is always on the pulse of what’s next. As futurologists for the travel industry, we’re here to provide you with data-backed insights to guide your brand into the future. Explore major shifts propelling the travel industry in 2023 and beyond. From the rise of hyperlocal tourism to immersive tech enhancing the customer journey, change brings boundless opportunities for brands ready to adapt.

Let’s dive into the key trends our researchers have uncovered to help you craft experiences that resonate now and tomorrow.


  • Inspiring Wanderlust – Harness social platforms and nano-influencers to showcase unique perspectives that could be the gateway for new customers looking for a trusted opinion before they hit “Book Now.”
  • Hyperlocal Tourism – Spotlight lesser-known local gems and adapt marketing to be relevant by location
  • Capturing Bleisure – Entice business travelers and work-from-anywhere travelers to extend stays with tailored amenities and messaging
  • Leaning Into Luxury – Offer exclusive on-site experiences while providing littles luxuries to engage all audiences
  • Eco-Conscious Messaging – Communicate sustainability efforts transparently to build trust and preference
  • Tech-Cellerated Journeys – Utilize emerging tech like AI to simplify and enhance travel

Harnessing Nano-Influencers

The average consumer’s trip planning process is transforming as people increasingly turn to visual platforms over traditional search engines. Our research reveals that 40% of the up-and-coming generations now look to social media giants like Instagram and TikTok when ideating potential trips. They crave accurate photos and honest videos over stale stock imagery.


This provides a major opportunity for travel brands to inspire wanderlust by showcasing authentic experiences. Harness the power of nano-influencers on these platforms to put your destination in the spotlight. Identify creators with engagement levels between 5k-100k followers who embody your brand essence. Reach out to collaborate on showcasing unique experiences and lesser-known local gems through their lens.


Empower these nano-influencers as unofficial brand ambassadors. Let them take over your social channels for a day to provide an insider’s view of hidden cafes, boutiques, lookouts, and more. Encourage them to incorporate your branded hashtags and handles as they authentically engage with followers. Their organic recommendations will shape your image as a trusted source for one-of-a-kind experiences versus mass-marketed trips.


The takeover content and unpaid promotions from aligned creators will drive brand awareness and preference with relevant audiences. Be sure to repurpose it across your own platforms too. User-generated content performs better and is more trusted. Pay attention to feedback and suggestions to continue optimizing through an authentic insider voice.

Localizing Marketing

The pandemic spurred people to reconnect with their own communities, fueling a surge in hyperlocal tourism that shows no signs of slowing. Today’s travelers continue to crave that perfect balance of familiarity and novelty close to home.


This shift presents a major opportunity for travel brands to highlight hidden gems and deals within travelers’ backyards. Adapt your marketing strategy to showcase insider perspectives of local attractions and businesses. Partner with niche regional influencers and creators to develop video guides to off-the-beaten-path finds tailored to residents.


Get tactical with localization by shifting budgets to hyper-targeted digital ads. Leverage platforms like Snapchat that allow you to adjust messaging based on someone’s real-time location. Highlight proximity-based offers like discounted tickets for locals or hotel packages for staycations.


Tailor display ads by dynamically changing promoted content and details like pricing and availability based on location. This provides relevance in the moment to generate preference. For example, reduce rates for properties in areas hardest hit by economic challenges while maintaining higher price points in thriving markets.


Geo-targeted digital ads also allow you to communicate local guidelines, weather, events, and more to travelers. Keeping messaging aligned to what’s top of mind in the surrounding area adds value and resonance. Location-based customization enables you to stand out versus competitors with blanket marketing.

Blending Business & Leisure

Bleisure travel, the growing trend of blending business and leisure trips, provides a lucrative opportunity for hospitality brands. As work-life boundaries continue to blur, schedule-strapped travelers are extending stays to mix conferences with exploration or relaxation.


Capture these hybrid travelers by highlighting amenities tailored to optimize their blended trips. Advertise perks like 6am-6pm flexible check-in/out to accommodate workday schedules. Promote in-room workspaces, mobile printing access, and office equipment rentals that allow work to continue on-site.


Get tactical by timing exclusive activations and packages around major corporate events, conventions, and trade shows in your area. Offer discounted add-on nights at your properties during these times to entice attendees to extend stays. Become the ideal one-stop-shop for travelers seeking to seamlessly blend work obligations with vacation vibes.


Strategically place your brand at the intersection of business and leisure. Curate deals bundling conference attendance with resort credits or branded experiences. Secure sponsorships with relevant conferences and expos to get in front of decision-makers. They’ll return for future escapes if you provide a frictionless blended travel experience.

Engaging All Travelers

The luxury travel market presents lucrative potential, but brands should engage travelers across budgets to drive growth. While continuing to nurture high-spend loyal guests, also cultivate new brand relationships through accessible and aspirational touchpoints.


Entice luxury travelers to book by curating exclusive on-site experiences. Offer private tours, personal styling appointments, access to high-end lounges and restaurants, and more. Surprise and delight VIP guests with customized amenities and little luxuries like monogrammed slippers and in-room gifts.


For new audiences, provide affordable access points like monogramming services, rental programs for designer apparel or premium alcohol, and co-created capsule collections. These littles luxuries allow aspiring travelers to engage with your brand before an extended stay.


Expand your audience beyond hotels by partnering with aligned yet non-competing lifestyle brands. Collaborate on bold capsule collections blending your styles and aesthetics, like teaming with a fashion label on branded apparel. Showcase partners on-site through pop-ups and by stocking their products.


Joint ventures allow you to increase relevance beyond the trip itself. By integrating into customers’ lifestyles through amenities and collaborations, your brand becomes an essential part of their ongoing experiences versus an occasional indulgence.

Leaning Into Eco-Efforts

Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword – it’s increasingly driving purchase decisions within travel. Consumers demand transparency from brands to back up green claims and steer clear of vague virtue signaling.


Share specific, measurable environmental goals and regularly report on progress. Quantify initiatives like plastic reduction targets, carbon offsets, renewable energy use, and recycled material sourcing.


Become an eco-certified brand through reputable organizations like Green Key or Travelife that audit sustainability via ongoing reviews. This verifies your commitment to consumers.


Communicate your eco-values clearly across platforms. On your site, break down initiatives and progress in digestible terms. Promote certification badges on social media and email signatures. Provide ways for conscious travelers to opt-in by choosing green hotels or paying carbon offsets through loyalty programs. Empower and celebrate sustainable consumers.


Transparency and proof-points are no longer optional. Brands must comprehensively integrate environmentalism into messaging and operations. Lean into sustainable transformation. Align with certifiers to validate efforts, then communicate your commitment in a clear, compelling manner. Sustainability is now fundamental to earning preference and trust.

Ride of the Wave of Emerging Tech

Emerging technologies present infinite opportunities for travel brands to simplify, enhance, and reinvent the customer journey. From AI to VR, harness innovation to create more personalized, seamless, and imaginative experiences.


Experiment with artificial intelligence to provide customized recommendations and planning at scale. Develop trip-planning chatbots that provide data-backed suggestions based on traveler preferences. Use AI to generate tailored itineraries, surfacing ideal activities, restaurants, and photo ops. The more you can tailor to the individual, the better.


Give customers a virtual preview of your offerings using visually stunning metaverse activations. In augmented or virtual reality, allow people to digitally explore properties, preview model unit layouts, and walk through renderings. VR enables immersive experiences from home to inspire wanderlust.


Consider using AI and ambient technology to create smart rooms that automatically adjust features like lighting, temperature, and entertainment based on a traveler’s preferences. Voice assistants provide a frictionless way to access information and manage bookings.


Experiment boldly with emerging tech like blockchain, 3D printing, robots, and biometrics to simplify planning and on-site experiences. The possibilities to innovate are endless for brands that keep human needs at the core. Prioritize convenience, personalization and imaginative immersion as you test and refine new applications.

By tapping into rich data and human insights, we are ready to partner with you to craft strategies tuned into the trends transforming how people dream, plan, and experience travel today. Our researchers and strategists will provide the competitive edge to differentiate your brand amid an evolving landscape. Through immersive activations and localized messaging, we can craft marketing that deeply resonates with new realities. The time is now to reimagine connections with travelers and revitalize your approach. Let’s start laying the groundwork today.