Travel Trends to Watch in 2017

What vacations are travelers planning this year? We’ve rounded up the travel trends that should drive your hotel’s content marketing in 2017.

travel trends 2017

We’re going over anticipated 2017 buyer habits, travel trends, and the things about your destination to play up for travelers booking in this quarter. Ready to roll up your sleeves and draft a content plan of attack for 2017? Let’s get started.

Vacation Frequency

Americans say they’ll take three trips in 2017. One in five listed busy schedules as a reason for not traveling more over the past 12 months (Choice Hotels International Annual Survey, 2017).

Content Strategy Takeaway: Really, these stats affirm the value of a content strategy in the first place – you’re helping your guests and future guests define what they should see and do to maximize their precious vacation time. Use your local knowledge to guarantee they have a great time.

Capturing Travel Buyers in the Research Phase

Eighty-five percent of anticipated 2017 travel is yet to be booked, meaning most of your target travel demographic is still in the idea or planning phase (AARP 2017 Travel Trends).

Content Strategy Takeaway: This is where you want as much brand awareness as possible. Use your content to hit your SEO goals by strategic use of keywords within your content, then blast that content out via social media and email campaigns to drive traffic to your site. The research and planning phases is also a good spot to employ video content, influencer campaigns, social media contests, and paid social posts to capture interest and buying intent. 

Thirty-nine percent of Q1 searches are for spring and summer travel (Sojourn’s Spring & Summer Travel Insights).

Content Strategy: Create and publish content that caters to those searches – as soon as possible. If you know that your target travelers are searching for spring and summer travel right now, focus precisely on content that features activities and attractions during those time periods and get it online as fast as your content writer can turn it around. 

2017 Travel Budget Size

Leisure travel budgets will rise 42 percent over 2016, from $3,572 to $5,063 (Choice Hotels International Annual Survey, 2017).

Content Strategy Takeaway: That’s a pretty significant uptick that lends itself to luxury hotels and resorts. Knowing your travelers have a significantly larger budget for this year’s travel, think about luxury experiences that would appeal to them.

Destination Travel Trends

Millennials prefer beach and urban city destinations (Choice Hotels International Annual Survey, 2017).

Content Strategy Takeaway: For millennials, a beach vacation may include a more active beach experience. Does your resort boast beach volleyball, a bocce set, and shoreline beach fishing? Gear articles and blog posts toward active beach vacations to capture millennials. Located in the city? Write a series of blog posts that outlines a day or night itinerary for a themed adventure to explore the city, including attractions and insiders-only spots, like that fabulous café a few blocks over or the hidden speakeasy in the basement of a restaurant nearby.

For boomers, domestic trips are a combination of summer vacations, multi-generational trips, weekend getaways, and holiday travel (AARP 2017 Travel Trends).

Content Strategy Takeaway: A series of articles with tips on what to do on a family reunion vacation, senior-friendly activities perfect for a weekend away, or how to holiday in your destination like a local will help guide baby boomers researching and planning a trip in your destination. Have a cache of beautiful photos? Create a photo gallery with informative and creative captions as an attention-catching way to create engaging content quickly.

The Foodie Takeover

Farm-to-table, ocean-to-plate, garden-to-kitchen – all are still going to be hot trends for 2017 (The Experts’ Views: Five New Travel Trends for 2017, Forbes). 

Content Strategy Takeaway: Don’t let standalone restaurants steal all the foodie thunder in 2017. The key for your content if your restaurant or property has embraced the local food movement is to find ways to rise above the clutter. For example, if you’re working with a local fishmonger who’s passionate about strictly sustainable fishing, don’t do a piece that simply touts your sustainably caught fish; do a Q&A with this fishmonger himself to reveal his passion and local knowledge.

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