Today, it’s hard to even remember 2010. Kobe Bryant was still the king of the NBA. The iPhone 4 was just making its big debut. The Swine Flu epidemic wasn’t a funny memory yet. And Instagram hadn’t yet become the biggest marketing tool for places with the smallest tourism market around the world.
But today, that’s all changed – and the travel market has gone through one of the biggest transformations of the last 10 years.
Let us count the ways:
Wellness tourism is the holistic idea of happiness manifesting in a healthy body and a healthy mind. And while it’s been the inspiration behind mandated vacations since as far back as Ancient Rome, it came back stronger than ever in the last decade. Maybe it’s because impactful studies emerged revealing the negative effect of too much work, or maybe it’s because the internet gave a voice to more employee dissatisfaction than ever before. But whatever the reason, the global wellness sector has grown by 14 percent overall.
Unlimited vacation days
What do you get when you get a higher everyday focus on wellness? More vacation days! As startup culture grows all over the world, just as many of its corners are contributing diverse ideas to the guiding principles of employment practices and professional leadership. One major concept is treating employees with the best in order for them to give the best back. And nothing says best practice like the principle of trusting your employees to take vacation days at their own discretion, without a limit. Anecdotal evidence implies that people with the freedom to take time off are even less likely too as a result of lower pressure, and both 60% of all employees and a whopping 81% of millennials prefer many small breaks to one big one.
The rise of Instagram
So what did people do with their extra vacation days? They traveled more and they traveled farther. The hunt for the most exciting and ground-breaking vacation was on this decade – and if it wasn’t posted on Instagram, did it even really happen? Instagram’s impact on travel has been monumental, with 70% of all Instagram content being travel-related, and those lesser-known destinations getting a free marketing boost they never expected.
More flights, less money
Here’s another question: what do you get when companies everywhere are giving more vacation days, and everyone is looking for flights to places they heard of 5 minutes ago? Cheaper flights! As the demand for long-haul flights went up, those available for the lowest budget won out. And now, the market is dominated by them. Flight competition is at an all-time high.
And with that, came…
One way to make flights even more available for even less money was to sell two flights between two destinations. And some crafty folks along the way decided to capitalize on their precious few hours in that country-in-the-middle – creating a whole new travel economy for layovers, which cities and countries everywhere have been capitalizing on. Especially Iceland – their carrier embraced the opportunity by making layovers the cornerstone of their marketing, and it worked. Visitors brought attention to its exquisitely unique landscape, and it wasn’t long before it was one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
Although biometric passports hit the market as a solution for security concerns, the speed they made possible for airport details has also contributed to travel freedoms, travel safety, and thus, travel numbers. Not to mention…they’re shiny and pretty, too!
The sharing economy
From cab apps to home shares, companies like Uber and Airbnb completely changed the economy of travel – and permanently affected the market. Today, hotels compete with Airbnb’s to offer a home-like feel, while homeowners are bringing more and more tourism services into their own homes to attract more tourists. Business and travel have interlinked – and neither will ever be the same.
Let’s see what the next decade brings!