Luxury Travel Trends Forecast for 2017

By Lorraine Abelow Founder & President, Abelow PR | November 27, 2016

The travel industry is on the rise and expected to reach $375 billion next year, which will undoubtedly affect the hotel market. This growth is due to an increasing number of Millennials and Baby Boomers choosing to travel and booming economies in China, Russia and Korea. These developments are impacting the hospitality industry, in a significant way, particularly in North America. Hotels in the U.S. need to respond to this healthy upturn by targeting luxury travelers through public relations. Here you’ll find travel trends expected to flourish in 2017, which is crucial to know when acclimating to this new climate.

  1. Hotel Spas - Messaging Comfort and Local Mystery Into One

    More and more people are choosing hotels that have spas. The more diverse
    the spa offering, the better. The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans has an
    especially intriguing spa option that takes advantage of the city’s highly
    recognizable, mesmerizing culture: Voo Doo Ritual

    A smart marketing technique, the name alone evokes the spiritual folkways
    that New Orleans is known for. The message is a locally crafted herbal
    poultice ritual that incorporates various ingredients found in the French
    Quarter—moss, cypress, vetiver, incense and absinthe — “casting a spell” of
    utter relaxation on the tourist.

  2. "Bling and Go" Discovery - On the Rise as “Bling-Bling” Experience Wanes

    "Bling-bling" luxury was a highly popular trend that pampered travelers by
    offering experiences revolving solely around comfort. While it was hot for
    quite some time, “bling-bling” has seen a significant decline in recent
    years. But, we’re seeing a chance emerging, and project it will continue
    into 2017.

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.