Travel trends at the Vakantiebeurs 2017

January 13, 2017

To keep up-to-date with the latest travel trends and developments, Globally Cool is a loyal visitor of the Vakantiebeurs travel trade show. During the Trade Days for travel professionals, we combine our visit to the exhibition with a series of inspiring presentations.

This year, our programme included:

  • The Dutch holiday market: trends and expectations for 2017
  • Everybody wins: travel trends for 2017
  • Geopolitics and tourism flows
  • Sustainnovation: improve and innovate your business
  • Digital trends and transformation in the travel industry
  • The network economy and its impact on tourism

We’ll let you in on some of the main takeaways from our Vakantiebeurs visit!

The Dutch holiday market: trends and expectations for 2017

To kick off the programme, NBTC-NIPO Research presented their analysis of the Dutch holiday market.

Their study of traveller behaviour in 2016 revealed that the Dutch travel market continues to grow. Around 80% of the Dutch travel, adding up to about 12.5 million people. In 2017, they expect about 2% growth.

The main Dutch travel trends NTBC-NIPO Research predicts are:

  • short trips, also abroad
  • customised holidays
  • mobile bookings
  • social travelling
  • senior travellers
  • luxury travel

These trends are a great match with our tourism market research for CBI. For example, check out our studies on senior travel and luxury tourism.

Everybody wins: travel trends for 2017

For 2017, Cherry LAB’s Tessa aan de Stegge forecast the following travel trends:

  • cocoon – safe, cosy and comfortable trips with your nearest and dearest
  • fix – holidays that allow you to work on yourself and escape from daily patterns
  • play – fun, relaxing trips where you can release your inner child
  • karma – responsible, fair and sustainable tourism
  • instant – relatively spontaneous trips, instantly booked and arranged online

For more information on tourism that suits these trends perfectly, you can read our CBI studies on for instance wellness and light medical tourism, as well as community based tourism and nature and eco tourism.

Geopolitics and tourism flows

Peter Singleton from the European Tourism Futures Institute ETFI explored the effect of geopolitical instability on tourism flows. The good news is that instability doesn’t seem to affect people’s appetite for travel. It does affect their choice of destination. This is a challenge for some, but an opportunity for others.

Tour operators should respond by:

  • understanding threats
  • analysing the risks at their destinations
  • taking preventive measures
  • provide tourists with information on geopolitics and safety

You can read more about this in our 10 tips for Risk Management in tourism.

Sustainnovation: improve and innovate your business

Gerben Hardeman from the ANVR sees sustainable and responsible travel supported by the travel trends of ‘going local’, ‘experience based travel’, ‘participation travel’ and ‘karma travel’. He states that sustainable and responsible travel are becoming the norm rather than a competitive edge.

His recommendations for improving sustainable and responsible travel are:

  • create awareness about the effects of tourism behaviour and choices
  • when communicating with tourists, use emotion in stead of facts, focus on personal advantages.
  • cooperate with various stakeholders, both in the region and international, like farmers and BSO’s.
  • make the tourist area attractive for locals, businesses and travellers
  • sustain your destination for the future

If you want to know more about ‘sustainnovating’ your business, look at our factsheet on sustainable tourism suppliers or the sustainability strategy by TUI Benelux.

Digital trends and transformation in the travel industry

Replacing the originally planned presentation, a panel discussed digital trends in tourism. Their main observations included:

  • personal experiences are key, you don’t have to be a professional travel blogger to be an influencer
  • on social media, engagement is more important than numbers
  • Artificial Intelligence is on the rise, but people continue to value human interaction
  • Virtual & Augmented Reality technology adds to the travel experience, rather than replacing it

To get started on your digital journey, check out our 10 tips for online success and 10 tips for travel blogging.

The network economy and its impact on tourism

According to European Centre for the Experience Economy founder Albert Boswijk, travel professionals are in the business of facilitating meaningful and transformative experiences.

There are 5 steps of value creation in an experience economy:

  1. strategy & vision
  2. experience value
  3. quality & consistency
  4. culture & competences
  5. business model

We give you 10 tips for determining your Unique Value Proposition, to help you with step 2.


Carine Matser

Experience in and with emerging markets

Since 1995 Globally Cool has trained and coached thousands of professionals, in over 45 emerging markets. Want to know more about what Globally Cool can do for you? Check out our services and join us!

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