Property to respond to changing traveller habits

As tourism continues to grow how will the market respond to changing traveller habits? 

Tourism is big business in Thailand. Visitor numbers increase year-on-year. The hotel industry is growing to keep up with demand. And every year tourism contributes more to the Kingdom’s GDP than the previous year. Consequently the role tourism plays for the economy is important. It is vital that the industry adapts to traveller’s changing habits. Savills have carried out research to assess what the future holds for the travel industry. They firstly classed the different types of tourists and how they influence this booming business.

1. The silver traveller.

Those over aged 65 years over are travelling more than ever before. There has been a hike of nearly fifty percent in the last ten years of silver travellers from the European Union. This age group tends to have a larger disposable income hence their love of travel helped counterbalance the shortfall in younger generations travelling during the 2008 global financial crisis. The industry will aim to target this older age group specifically during low season. Creating organised tours and activities specifically geared to their interests. Savills predicts that their appetite for holidays will continue to grow taking several separate trips yearly.

2. The single traveller.

The number of lone travellers is on the rise. Often having to pay a single supplement, the industry is helping this flourishing segment by reducing financial penalties imposed on them by creating deals for the single traveller. Single travellers span backpackers, silver and female travellers and often thrive as can book easily online and do not have to compromise on their agendas.

3. The business traveller.

With the rise of home sharing platforms such as Airbnb, the hotel industry is competing by changing their model to create a similar home environment with bigger social spaces for the business traveller to enjoy. Hotel stays are enhanced with technology such as facial recognition for a quick check in. Other technological advances will include improved business centres where guests can interact with their staff in real time to enable conducting business even easier. 

4. The ethical and green traveller.

The number of people who are conscious of the planet is growing. Ecotourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry according to World Tourism Organisation. Therefore this type of travel is expected to start becoming the norm. Sustainability will be key and become as important as star ratings. Food should be locally sourced. Electricity will be generated from solar panels and there will be a strong ethos on giving back to the local community. 

How will property respond? 

The changing habits of travellers will inherently influence the tourism sector. Their needs should be met to continue to grow the industry. More choice is required, hence the growth of ‘alternative’ hospitality accommodation. This includes serviced apartments and hostels. On top of this developers will need to consider more sustainable and energy efficient buildings for future hotels. This will need to be achieved alongside improved technology to enhance guest’s experiences.

Despite many cities, such as Bangkok, being squeezed for land, communal areas will become paramount for a hotel’s success. Offering increased facilities such as co-working spaces, and food and beverage outlets that even non-guests can use. Savills forecast that co-working operators may even look to launch their own hotel brand.

The real estate firm conclude, “The real opportunity for both operators and investors will be the broader range of destinations travellers will want to visit and stay in 2030. While the key gateway cities will continue to attract the bulk of overnight visitors, the appetite to visit lesser known destinations will provide new investment and operator opportunities”.