Who better to report on emerging travel trends than the journalists who spend their lives travelling to the four corners of the globe searching for them? This year at the 2016 PURE Press Roundtable, we quizzed some of our press members on their predictions for the future of experiential travel.
Click play on the video below to get the lowdown from freelance travel writer Debbie Pappyn; or read on to get the extended insights and download the full report.
TRAVEL TREND #3: BACK TO BASICS
“Going back to simplicity, back to basics. It’s something we saw already in the food world and I think in travel probably it will go in the same direction. Lives are complicated, hectic – sometimes too full of everything. When you travel sometimes you want to have fewer options, but good ones.”
– Debbie Pappyn, freelance travel writer
American psychologist Barry Schwartz argues that, paradoxically, eliminating choice reduces anxiety and leads to greater happiness – and our press influencers are inclined to agree, forecasting a huge trend for going back to basics in travel. Porter’s Catherine Fairweather says, “Lack of choice is a luxury for me – I don’t want a big menu, I just want to be given something really great to eat.”
“Simplicity is a buzzword – the craving to pare down. It’s not luxury in the traditional sense”, she continues. Overwhelmingly, it seems, this desire to pare down is underlined by a fight-or-flight instinct to escape overstimulation and eventual burnout. Traditionally, luxury has been associated with excess; but in today’s information age, where extensive choice and sensory overload are a part of everyday life, less is most definitely more.
Importantly, though, the luxury is not simply being presented with an easier decision at dinner; the options made available must also be exceptional. What high-end consumers seek is a streamlined experience carefully curated by experts, so they can relax in the knowledge that an intelligent, informed decision has been made on their behalf.
According to founder Pavia Rosati, feedback on Fathom content supports this: “Our website is very curated for this reason – we never give too many options or list more than 24 hotels in a big city. When we give options the feedback is always that readers want to be told what to do.” And Serena Guen reports the same at SUITCASE, saying, “We’ve tried to be more democratic with content and allow readers to curate their own experience, but actually readers want to be told where to go and what to do.”
Arnie Weissmann of Travel Weekly believes that the overwhelming choice and accessibility facilitated by the internet may, conversely, be one reason that we’re seeing a return to travel advisors, even among millennials. “Young people are busier than ever; they don’t have time to organise a trip.” Condé Nast Traveler’s Paul Brady agrees, saying “Trips are very expensive, but what’s more important to me is my time. You can always earn more money, but you can’t buy time.”
Katie Palmer is Senior Creative Executive for Beyond Luxury Media.