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6 key travel trends for 2016

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6 key travel trends for 2016

We asked more than 44,000 travellers and hoteliers about their plans. Here’s what we heard.

Why will people travel in 2016? How will these travellers decide what to do and where to stay? Will they spend more or less than they did in 2015? And what impact are their choices having on the travel industry as a whole?

Our latest TripBarometer study answers all of these questions and more. Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, TripBarometer is the world’s largest traveller and accommodation survey, analysing more than 44,000 responses from travellers and hoteliers around the globe.1 Download the full report from the menu on the right, and carry on reading for a look at trends that will shape the travel landscape in 2016. 

Trend #1 – Seeking new experiences

In the coming year, travellers of all ages will seek out things that they haven’t tried before, from cruises to solo travel and more.

  • Globally, 69% of travellers plan to try something new in 2016.
  • 1 in 5 global travellers said they would try a cruise for the first time next year.
  • 17% will try solo travel for the first time in 2016; 15% will try adventure travel for the first time.

Trend #2 – Spending more because it’s “worth it”

Worldwide, travellers are open to spending more in 2016 than they have in the past — and not just because of rising costs.

1 in 3 travellers are planning to spend more in 2016 than they did in 2015.

  • 1 in 3 travellers (33%) are planning to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did the previous year.
  • Among those who plan to increase their travel budget, 49% said they will do so because “I or my family deserve it”.
  • 31% said they would spend more on travel because “it’s important for my health and well-being”.

Trend #3 – Choosing destinations based on culture, special offers

Today’s travellers choose destinations for a number of reasons, including special offers from accommodations.

  • Globally, 47% of travellers say they have visited a destination because of the culture and people of the specific country.
  • 1 in 5 travellers (21%) have chosen a destination because a hotel had a special offer or package.
  • “TV tourism” is on the rise: 1 in 5 global travellers have visited a destination because they saw it on a TV show.

Trend #4 – Staying cool and connected

Among the amenities that travellers will look for when they book an accommodation in 2016, air conditioning and WiFi stand out.

  • Globally, 63% of travellers said that air conditioning is a must-have when choosing a place to stay. That makes it more of a deal-breaker than breakfast (40%) or a swimming pool (26%).
  • 46% said free in-room WiFi is a must-have amenity – meaning that, if an accommodation did not provide it, they would look elsewhere.
  • 26% of travellers said that they require an accommodation that has super-fast WiFi; 11% are willing to pay extra for this service.

Trend #5 – Rising room rates (and optimism)

Many accommodations plan to raise their room rates next year, while the majority of hoteliers say they’re optimistic about profitability in 2016.

3 out of 4 business owners are optimistic about profits in 2016.

  • Nearly half of hoteliers globally plan to increase room rates in 2016 (47%).
  • Most accommodations are increasing rates to compensate for increased overhead costs (65%), although more than a third are increasing rates because of recently completed renovations (37%) or because of increased demand (35%).
  • 3 in 4 business owners are optimistic about profitability in 2016. The majority of those who are optimistic say it’s because of local events and conferences taking place in their markets next year (65%).
  • 91% of hoteliers see increasing direct bookings as key for the future of their business.

Trend #6 – Managing reputations online

Online presence remains important: In 2016, businesses will be keeping a close eye on what people are saying about them on the web.

  • 93% of hoteliers said that online traveller reviews are important for the future of their business.
  • Online reputation management is still the biggest area of investment for accommodation owners in 2016, with 59% investing more in this area than they did the previous year.
  • 1. Methodology: The TripBarometer study by TripAdvisor is based upon an online survey conducted from 15 to 29 October 2015 by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 44,782 interviews were completed in 32 markets, spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of 34,026 consumers who are TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panellists who chose to take part in the survey and have researched their travel plans online in the last year; and 10,756 representatives from accommodation properties who use TripAdvisor free marketing services, making it the world’s largest combined accommodation and traveller survey. The consumer survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the global online population, to keep in line with previous waves of TripBarometer. Equal weighting is also applied at country level for the business survey.