Five Top Travel Trends, From Six Female Travel Execs

by Cheryl Rosen

In honor of International Women’s Appreciation Day, last week asked six powerful women in the travel industry what trends they are seeing in 2016. 

Included were Crystal Cruises president and CEO Edie Rodriguez, AmaWaterways EVP and co-owner Kristin Karst, Fairmont VP Jane Mackie, Exclusive Resorts CEO Cathy Ross, Starwood SVP Alison Taylor, and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association president Nicola Madden-Greig.

They said today’s high-end travelers are looking for:

Exclusivity, customization, and options. Affluent travelers want private and personalized offerings.

A sense of humanity and warmth. People want to interact with other people. “Sometimes a handwritten note, welcome cocktail, or remembering a guest’s preferences will go a lot farther than a smartphone check-in option,” said Mackie.

More active adventures and healthier food options. Travelers want to be immersed in the destination, to hike rather than ride a bus, and to eat more healthy local foods. Farm-to-table dining is hot.

Intergenerational travel. Even high-end properties not originally designed for children, like the W Retreat & Spa Bali – Seminyak, are seeing guests who want to travel together as a family.

A focus on other cultures. Instead of a beach vacation, families want to show the younger generation more of the real world.

While 80% of all travel decisions are made by women, and women control $15 trillion in spendingpower, the travel industry still suffers from “a lack of high-level management positions filled by females,” the article noted.

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