Summer 2014 Travel Trends By Destination Hotels & Resorts
In-Room Digital Technology, Endless Family Adventures and Skill Development Are Most Requested Among Destination’s Discerning Travelers
Destination Hotels & Resorts, an authentic collection of luxury and upscale independent
hotels and resorts across North America, has surveyed top travelers revealing key travel
trends for summer 2014. Distinctive trends include a surprising shift away from the
digital detox revolution; a strong reliance on peer-to-peer vacation recommendations
through online social media platforms; and that while half of respondents want to learn
something on vacation, equally half want to unwind and do nothing. Results from the
2014 Summer Travel Trends consumer study conducted by Destination Hotels & Resorts
also revealed that a significant amount of vacationers traveling as a family are
increasingly interested in pursuing adventurous experiences and outdoor activities,
tasting locally inspired cuisine, and exploring a new adventure or skill. The survey's core
trends are as follows:
1. Digital Indulgence…
to unplug while traveling, guests with Destination Hotels & Resorts reported that they are actually looking to bemore connected digitally this summer. Interestingly, 66% noted in-room technology is an important amenity that they just can't live without. "We understand our guests' need to have the best technology at their fingertips, so we continue to make it easier to plug in when staying with us," said Jamie Sabatier, President and Chief Operating Officer of Destination Hotels & Resorts. "Guests might not need connectivity 24:7, but just knowing it's there should they need it as well as having access to our in-room iPod docking stations is something today's traveler considers a must-have in their hotel room."
2. Experiential Travel Takes a Turn…
While nearly half (45%) of respondents expressed an interest in developing new talentswhile on vacation, (39% are up for the physical challenge of activities such as climbing, surfing, and paddle boarding, a surprisingly high (55%) of respondents simply want to relax and do nothing this summer vacation. "Experiential travel is a trend that has been gaining popularity in the past few years. Our Destination Discoveries program helps guests choose from a rustic furniture making class overlooking majestic scenery in Vermont at Stowe Mountain Lodge, by Destination Hotels & Resorts, to a private cocktail crafting tour by three of Charleston's finest mixologists through Wild Dunes Resort, by Destination Hotels & Resorts. Equally, our family driven Destination Family Escapes itineraries are heavily experiential. Interestingly enough, this year's survey also seems to reveal an almost defiant guest who simply wants to do absolutely nothing but relax and unwind" said Sabatier.
3. Keep Workout Wear at Home. Cool Pools are a Hot Commodity thisSummer…
It sounds obvious, but for the Destination traveler top of the wish list of 'the amenity Ican't live without this summer…' is the humble swimming pool (almost 40% said it's a must), beating other amenities such as room service (8%), a fitness center (12%) and a full service spa (9%) by a landslide." Travel trends come and go, but this summer, what our survey reconfirmed was that guests are getting back to basics seeking either a pool or beach access to chill out and relax. Similarly, relaxing beach vacations reign supreme with 67% of respondents craving a stay by the sea this summer" commented Sabatier.
4. It's A Family Affair…
While more than half of vacationers are traveling with a significant other this summer,41% are traveling with children in tow. The savvy family traveler of today is looking well beyond the basics, striving to accomplish bucket list-worthy thrills together. Families surveyed cited that they look for hotels that have activities they can do together while on summer vacation (45%); similarly 30% are looking for adventure and outdoor options; with 28% selecting a hotel due to its proximity to destination attractions. "We've been listening to families and what they really want from their summer vacation and have worked with our hotels to create unique adventures inspired by each destination to meet these activity requests. Our new Destination Family Escapes program, offers phenomenal experiences such as a one-mile cave rappel down one of the longest soda straw formations in the country in Texas through La Cantera Hill Country Resort, by Destination Hotels & Resorts, as well as a tide pooling excursion and a picturesque driving tour in a Lexus along the Southern California coast with Terranea Resort, by Destination Hotels & Resorts, complete with a gourmet picnic basket lunch, blanket and binoculars" said Sabatier.
5. Power to the People…
Peer-to-Peer online travel review platforms continue to be an extremely useful tool forgaining insider tips on hotels and summer vacation activities. Travelers are relying less on the experts themselves, and more on the voices of their savvy peers. "An overwhelming majority of 80% sited TripAdvisor as the platform of choice for vetting vacation itineraries, with Yelp (31%) being the second most popular channel," noted Sabatier. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter lag behind as sources for travel referrals.
6. Locally Sourced Produce is a MUST…
What may have started as a culinary trend has now proven itself to be an essentialtravel staple. Over 60% of people cited locally inspired cuisine as the most important component when booking their summer vacation, preferring culinary experiences involving indigenous ingredients as opposed to something flown in from Ecuador while vacationing in California. Indeed, of families surveyed 19% commented that healthy food options at their hotel were integral to their booking choice this summer. With movies such as Katie Couric's 'Fed Up' on screens this month, the emphasis on healthy eating is likely to increase even further with the savvy traveler. "We've seen the locavore movement build in momentum, and while the farm-to-table phenomenon has become almost standard for many, today's traveler really does ask 'where is this from?' before diving into dinner. Destination's properties comprise an extraordinary culinary expertise across the board and our Executive Chefs work seamlessly to provide seasonal, fresh and inspiring dishes using the finest local ingredients."
Visit www.destinationhotels.com to discover a variety of experiencesfrom the brand's portfolio of distinctive hotels and resorts.
A questionnaire developed by Destination Hotels & Resorts was distributed toDestination Delivers members via email in March 2014. Respondents were asked for their opinion on several topics relating to the upcoming summer travel season. The 486 who responded were entered to win a giveaway from Destination. The results were tabulated, reviewed and analyzed by the Destination team. Destination Delivers is a unique loyalty club catered to Destination Hotels & Resorts guests' individual lifestyles that features exclusive members-only offers, discounted rates and VIP treatment collection-wide. Perks include a minimum of 10% off the best available rate, complimentary room upgrade or late check-out and VIP status.
About Destination Hotels
Destination Hotels (Destination) is a collection of luxury and upscale independent hotels, resorts and residences across the United States. Offering authentically-immersed and enriching experiences, each property is individual at heart, yet connected by a commitment to drawing upon the best of each location. Highly distinct, the Destination experience is always memorable and matchless; guests will feel the locale in a genuine way through each property and during the engaging moments cultivated both in and outside of them. Continuously growing with more than 40 properties from coast to coast, the award-winning portfolio features 20 renowned golf courses, 20 indigenous spas, and 110 exceptional bars and restaurants. Destination Hotels are true to our place; diverse by design. For more information, visit www.destinationhotels.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Destination. Like us on Facebook: DestinationHotels.