What Does 2015 Hold for the Travel Industry?
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive with Views on the Latest Trends
Friday, 26th December 2014

Exclusive Feature: In a recent survey conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), Italy, United Kingdom, China, Peru, France, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Vietnam were ranked as the top ten destinations for travelers in 2015.

The focus: experiential and culturally immersive travel. The survey showed that the majority of travelers are baby boomers (50+ years old), followed by travelers who range from 36-50 years old.

So, what can hotels and tour operators do to ensure a successful 2015 for travelers? New York-based Hawkins International released a list of the top 15 trends they're predicting for travel in 2015.

"Hotels and tour operators are constantly putting new and inventive twists on accommodations, amenities and activities to keep clients coming back for more," their blog stated. From spa treatments to fitness adventures, here are just of the few of the travel trends we're excited to see from HIPR's list of 2015 predictions (http://blog.hawkpr.com/):

1. Evening Incentives: Coming in 2015, more hotels offer programs and amenities that kick off when the sun goes down. Think: night skiing, after-hours spa access, and moonlit hikes.

2. Signature Sounds: We've talked about signature hotel scents, now get ready for hotel sounds. Hotels like The Dolder Grand in Zurich will debut fairy-tale-like signature music that will play throughout the hotel. Global brand Sofitel Luxury Hotels worked with famous blues and pop singer-songwriter Micky Green to create “Town to Town,” a special song exclusive to Sofitel hotels and inspired by the glamour of travel.

3. Digital Concierge: Technology is fast making its way into hotel rooms around the world and now, hotels are even giving their services a digital upgrade. A Virtual Concierge is similarly available on touch screens in the lobby of Novotel hotels, and guests of the new B Resort & Spa in Orlando and new B Ocean in Fort Lauderdale can tap a smartphone app or lobby kiosk to send virtual post cards.

4. Playrooms: Gone are the days of boring, windowless boardrooms. Today's hotel meeting spaces are decked out for the kid in all of us. The Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta coordinates competitive games " from field goal contests to agility tests. Pullman Hotels and Resorts created a "Business Playground by Pullman," that includes creative solutions like a conference table reinterpreted as a poker table.

5. In-Room Workouts: I've been preaching about this for a while, and it looks like even more hotels are getting in on the in-room exercise bandwagon. HIPR clients 45 Park Lane in London and Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe are creating their own in-room guest workout experiences, which range from personal trainers to yoga classes.

What unique amenity will your hotel roll out in 2015?

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.

Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.

Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com

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