Cloudbeds says travel landscape set for transformation this year

Cloudbeds says travel landscape set for transformation this year

Trends uncovered include experiential travel and rising demand for AI skills

Hospitality management platform Cloudbeds has spotlighted key developments poised to reshape the travel industry this year.

The findings, featured in Cloudbeds’ 2024 State of Independent Lodging Report, include new spins on experiential travel, the rising popularity of inflation-busting travel hacks, and a growing demand for new skills among next-generation hoteliers.

Cloudbeds identified a number of emerging trends set to the shape the industry landscape this year.

One being that travellers are finding creative ways to upgrade their travel experiences amid high inflation, by leveraging money-saving hacks, swapping popular destinations for more affordable ‘dupes’ according to Expedia, and relying on Buy Now, Pay Later options as Atmosphere Research found. Despite the rising cost of living, Skyscanner found 81% of travellers planned to travel the same or more in 2024 compared to 2023.

After years of post-pandemic binge-buying, consumers are moving on from collecting stuff to collecting experiences. 

Almost 70% of travellers say they are more likely than ever to travel to a concert outside their hometown as found by Expedia, while Skyscanner found 47% of US travellers have booked a destination purely to visit a specific restaurant. 

Meanwhile, found more than half of travelers are keen to book a surprise trip where everything down to the destination is unknown until arrival.

As technology transforms the hospitality industry, next-gen hoteliers must adapt by acquiring a blend of technical, analytical, and strategic skills to effectively leverage new tools and maintain a balance between automation and human interaction.

The World Economic Forum suggests an estimated 42% of business tasks will be automated by 2027. 

In the hospitality sector, Skift found that 91% of hotels globally use a PMS, 64% have a booking engine, and 33% have a channel manager.

The new trends complement last year’s five key developments, which are set to continue this year: value-driven decision-making, the shift to virtual front desks, blended travel meeting hybrid hospitality, new technologies to disrupt travel search and inspiration, and a shift from focusing on amenities to guest experiences.

Adam Harris, co-founder and CEO of Cloudbeds, said: “The economy seems poised to dodge a recession again this year, but that doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing for hotels. 

"Travel patterns are changing, travelers are more price-sensitive, and demand may soften. Under any market conditions, it’s the hoteliers who monitor the trends and data closely, act quickly to seize opportunities, and offer a distinctive guest experience that will outperform the market.”