Marketing/public relations agency Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell is predicting “another year for the record books” in its Ten Trends to Watch in 2007. YPB&R forecasts that leisure will outpace business when it comes to travel services as businesses continue to try to replace travel with technology, and that the costs for both air and hotels will continue to climb. Look for higher lodging rates specifically in destinations with a lot of curb appeal, such as New York, according to YPB&R.
People will continue to use the Internet for travel planning and booking, though the firm isn’t predicting much growth in Internet usage for travel booking. Among the sites YPB&R predicts will grow in popularity are “nascent meta search engines” including kayak.com and qixo.com, which should lead to more comparison shopping among travel buyers. Millennials, and those who like to think of themselves as young, will drive the popularity of “lifestyle” hotel brands such as Nylo and aloft, and all generations will continue to enjoy hotel spas, the firm predicts. The older folks among us will continue to drive growth for the cruise industry, which is “becoming an even more formidable competitor of destination (land-based) hotels and resorts,” according to the YPB&R report. Also, inclusive pricing won’t just be the purview of resorts, YPB&R believes, but will begin to appear more commonly in commercial hotels as well.