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Travel Trends for 2017

A look at things to come in the ever-evolving world of travel.

Published on Jan 19, 2017

J. Walter Thompson Intelligence
has released its Future 100 report, predicting what's to come. Plucked from those findings are six travel trends that could impact your trips in 2017.

There's rustic and then there's the Memu Earth Hotel, which is open in Hokkaido. At this open-air resort you're fully exposed to Mother Nature, so you can soak in the Japanese countryside and sleep under a canopy of stars. The Null Stern Hotel in Switzerland also opened a wall-less, roof-less bed in the Alps in summer 2016.

Null Stern Hotel
A wall-less, roof-less bed of the Null Stern Hotel. Courtesy of Null Stern Hotel.


Three destinations on the precipice of a tourism boom in 2017.

Vistors to Oman shot up almost 18 percent in 2015 and the destination has so much to offer we included it in our "Where to Go in 2017" special.

As economic sanctions are being lifted, hotel chains are rising up. Accor  has an Ibis and a Novotel in Tehran, and in 2017, Melia plans to open Gran Melia Ghoo Hotel in Salman Shahr, on the Caspian Sea.

The wine-making province of Kakheti is luring oenophiles to the foothills of the Caucacus Mountains while the Sheraton and InterContinental both have properties slated to open in the historic capital of Tbilisi.

Gran Melia Ghoo Hotel in Salman Shahr. Courtesy of Melia.


The line between retail and hospitality is blurring, as hotels become shoppable, like the Banyan Tree, which sells its toiletries and accessories at Banyan Tree Essentials, or Micro-Luxe, which bills itself as a hotel, design showroom and store and has three locations in Melbourne that can be booked via Airbnb; in each you can purchase all that surrounds you, from the bed linen to the furniture and artwork. While hotels are developing their own retail lines, retail lines are rolling out hotels. In the United States, Restoration Hardware and West Elm both have hotels in the works.

A hotel, design showroom and store. Courtesy of Micro-Luxe.


Asian destinations are rolling out the red carpet for a new wave of Muslim travelers. In 2015, the Tourism Authority of Thailand launched an app to help Muslim travelers find their favorite dishes, and in 2016 Al Meroz, Thailand's first halal hotel opened in Bangkok. In Taipei prayer rooms have been added to the train station and seven new halal restaurants opened in the city in 2016. In Japan, the halal Syriah Hotel Fujisan hotel opened in July 2016, welcoming Muslims to Mount Fuji.

Al Meroz
Al Meroz, Bangkok's first halal hotel. Courtesy of Al Meroz.


Travel platforms are showing heart with ethically and socially responsible initiatives, from Airbnb's Disaster Response Tool, which helps people seek free emergency shelter during natural catastrophes such as the recent earthquake in New Zealand; to TripAdvisor's new policy against selling tickets to most wildlife attractions, aimed at improving the health and safety standards of animals.


As people gain a better understanding of their origins through DNA testing services such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA, we can expect a boost in travelers going in search of their roots.

Courtesy of 23andMe.



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Courtesy of Melia.
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