Gadget-free and shopping sprees rule travel trends

LONDON Mon Nov 5, 2012 11:02pm IST

People cycle through the snow-covered landscape near the Swiss village of Hirzel south of Zurich October 31, 2012. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

People cycle through the snow-covered landscape near the Swiss village of Hirzel south of Zurich October 31, 2012. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - Luxury shopping trips for the nouveaux riches, gadget-free accommodation and booking holidays on smart TVs are some of the future travel trends predicted in a new report released on Monday.

The "Global Trends Report" by market research firm Euromonitor International predicted a continued rise in holiday packages which cater to tourists on shopping trips, a recovery in Middle East visits following the Arab Spring and Americans interested in destinations that have previously been off-limits.

Shoppers from Brazil, Russia, India and China, the so-called BRIC countries with rapidly growing economies, were expected to flock to European cities to splurge on luxury goods.

Euromonitor based this trend on fast-growing affluent middle classes among the BRICs, as well as the high import taxes on luxury goods back home.

"We know that Chinese tourists are more and more travelling in groups across Europe and shopping is one of their main activities," Euromonitor travel analyst Paz Casal said at the World Travel Market in London on Monday.

"This will only become more pronounced in the next five years."

Chinese visitors to Europe alone reserve a third of their holiday budget for shopping, the European Travel Commission estimates and 95 percent of Chinese visitors of Louis Vuitton shops in Paris are on organised tours, according to Euromonitor.

Hotels in the Middle East are locating within or beside shopping malls to take advantage of the trend and nine major malls are due for completion across the region between 2012 and 2014. One of these, Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, will be home to seven hotels.

After experiencing a 10 percent fall in tourism last year during the fallout from the Arab Spring, 2012 is promising to end with positive growth for the Middle East. This is forecast to continue into 2013 and beyond.

Indian travellers are helping a tourism boom in the Gulf by heading in large numbers to the region's souks to purchase precious metals for wedding gifts and investment.

Although the report maintains that any growth in tourism arrivals will come from the relatively new outbound markets of Asia Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe, U.S. travellers are showing a particular interest in flocking to countries that have previously been off limits such as North Korea, Libya, Cuba and Myanmar thanks to the easing of travel restrictions.

American tourism to Myanmar is expected to rise by 71 percent by 2016, says Euromonitor.

Smart TVs are also highlighted in the report as vital new platforms for travel marketers seeking to use the device to directly connect consumers to the market by enabling them to make immediate bookings through the TV or via travel apps and Internet links.

"The next big thing is to have a presence on these machines," Euromonitor's travel and tourism research head Caroline Bremner told Reuters. "With 50 percent penetration by 2014, it's going to be fast adoption."

On the flipside, customers will also want to be prised away from their technological gizmos on "digital detox" holidays in gadget-free hotels or those which offer incentives to put down the "crackberry" for a while.

Relaxing holiday options like spa, cruise and rail sojourns were also expected to perform particularly well through 2016.

(Reporting By Peter Myers, editing by Paul Casciato)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Cinema

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Horror Role

Horror Role

From 'Bates Motel' to 'Ouija,' Olivia Cooke finds breakout in horror.  Full Article 

Tokyo Film Festival

Tokyo Film Festival

'Big Hero 6' to the rescue at new-look Tokyo film festival.  Full Article 

Book Talk

Book Talk

Richard Branson on leadership, telling stories.  Full Article 

A Minute With

A Minute With

Shailene Woodley on teen sex, violence and Marvel.  Full Article 

Bad Decision

Bad Decision

UK lawmakers slam police over Cliff Richard house search.  Full Article 

Court Case

Court Case

'Jersey Shore' star pleads not guilty to tax fraud, trial set.  Full Article 

Broadway Debut

Broadway Debut

Keira Knightley to appear on Broadway in 2015 in 'Therese Raquin'.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage