Innovation in the tourism industry
Travel industry analysts Euromonitor International have unveiled the Global Trends Report for 2011. The report forecasts holiday trends, including innovations and shifting desires; it could therefore be very useful to hoteliers and industries relying on tourism across the world.
Africa is predicted to take its first steps into space tourism, with South Africa leading the way. Some hotels already provide astronomy courses and in-room telescopes, while a project to build a space port is on the horizon. Asia is about to see a boom in 'scent tourism', like aromatherapy on a grand scale. Scents are delivered via air conditioning to encourage feelings such as energy (with peppermint or lemon) or relaxation (with jasmine or vanilla).
Perhaps the most surprising revelation of the report is that Iraq looks set to become a holiday hotspot in 2011. Business investment and religious tourism account for a steady rise in popularity of hotels and restaurants in the north of the country and on the coast.
No luxury for the Americas
North America will soon be replacing luxury with frugality, according to Euromonitor. The trend for extreme fitness, detox and deprivation among affluent Americans and Canadians will spill over into stress-busting yoga retreats and hiking holidays. It's a similar story for Latin America, with non-coastal and unspoilt destinations drawing tourism. Luxury hotel supplies important for UK Europe will turn to mobile technology and m-commerce, as 92 per cent of the continent's population will have a smartphone by 2014. Confirming last minute reservations and downloading travel guide apps will soon become normal. As for the UK, Euromonitor cites the acquisition of Harrods by the Qatari royal family as symbolic of the Middle East's growing infatuation with upmarket London. Apparently, the capital will be a "hotspot for luxury travel services with an increased focus on personalisation and sophistication". Boutique hotels are therefore set to do very well in 2010.