By Fiona Kerr, Condé Nast Traveller Features Editor
The travel landscape is changing so fast it’s almost impossible to predict, and it’s being reshaped by young, dynamic players. These are the latest travel trends ushered in by millennial travellers – aka ‘tripsters’
When Condé Nast Traveller started out, the last of the millennials were yet to be born. Over the past 20 years, these experience-hungry, social-media-driven players have been the biggest force in shaping the way we travel, from forging the sharing economy to reinventing hostels with high-design values and carving out a location-independent work-life.
In spite of the success of Airbnb, reports of the death of the hotel are greatly exaggerated. In fact, industry giants have launched nimble new brands featuring all the Generation-Y essentials: acres of tiles and Edison bulbs in the bedrooms, cold-press-juice bars in the lobby and fast, free Wi-Fi everywhere.
For example, Marriott is partnering with IKEA to create the cocktails-at-check-in Moxy chain; Hilton chose the very cool destination of Reykjavik for its first Canopy last year; Shangri-La has its eye on Asian millennials with Hotel Jen; and AccorHotels rebrands guests ‘tripsters’ for hostel/hotel hybrid Jo&Joe, which opened in the French surf town of Hossegor in May. Even old-school mainstreamer Thomas Cook has teamed up with Berlin-based design firm Lambs & Lions to launch Casa Cook, a beach-club-like line of hotels, the second of which opened this summer on the Greek island of Kos, above.
Now, with the advent of Air France’s Joon, airlines are getting in on the act. There are normcore-inspired cabin-crew uniforms (trainers, chinos and polo shirts) and buzzword-heavy promises (‘authentic’, ‘connected’, ‘dynamic’). Where will the millennials take us next? Future-forecasters think the travel landscape is changing so fast that next year’s major initiatives will come from names no one has even heard of yet.
The Moxy chain has hotels in the USA, Milan, Oslo, Amsterdam, Japan, Indonesia and more (moxy-hotels.marriott.com). Canopy by Hilton also has locations in Washington DC, Portland and Dallas (canopy3.hilton.com). Hotel Jen has branches in Brisbane, Bejing, Singapore and more (hoteljen.com). Jo&Joe is in Hossegor, France, with more hotels due to open soon (joandjoe.com). Casa Cook has hotels in Rhodes and Kos and will open in Crete in 2018 (casacook.com).
Featured Image: Denys Nevozhai, Unsplash