Even though the vast majority of the United States is still stuck in quarantine, that won’t stop us from thinking up our dream vacations. After all, vacationing, traveling, and sight-seeing are some of the best forms of self-care today. Not only does taking a vacation lower our stress levels but it can also inspire us to be more productive at work as a result. Truly, going on vacation and taking time off of work is vital to our health, both mentally and physically.
Since most of us cannot travel at this time, planning your future getaway is the next-best thing you can do. The tourism industry is growing by the day and many top destinations are eagerly awaiting your future arrival.
The tourism industry has bee on the rise for the last few years, growing by 6% in 2018 alone. But the recent threat of coronavirus has put many travel plans on hold for the foreseeable future. While you shouldn’t book a plane ticket yet, choosing an ideal destination, planning your itinerary, and starting to save some money will help make your next vacation an event to remember.
As you start planning your next vacation, adopting and looking out for new trends is vital! Here are some of the top trends in tourist towns that you should consider:
A bigger focus on innovation in coffee shops
Coffee shops have always been a staple, whether you’re traveling to a small town or large city. Coffee shops have this undeniable sense of culture by mimicking the attitude and ideals of the destination city. Thanks to the art, local food fare, and architecture present at a local coffee shop, you can’t truly understand a city until you sit at the granite countertops of its favorite cafe.
Cafes have also been incorporating more creative components to their menu. Nowadays, many coffee shops are serving alcoholic beverages, like wine, along with their regular menu. This is ideal for folks trying to avoid the bar scene on their travels, but still want to enjoy a nice evening out. Since they have started serving more wine and alcohol options (often creating interesting coffee cocktails as a result), more coffee shops have begun stretching their hours well into the evening. While it’s still rare to find a cafe that’s open until four in the morning, you can still enjoy a delicious drink with your traveling partner until a modest midnight hour.
As the spring days turn to summer, a rising number of cafes are taking advantage of their ideal climate and offering ample outdoor seating, too. Paired with musical events, talent shows, and comedy nights, you can find a wealth of culture just by visiting a town’s local coffee spot. Even though coffee shops will never go out of style, the most recent innovations in coffee shop development have made this one of the must-have trends in tourist towns.
An emphasis on local living
One of the many reasons that people travel is to get a wider view of how other people live. Delving into the cultural norms of another city, state, or country can offer a new perspective on the way that we live back home. As a tourist, diving into another culture feet-first is a great way to shake up the hum-drum monotony of our daily lives and sample a new way of living.
As such, staying with locals in residential real estate has been on the rise. Airbnb has been leading the helm for a while, but VRBO and local hotels are starting to catch on while hostels have been cornering the “local vibe” of this market for years. The fact of the matter is that travelers and tourists want to live in comfort but also feel like they are being integrated into the community. That’s why residential properties have been on the rise for a while now.
It also helps that residential housing options offer more in terms of variety. Most hotels have cardboard cut-outs for each room, giving you the same experience as everyone else. When it comes to choosing the perfect home or apartment for your stay, it’s a lot more fun to have a range of options at your finger tips. With housing sites, you can choose between an apartment, a full home, or even stay in a guest house on someone’s property with a separate entrance and ample storage for bikes and other activities that you brought for your trip. You can also choose between staying in a city center or lodging in a suburb to experience a quieter nightlife. The options are a monumental component in placing it among the top trends in tourist towns.
These options also vary greatly in terms of price. Simple apartments can be as little as $40 per night in some locations which make them perfect for the traveler on a budget. However, luxury options are also on the rise. Whole mansions can be rented out for thousands of dollars each night, complete with hot tubs, free internet, and air conditioning that rivals the best data center cooling. If you’re more interested in staying at your rental and relaxing, a luxury option might be the perfect choice for you.
Regardless, staying in the home of an actual local can make it feel like a more authentic experience for the seasoned traveler. These homeowners will often include guides to local attractions, coupons for local restaurants, and even paper maps if you’d rather travel without the ever-present weight of your phone in your pocket.
Affordable luxury with a focus on local culture has truly become the name of the game. It’s no wonder that these trends in tourist towns are on the rise.
Marketing paves the way
Marketing has also become an ever-growing component in trends for tourist towns. Hotels market its countless amenities and new services, like fancy kitchen renovations and new workout centers. But many small towns don’t have large economies and rely almost solely on tourists to bring in the necessary funds each year. Thanks to marketing ads through internet cookies and search engines, personalized travel has become a top factor in bookings.
It’s more than a little invasive, but this form of marketing can be great for those who need help picking the perfect destination. Based on your search history, these marketing algorithms can recommend great restaurants, fun destinations, and local attractions that you might not have found otherwise. This is becoming even bigger thanks to geofencing marketing tactics that showcase businesses in your immediate vicinity.
Nowadays, these personalized marketing tactics have infiltrated every aspect of the tourism experience, from where you’re staying to local restaurants. If you don’t have a strong itinerary, it can help to know that your search engine can help you fill in some of the blanks on your schedule.
Marijuana and CBD
People used to go on vacations to gain access to experiences that they can’t get back home. For example, the best custom hair systems, might only be found in the California area. But now that recreational marijuana use is getting legalized in a number of states and countries, this has become one of the top trends in tourist towns.
Many of these locations even offer take-out and delivery options for locals that haven’t been able to leave the home because of social distancing measures. This has become a huge draw for people who enjoy weed already or simply want to try marijuana for the first time in their adult lives.
Even more importantly, however, it’s become one of the top local trends in tourist towns as local restaurants and attractions start to get more creative with their services. A growing number of cafes, restaurants, and bars have started integrating marijuana and CBD in a variety of ways. Some are offering marijuana-friendly dishes, smoking areas, and experiential dishes. Additionally, some of these locations are serving beverages infused with CBD oil meant to inspire pleasant relaxation instead of the “high” feeling that most people get from THC (which is not present in CDB). Catering to those who enjoy marijuana and those who don’t have made these locations popular for most tourists since they’re filling more than one niche at a time.
Marketing efforts have also been impacted by recreational marijuana. Not only have local businesses started changing their services, but it’s also opened a new channel for digital marketing, as well. Along with becoming one of the top trends for tourist towns, it’s also led to a lot of capital growth in tourist areas.
Another one of the rising trends for tourist towns is an emphasis on responsible travel. Tourists want to know that they’re not contributing to harming the earth and planet when they travel. As such, many consumers are ditching planes and cars, and are instead relying on more eco-friendly forms of travel like trains and buses.
As such, visiting a town with a thriving public transportation system will become a bigger trend in the future. The thought of traveling by car the entire time has become less popular than easy-to-navigate towns with plenty of walkways, trolleys, and subways. Tourists want to enjoy their trip but know that they aren’t harming the environment in the process. This has caused many smaller towns outside bustling city centers to turn their marketing tactics inward, focusing on consumers within their state as opposed to across the country.
Tourists are also willing to spend more on environmentally-friendly products and businesses. If your Airbnb rental features solar power, this might be the deciding factor in a tourist choosing your place over another option.
Convenience in booking, check-in, and more
As technology evolves, it’s only natural that we would expect outdated processes to evolve with it. As such, it makes sense that tourists want convenience when it comes to booking their rooms, checking in and out of their hotels, and making reservations at local attractions.
Nowadays, just about everything can be done from our smartphones, from ordering room service to booking a plumber. Whether tourists are working directly with an Airbnb host or booking their vacation through a travel agent, they want things to be done in a quick and efficient manner. If tourist destinations lack the ability to book and pay for things through your phone, they might be missing out on crucial revenue from tourism. This has become one of the rising trends in tourist towns, but smaller towns may struggle to implement changes like this due to lack of capital. If you want to go on vacation to a seaside getaway, keep in mind that you may have to make some sacrifices in technology to get the dream vacation you desire.
Top trends in tourist towns
Trends come and go, but tourist towns need to stay on top of the ball if they want to inspire vacationers to choose their location for their next getaway. As a tourist, it’s important to be aware of these trends before you book. While they shouldn’t make or break your trip, these components can certainly help you plan accordingly when quarantine is finally done.
Rely on these trends for tourist towns as you plan your ideal vacation.