2019 Travel Predictions Through the Eyes of Influencers

January 18, 2019

The travel industry is evolving at breakneck speed. Those that influence the choices we make about travel change constantly, and so does the way we book a trip or even interact with our favorite travel brands on- and offline.

We also live in a time where technology has connected the world like never before, bringing far-off destinations, once thought to be unattainable, right into the palm of our hands. Our social feeds inspire us daily and allow us to see and even “experience” destinations and cultures near and far while desk-bound on a conference call or at home watching TV. And not only do most of us make travel choices based on what our favorite influencers post, or the amazing photo one of our friends just shared, but there’s an entire generation deciding where to travel simply because “that shot” is bound to make for some enviable content on personal social feeds.

While the philosophies that dictate what makes for compelling travel content is rapidly changing, travel brands and organizations, along with the communicators developing campaigns on their behalf, are working hard to keep track of it all. One thing that hasn’t changed is how transformative travel is. Travel not only shapes who we are through the experiences we have—the sights, sounds and scenery—but our travel dollars have a tremendous impact beyond the bottom line of the hotel we rest at and restaurant we dine in. You’re supporting its employees, as well as all of the other businesses that support that operation—vendors, suppliers, and their employees and families, as well. Your travel experiences create a ripple effect within local communities. And that is transformative. This, beyond all else, is the biggest reason why I love what I do.

As we prepare to close out a decade of rapid change in travel, and with The New York Times Travel Show upon us, where over 170 destinations and 30,000 consumers will descend upon New York City next weekend to dictate what’s next in travel, the Ketchum Travel & Economic Development team tapped some of the industry’s most well-known and knowledgeable travel influencers to develop our latest special report: Ask an Influencer: 2019 Travel Predictions.

2019 influencer travel trends

We know you’ve seen a lot of trend reports but, trust us, we’ve given ours a completely new twist. Our conversations took us on an adventurous path where the increasing legitimacy of travel influencers, technological advancements and the evolving media landscape intersect to shape a completely unique POV on the travel tools and experiences poised to play a key role in the year ahead.

What are some unique inflight experiences your brand can create with inflight Wi-Fi becoming the norm? How is your brand reaching your most loyal ambassadors now that loyalty programs are commonplace? How can biometrics technology enhance the experience you create with your customers? LGBT travelers travel habits are also evolving. Did you know this year’s LGBTQ pavilion at The New York Times Travel Show will be double the size of last year’s debut? These are just a few of the travel trends that some of the most notable opinion shapers in the industry feel will transform travel in 2019. We hope you’re inspired by them.

Interested in harnessing these trends to help your band cut through the noise? Want to learn more about the right way to engage with influencers in the travel space? Our specialized boutique within Ketchum’s global network can help you navigate this. We’re different because we deliver the best of both worlds—the grit of a travel boutique with the resources and power of Ketchum at your fingertips.

I can’t wait to hear from you.

Sara is the Managing Director of Ketchum’s Travel & Economic Development sector. She is a seasoned public relations/marketing communications professional with a MBA (in both Marketing and Finance) and 15+ years of experience leading fully integrated marketing communications campaigns across a diverse number of industries. Sara was named to PRWeek’s 2014 40 Under 40 list.