Some travel agencies specialize in the luxury travel space. Others focus on serving cruisers. Then again, many travel professionals offer a little bit of everything, suiting the fancy of whatever travel ideas customers bring to their attention. There’s no one right way to provide travel services, as long as travelers get to-and-from their destinations with a smile on their face and plenty of photos to share!
Even so, here’s a look at some of the niche travel markets being explored by travel agents today, whether they’re narrowing down or expanding their destination offerings.
Whether you call it an “active experience” or “getting off the beaten path”, adventure travel pushes people outside of their comfort zones and it’s a big deal in travel circles. Almost all (95%) of the travel specialists participating in a 2016 Virtuoso survey say they have seen active, adventure and specialty travel sales rise within the past 12 months—and they expect demand to keep increasing. The survey also reveals that couples are the most common type of adventure traveler and the largest number (41%) of adventure travelers are between 50 and 65.
See Tipping the Bucket List: Insights on Experiential Travel and 3 Ways to Delight Boomer Travelers in 2017 for more on related trends.
Yet helping adventure travelers plan their trips doesn’t need to pose any sort of hazard, however exhilarating, to a travel professional. In fact, they have more opportunities than ever to satisfy their whims, whether they’re joining a tour group or building a trip around a safari, mountain biking, or backpacking or participating in diversions like zip-lining, paragliding, or sand boarding. Even voluntourism and eco-travel can fit the adventurer’s appetite to try new things and explore new ground. Uncover more in Making a Difference on a Volunteer Vacation.
The concept of grandparents and grandkids taking a vacation together—sans the parents—is nothing new. But it’s picking up speed along with the energy of today’s Baby Boomer grandparents. Entrepreneur cites a TIA study finding that 21% of all trips taken with children were of the grandtravel variety. MMGY Global research reveals 54% of traveling grandparents are interested in taking a cruise during the next two years, suggesting kids might be included in the trip. And according to Preferred Hotel Group, 35% of grandparents are more willing than parents (25%) to pay for multigenerational trips.
So it’s not a bad idea to cater to the traveling grandparent. If the kids are coming along, don’t miss How Travel Companies Are Gearing Up to Accommodate Generation Z. Find more insights in It’s a Family Affair: Multigenerational Travel.
Speaking of families, furry friends are definitely members of the modern family. So let’s take paws—er, pause—as travel agencies in this market are doing their best to stay on top of the many hotels, airports, airlines, beaches, and other destinations that cater to four-legged family members. In fact, BringFido.com and TripswithPets.com are helping pet parents book travel and plan the perfect trip.
A Trip Advisor study found that 53% of respondents with pets travel with their collared companions. That’s great news for travel suppliers who are willing to capitalize off of the trend, which is likely to keep growing, if the trend continues. According to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 65% of US households own a pet, up from 56% in 1988.
For more on niche markets in the travel industry, explore:
And you might also enjoy 3 Opportunities for Today’s Traditional Travel Agency and What Will Drive Consumers to Traditional Travel Agents in 2017?