Travel Trends & News for 2017

Now that everyone has weighed in on their Travel Trends for 2017, I'd like to offer a recap of what Frommers, New York Times and NPR have said, grouped by category. But I'd like to mention that some of this is just factual information, or news, about things to come, not necessarily trends in my eyes?? You can be the judge!

Airlines & Airports

American Airlines:
Will be offering more segmented cabins in-flight, including basic, premium economy, first and business class. First class fliers can enjoy the 'flagship dining' experience in American Airlines lounges at JFK in New York (with plans to expand to DFW, MIA and LAX). AA will also be tying their loyalty program to the dollar amount spent; at the airport, Elite flyers will be put on an upgrade stand-by list, which would normally be queued by arrival and status, but will now include $$ spent, so be prepared for frustration at gate.

Delta Air Lines:
Is set to introduce Delta Premium Select seating with enhanced amenities, more seat room and priority check-in/boarding

United Airlines:
Is introducing their United Polaris business class seats which convert into beds while offering aisle access. There's also a new Polaris lounge at ORD in Chicago. For economy passengers, United Airlines is now charging fliers a fee to place items in the overhead compartment. Wowza.

The take on basic economy priced airfares is that for a lower rate of about $25, you'll be even more restricted with your ticket should you need to make changes etc., as it's basically a non-refundable, non-changeable airfare. You're probably better off paying the regular economy price so as to have some flexibility at least.


The Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program with 2 tiers will become the World of Hyatt with 3 award levels.

Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, + Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts:
Have joined together to offer a new hotel loyalty program, Warner Welcomes. Between the two, they offer more than 200 hotels in 27 countries.

Marriott International:
With the recent purchase of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016, Marriott is now the world's largest hotel company. They're set to open 30 luxe hotel properties in 2017 including their popular Ritz-Carlton and W Hotel brands.

Airbnb has increased in popularity so much so that 40% of Airbnb hosts now do this for a living over traditional jobs. 

RoomMate Hotels & AllTheRooms:
Here's an interesting new concept when it comes to hotel stays: Room Mate is a hotel company that offers rooms in apartments close to its' hotels, through a program they're calling Be Mate. And you still get to take advantage of all the hotel amenities. AllTheRooms offers the same concept.

University Stays:
A great way to save on travel is to stay in budget student accommodations at a university during the off school season. The University of British Columbia (Okanagan) Campus is perfect example of this popular hotel option.

Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Resort:
Pandora, the World of Avatar, is set to open in 2017 and will feature an Avatar Flight of Passage ride.

Seaworld Orlando:
The Kraken rollercoaster will receive a VR update to become the only VR coaster experience in Florida.

Universal Orlando Resort:
Volcano Bay, a new water park, is set to open this year; it will feature an aqua coaster and a body plunge where guests (?? fear lovers??) will fall through a 70-degree drop door.

Legoland Florida Resort:
Lego Ninjago land opened in January. 

Best Places to Travel in 2017

Especially if you're Canadian, as the dollar is gaining compared to the Peso.

Travel to the City of Lights was down by 30% in 2016. Check out these Top Things to do in Paris!

During the 150th anniversary in 2017, admission to all of Canada's National Parks is FREE. Find out how to apply for your Parks Canada FREE 2017 Discovery Pass!

Prices for flights to Asia have decreased by as much as 20% in 2016, as competition is up and passenger numbers are down.

Middle East:
If you're planning to travel to the Middle East, now is the time to do so, before President Trump puts any Muslim-related travel restrictions in place, which will no doubt be reciprocated by all Middle Eastern countries affected.

USA & Canada:
Camping for families has gained in popularity by 50% over 5 years ago. Could be due to family budgets or wanting to dis-connect and re-connect on a more personal basis. More diverse camping opportunities are available with the onset of websites like Latino Outdoors and Outdoor Afro.

Go now! President Trump could reinstate Cuba's embargo making this beautiful country non-accessible once again in the near future. The influx of American tourists has unfortunately resulted in a 30-40% increase of hotel prices.


Many cruise lines are looking at minimizing days at sea with longer port stays, some of which may include overnight stays. Cruise lines are also expanding into new destinations such as Iceland and the Faroe Islands, as well as all-Asian itineraries.

Carnival Cruise Line:
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month, Carnival Cruise Line introduced their new Ocean Medallion guest tracking system - technically known as a vacation management system. The waterproof disks have been designed to be worn as jewelry-style bracelets or put into your pocket, which will allow guests to tap and pay, or to open their staterooms by simply being near the door. It will also allow guests to buy alcoholic beverages or items from the ships' stores, or can be used in the casino. Wowza, talk about convenience! 

And to spark your next travel idea, check out the 23rd World Travel Award Winners, showcasing the best of the best.


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