In the past three years, travel has drastically changed. By all indications, it's not returning to its former self. No longer shackled to an office and inspired to explore ambitiously, people didn't know how much they yearned for travel until they couldn't.
According to AdTheorent's research, consumer interest in travel may be at an all-time high. Additionally, 62% of those surveyed by American Express Travel reported 2-4 trips planned for 2022, with 83% of travelers planning to splurge on travel expenses.
“Looking ahead, travelers are making decisions with purpose in mind, from understanding where their money is going to finding time to connect with loved ones. We're excited to see what the future brings,” said Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel
One brand that seems to have its finger on the pulse of consumers' unmet travel needs and where travel is going is Origin.
“We created Origin because modern travel has become extremely complicated, and we believe that transformational travel allows people to live out their dreams,” said Eli Bessert, Origin CEO. “The barrier of travel planning, the time it consumes, and insider knowledge on destinations are holding people back from maximizing their travel experiences. Origin removes all those obstacles and makes the end-to-experience a breeze.”
This one-year-old start-up, born during a unique time in the travel industry, illustrates four things about the future of travel that have already arrived.
1. Despite Economic Uncertainty, Luxury Travel is Booming
According to a GlobalData poll, 16% of luxury travelers reported that their budgets were much higher than pre-COVID-19. “With travelers determined to make up for lost time, 2022 could see an increase in holiday budgets for luxury travelers, with an uptick in demand for ‘once in a lifetime' adventures,” said Hannah Free, Travel and Tourism Analyst, GlobalData.
“While COVID-19 has changed many aspects of luxury travel, several defining features still set the sector apart from mass market tourism. This includes hyper-personalization, exclusivity, unique experiences, intuitive service, and the ever important ‘human touch' element,” Free continued. Experience is the focus for this type of traveler, who seeks greener travel, eco holidays, and wants to do good for people and the planet.
GlobalData believes if luxury travel brands ignore this trend, it could put them at tremendous risk of total disconnect with a high-spending audience looking for sustainable options. You have to hit each note just right for businesses looking to get a slice of the booming luxury travel market.
Origin sits at the crossroads of exclusivity, a high level of personalization, and doing good. The company carbon-offsets all members' trips quarterly and prioritizes accommodations and destinations that share Origin's values.
“We want to be part of a seismic change in the travel industry and promote travel as a force of good. Our goal is to create trips that don't take away from our environment, but that actively give back to the destinations, local communities, and our planet,” Origin says on their blog.
And their paradigm is working. Co-Founded by Eli Bessert, a data-science veteran and former Head of Data Labs at Stitch Fix, Origin is bringing the Stitch Fix model of uber-personalization at scale to travel. Even with a $3,000 annual membership fee, they have more demand than they can handle. Current members are booking $12,000 per person week-long trips that are so well received immediately upon their return that 80 to 90% reach out and start planning 3 to 4 trips for the upcoming year.
2. Bucket List Trips Are Back And They Are Bigger
Travelers are eager to experience dream destinations and once-in-a-lifetime adventures. In a recent survey, Skyscanner found that more than 1 in 3 global travelers are dreaming of bucket list trips. “2022 will be the year we see travelers getting the very most out of cherished, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences,” said Nami Hahn, Travel Trends Forecaster at Skyscanner.
Whether a traveler's dream is to book an African safari, visit Greenland and the Faroe Islands, explore the Grand Canyon, tour Scandinavia, or experience the opulence of Dubai, Origin takes care of all the details. Utilizing cutting-edge technology and human expertise, they remove the obstacles for planning non-cookie cutter, bucket-list trips.
People don't have to search for the best travel agency in their dream destinations. Origin has already found elite travel experts from around the globe and made them available inside their app. Superpowered by human-in-the-loop machine learning, they build trips that exceed luxury travelers' sky-high expectations.
“Origin organized a dream trip to Portugal for my family and arranged experiences that exceeded all expectations, said Casandra Karpiak of Karpiak Caravan. “I was so burnt out from the pandemic but wanted to travel internationally again, and having Origin take care of every single detail of the trip was incredible. The chat function was my favorite feature of the app, allowing me to chat directly with my travel curator. I literally cannot wait for Origin to plan my next trip.”
3. Digital Will Continue to Dominate
According to AdTheorent, digital devices dominate the travel journey, echoing their significant role in people's lives. Specifically, 82% of those surveyed use devices to research vacations, and 3 out of 4 travelers report using a device to book their trips, from lodging to activities and everything in between.
Origin is taking it one step further. For the past 30 years, technology has helped make travel “more searchable,” but until Origin, your device couldn't produce a fully personalized, customized trip. Origin subscribing members can manage everything related to their trip on one app, even getting help from real people via a chat feature.
4. Remote Work Policies Are Changing Life, Travel Included
“Suddenly you can live anywhere, you can work anywhere,” said Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb at Skift Global Forum on Travel. He believes that new remote work policies on a global scale are driving the most significant change to travel in 100 years. Moreover, research is illustrating that this COVID reaction is here to stay.
Accordion to management consulting firm McKinsey, there are new working norms worldwide signaling that flexible work is not temporary but an “enduring feature of the modern working world.” Fifty-five million American workers can work remotely full-time, and an additional 23 million can work remotely part-time or on occasion. This tectonic shift in where Americans work produced massive changes in travel and vacation needs and plans.
When designing a trip for its members, Origin sees many travelers who are blurring the lines of work and travel. By making sure they are in the same time zone as their company's headquarters, prioritizing places with the best internet connectivity, and ensuring their destination has activities for their family and accommodations with separate office space, they'll make it easy to explore and work remotely in your destination.
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Featured Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.
Monica Fish helps her fellow adventurers live a financially savvy life so they can travel and explore our beautiful world no matter their budget. She writes about smart timeshare ownership, vacation tips and tricks, NYC Metro Area trips and activities, and frugal, yet rich, living at PlannerAtHeart.com.