Gadget-free and shopping sprees rule travel trends
By Peter Myers
LONDON (Reuters) - Luxury shopping trips for the nouveaux riches, gadget-free accommodation and booking holidays on smart TVs are some of the future travel trends predicted in a new report released on Monday.
The "Global Trends Report" by market research firm Euromonitor International predicted a continued rise in holiday packages which cater to tourists on shopping trips, a recovery in Middle East visits following the Arab Spring and Americans interested in destinations that have previously been off-limits.
Shoppers from Brazil, Russia, India and China, the so-called BRIC countries with rapidly growing economies, were expected to flock to European cities to splurge on luxury goods.
Euromonitor based this trend on fast-growing affluent middle classes among the BRICs, as well as the high import taxes on luxury goods back home.
"We know that Chinese tourists are more and more travelling in groups across Europe and shopping is one of their main activities," Euromonitor travel analyst Paz Casal said at the World Travel Market in London on Monday.
"This will only become more pronounced in the next five years."
Chinese visitors to Europe alone reserve a third of their holiday budget for shopping, the European Travel Commission estimates and 95 percent of Chinese visitors of Louis Vuitton shops in Paris are on organized tours, according to Euromonitor.
Hotels in the Middle East are locating within or beside shopping malls to take advantage of the trend and nine major malls are due for completion across the region between 2012 and 2014. One of these, Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, will be home to seven hotels. Continued...