Table of Contents
- Looking Ahead to 2024 from Chris Nassetta, President and CEO
- A View from a Generational Researcher
- In Summary: Profile of the 2024 Traveler
- Travelers Will Invest in Their Sleep
- Travelers Will Value Connectivity and Personalization
- Culture and Experiences Will Drive Leisure Travel Decisions
- Business Travel Trends Will Redefine Expectations
- 2024 Travel by Generation
Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Looking Ahead to 2024
2023: The year the world moved forward. Travelers filled airports, packed stadiums, reinvigorated restaurants and energized hotel lobbies. The new Golden Age of Travel we were anticipating arrived in full force.
And though the world moved faster than ever, we saw a fascinating paradox emerge with our guests. Travelers inspired change at an accelerated pace but also appreciated the moments when they were able to slow down. They dedicated time to building in-person connections. They blurred the lines between business and leisure travel, finding ways to expand their horizons no matter the occasion. And at the end of the day, travelers rallied around the universal appreciation for sleep.
This year’s Trends Report defines the preferences and priorities we are seeing from travelers that will drive innovation and change for Hilton and our industry in the year ahead.
The report also takes a deeper look at how generations view travel, from the digital-native Gen Zer to the experienced Boomer.
As we look to 2024, we are both confident and optimistic. We know people of all ages will continue to seek out travel experiences as an opportunity to gain new, life-defining moments. Our dedication to filling the world with the light and warmth of hospitality while creating exceptional stay experiences for every traveler has never been stronger. The only remaining question is: Where to next?
Until then – see you on the road!
A View from a Generational Researcher
Today is an exciting time for travel and trends research. Why? Every generation is traveling! Gen Z is on the move. So are Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. This mix of generations, life stages and experiences are fostering a diverse and inspiring mix of travel expectations and adventures. Hilton’s Trends Report reveals that while generations have their differences, one area where they align is their enthusiasm for travel and seeking memorable travel experiences that meet their unique needs.
The Center for Generational Kinetics, where I serve as President and Lead Researcher, has conducted more than 100 research studies to separate myth from truth about generations.
The Hilton Trends Report fills an important insights gap by exploring four different generations of travelers — and uncovering early signs of Gen Z’s emergence as travel trendsetters from technology, food and work to wellness, leisure and cultural experiences.
One important finding is the cross-generational priority for connectivity and personalization throughout the travel experience. This bodes well for fueling innovation in the travel industry and for travel leaders, like Hilton, that are creating new and unique experiences that attract all four generations of adult travelers.
I am inspired by Hilton and its continued commitment to innovation, growth and excellence and for recognizing the critical role that generational understanding - based on research - plays in shaping the future. Great research brings to life the unexpected and adds depth to conversations and understanding. This year’s Trends Report delivers exactly that and reveals what’s anticipated to be an exciting travel future ahead for every generation.
In Summary: The Profile of the 2024 Traveler
Hilton's third-annual Trends Report spotlights the consumer trends that are anticipated to define travel in the year ahead and digs deeper into generational insights driving industry innovation. Following a global survey of more than 10,000 travelers from nine countries, online video diaries with 60 U.S. travelers and in-depth interviews with dozens of Hilton travel experts, four themes emerged, which are expected to be the catalysts of change and innovation for Hilton and the broader travel industry in 2024 and beyond.
Travelers Will Invest in Their Sleep
Personal wellness matters to travelers, but even more specifically, there will be an increased focus on achieving a good night’s sleep while on the road. In 2024, travelers will look to engage with products and brands aligned with this better-for-you imperative.
Travelers Will Value Connectivity and Personalization
Travelers will seek out consistent and seamless experiences that are personalized to their needs. They will expect technology to be intuitive and helpful throughout their travel journey, but also appreciate the human connection uniquely found in hospitality.
Culture and Experiences Will Drive Leisure Travel Decisions
Dining, culture and connections are inspiring leisure travel decisions as people increasingly prioritize the purchase of experiences over things. Next year, foodies will reign supreme, with culinary experiences prioritized globally and across generations. In tandem, people will travel to learn about other cultures, learn about their own culture and connect with others.
Business Travel Trends Will Redefine Expectations
During the past few years, business travel, in many ways, has been redefined. Programs and products have been introduced to meet the changing needs of travelers. The industry saw significant shifts in the type of traveler, length of stay, travel occasion, travel destination and more. And as the world moves on, the industry is responding to accommodate shifts in how, why and where we do business on the road.
Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to uncover the trends mentioned within this report.
Hilton conducted stakeholder interviews, globally, to gain perspective on the growing trends within the industry. Business divisions included Insights & Analytics, Brand Innovation, Groups, Meetings and Events, Food & Beverage, Wellness, Design, Digital Innovation, Commercial Services, Environmental, Social and Governance, Hilton Supply Managements, Workplace Culture and Finance.
Additionally, between April and May of 2023, Hilton commissioned Ipsos to conduct 60 online video diaries. Each respondent completed one activity that comprised 12 questions. To join this activity, respondents needed to have traveled in the last 12-18 months, plan to travel in the future, and be aware of and open to staying at Hilton in the future. The results of these online video diaries should be viewed as directional as the sample sizes were under 20 for each generation.
Hilton commissioned an online survey with Ipsos, which was fielded in July 2023 among a nationally representative sample in Germany, Great Britain, Japan, and the U.S. of adults under age 75. The samples in China, India, Mexico, Singapore, and U.A.E. are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these markets should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population. Each country included an oversample of n=200 Gen Z to increase analytic capability for this age group.