Navigating the Experience Economy: Travel Trends


Over the last decade, the travel sector has been buffeted by a number of headwinds including changing lifestyles, emerging technologies and geopolitical events. It has had to adapt to meet the expectations of a new generation of traveller. In our latest report, we delve into the most significant trends affecting the travel market today and the opportunities they offer for marketers.

Travel 2017 trends Thought Leadership Carat Manchester

In 2016, the UK’s ‘experience economy’ rose by eight per cent, with people spending more on eating out, day trips and holidays. More than three in four prefer to spend on an experience or event rather than a desired item. Furthermore, almost seven in ten say events and experiences make them more connected to the wider community.

Today’s consumers use experiences to help shape their identity. They create life-long memories and build a sense of community with their peers. Travel today is less about the mass movement of tourists to the same handful of familiar destinations. Instead, time-pressured travellers seek bespoke experiences. They aim to deepen their understanding of the world.

Working with Canvas8, the leading behavioural insights consultancy, and supplemented by Carat’s proprietary consumer panel, Opinion Hub, we have identified the key trends in consumer behaviours, what this means for travel brands and strategies to take advantage.


We have identified four key stages of the customer journey where compelling experiences can be applied to deliver tangible results:

  • How we browse
  • Hassle-free travel
  • New experiences
  • Social sharing

Carat’s ‘Navigating the Experience Economy’ report explores how understanding the new traveller and exploiting experiences in a meaningful way can improve commercial return for travel brands.

If you would like to receive the full Travel Trends report, please contact

Travel 2017 trends Thought Leadership Carat Manchester
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