Will winter become the new summer in travel?

Weather has a big influence on tourism, in fact for many countries it is tourism. But with record-breaking temperatures in Europe this summer related to global warming, the travel industry should get ready for big changes in terms of when and where visitors want to travel. Will they rather go on holidays in winter, or will they choose places where the climate is more bearable?

Alex Barros, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Beonprice, a revenue management and total profitability platform for the hospitality sector, thinks that more research is needed around how temperatures will impact consumer demand and pricing. “This is a potentially enormous change, as pricing for leisure travel has been defined by the same summer peak season approach until now”.

The building of new properties would need to adapt to the new weather conditions too. Hoteliers will have to consider temperature-controlled buildings and communal areas, and not just the location of the hotels. For Fabián González, co-founder of Forward_, it will be easier for luxury hotels and resorts to adapt themselves to these challenges as they have the resources to invest in what is needed. “Mass-market tourism providers have low-margins, therefore, such an investment could be the difference between profit and loss”, he explains.

Bruno Martins, Senior Product Manager at the global hospitality technology provider Shiji Group, is convinced that the hotels and resorts in warmer locations will have to re-think their relaxation areas, with indoor pools replacing outdoor pools, or spa centres featuring more ice baths than saunas. “Technology is going to be the golden-thread throughout these changes, whether that be via apps that allow guests to schedule better their activities, pricing software that maximizes revenues based on temperature or electronic wristbands that allow guests access to certain locations at a certain time”.

As Carlos Cendra, Sales & Marketing Director at travel intelligence provider Mabrian, says climate change “is going to have an impact on global travel trends within the next year, so we’d better analyse the effects of this on the expectations and preferences of travellers”.

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