Running Fork is bringing the curtain down on 2014 with a positive eye on good things to come with its top five travel predictions for 2015.
After an up and down 2014 most people just want to break out from their personal or professional reality and have a good laugh in a fun, lighthearted destination. And we always aim to send readers on their way with a grin on their face.
So Running Fork would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year with a truly amazing list of its top five travel predictions for 2015:
Waiting for Myanmar
Myanmar has been Southeast Asia’s destination du jour for over a decade now and has yet to capitalise on its massive potential. Travellers who try to book flights and rooms during peak season in December or January often come up short reservation wise because they didn’t start planning early enough. While aviation and hotel infrastructure has improved dramatically in recent years, critical telecommunications platforms still lag behind. Instant confirmation is almost virtually impossible during high season and most key tourist destinations lack hotel room inventory. Best advice is to plan a visit during the annual rainy season from May to October when Myanmar’s carrying capacity can handle demand and deals are plentiful. We think 2015 will be Myanmar’s best year for inbound overseas arrivals.
TripConnect empowers small hotels
And it should deliver more to hotel customers. TripAdvisor launched TripConnect with great fanfare in late 2013 as the Holy Grail for small hotels and consumers. From a consumer point of view, the user experience is made significantly more effective through offering comparative pricing, hotel reviews and the ability to book directly all in one place. Independent hotels have been slow to adopt the model as it requires both budget and revenue management resources. We think 2015 will be the year more small hotels allocate needed resources to ‘bid’ and rank higher on TripAdvisor’s Hotel Price Comparison Search box, allowing consumers to see hotel listings and book directly with hotels, not online travel agents. For travelers it’s a win-win for greater choice, better value.
New Orleans becomes America’s finest city
This should have happened years ago, way before Hurricane Katrina forced The Big Easy into harsh glare of America’s spotlight. In 2015 the country will wake up and make trips to New Orleans an annual pilgrimage. It already is the event capital of the US, and this year CNN named New Orleans the best food city in America. Is middle America ready to eat Po Boys for breakfast and dance down Bourbon Street during Marti Gras? Probably not, but the world would surely be a better place if it did.
Thailand bounces back (again)
Thailand’s tourism sector is happy to see the end of 2014. The year began with talk of record inbound arrivals only to fizzle out as a soft Russian ruble, wet weather in beach resorts and martial law took its toll. Business picked up over Christmas and forward bookings for January and February look strong. That’s if the powers that be don’t mess things up (again), with ideas like banning liquor sales over New Year and Songkran holidays. Fortunately it didn’t happen. With a banner start to 2015 on the horizon Thailand’s tourism sector is poised for a very good year indeed.
Wearable Tech goes ‘South Park’
We recently saw several tourists wearing Google Glass out and about on holiday. Hopefully Google will ditch consumers in 2015 and sell out to attract business customers. This should be applauded as a good thing because most people who wear Google Glass look ridiculous and pretentious anyway. So throw away your obnoxious Google Glass and bin your iWatch because they don’t belong on vacation. The idea is to unplug, meet new people, relax and have fun. Google Glass specifically and all wearable tech in general belongs where Cartman was ‘probed’ and where Dick Cheney deserves to be ‘hydrated’. So go ahead, stick a fork in it!