It’s been a big year for TVE and the Travel & Lifestyle Industry alike.

We’ve been keenly watching all that’s been going on in the many categories that fall into Travel & Lifestyle and sharing our thoughts on the most interesting happenings across the year and their implications on the industry. So, as 2018 draws to a close, we felt it apt to reflect on what’s happened this year and make some predictions about what’s coming around the corner as we step into 2019.

Looking back at the year that’s passed, it would be impossible to ignore the impact consumers’ points of view on the environment and sustainability has had on brands, and consumers’ ever-increasing power to influence brand decisions and drive change.

From our Plastic Free July series, which looked at brands taking steps to reduce single use plastics, we found that consumers are looking for brands to be their ally. They want brands they can trust and rely on; brands able to assure them they are making the right choices which align with their personal values.

However, consumers’ ethical standpoints extend to issues beyond environmental and we’ve seen more and more brands in 2018 talking about and backing particular social issues. For example, in Pride month this June we saw many brands getting behind LBGTQ plus as a purpose in the travel industry for safer and more inclusive travel.

Another key thing we’ve been reminded of this year is the importance of staying on the pulse – by not keeping on top of the latest consumer trends in the industry or responding fast enough to industry shifts, we’ve seen the impact on holiday and tour providers, like the 18-30 club, as well as the demise of the casual dining chains. Arguably one of the biggest surprises of 2018, the entire landscape of casual dining has changed and we’ve seen the fall of many household names as consumers look to new ways of dining out and in-home.

2018 also saw a real shift in the way consumers are interacting with finance as innovative start-ups like Monzo and Revolut, as well as mainstream high street banks, are changing how consumers are interacting with banking. It’s no longer just about somewhere to put your money, but can actively help to shape your lifestyle. We’re looking forward to seeing what innovations come next as financial services and lifestyle continue to intertwine further.

And so, as we look to 2019, we’re going to be watching out to see how these trends evolve.

As consumers continue to think and spend more ethically, it will be interesting to see how this translates into the year to come. The war against the plastic straw was arguably the biggest environmental movement 2018 in the Travel & Lifestyle area. What will be next and will the influence of ethically and environmentally-minded consumers have a greater impact on sectors such as air-travel and hotels?

How will brands decide what causes are for them, and how can they align the values of their target audiences with their brand principles?

And, as the desire for customisation and personalisation continues on an upward trajectory, and brands’ interactions with consumers become more socially and digitally driven, how will brands continue to tailor their propositions in the Travel & Lifestyle industry?

We can’t to see what surprises are to come in Travel & Lifestyle as we move into a new year – bring on 2019!

Click HERE – to watch our Travel & Lifestyle: The Year in Review video discussion!

BY ENGINEER Lucy Morgan-Hobbs

lucy.morgan-hobbs@thevalueengineers.com