Robots that service hotel guests, the emergence of marijuana tourism and the rise of several Midwest destinations – these are some of the trends that marked the year in U.S. travel. As 2014 draws to a close, Hotels.com® has compiled an analysis of search data, survey findings and data from the Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®) to come up with the Top 10 Travel Predictions for 2015.
1. Detroit's resurgence will continue and the city (currently ranked the 28th most popular domestic destination according to HPI) will join Chicago (ranked sixth) as the only other Top 25 U.S. destination in the Midwest. After emerging from two years of bankruptcy, new hotel openings, such as the Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney, and the addition of new downtown entertainment and nightlife options will help the ongoing revitalization of Detroit.
2. The travel industry will continue to see robust growth in mobile hotel bookings in 2015 as hotel and travel companies continue to find new ways of reaching millennials – the fastest growing segment in travel. Easier online payment methods – the use of more mobile payment services, hotel gift cards and the emerging smart watch market – are making the booking experience more convenient.
3. Denver's tourism will continue to surge, making it a Top 15 domestic destination. In 2014, Denver (currently ranked 17th) enjoyed a record year in business travel according to the Colorado Convention Center, while Colorado's legalization of marijuana sales sparked travel interest.
4. More Americans will flock to mid-size beach towns, such as Key West, Fla., Ocean City, Md. and Palm Springs, Calif., and at least one will become a Top 50 domestic destination. All three beach towns were among the most searched destinations on Hotels.com in 2014.
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