Savills predicts the 2030 tourist and his impact on property

26 July 2017


Over the past decade, the number of silver travellers (travellers aged 65+) has been rising and with 48.1% of EU citizens aged 65+ travelling abroad. Improving health and greater disposable income means that silver travellers are more likely to indulge in holidays than previous generations. During the 2008 financial crisis, the 65+ age group contributed significantly to their travel sector which counterbalanced the cuts to the travel budget Millennials (aged 21-34 today) and Generation X (aged 35-49 today) were making during this time.

Previously, off-season would be a quiet time for the holiday hotspots, however, with the freedom to travel out of the peak season, the industry will target the time and money rich silver travellers to fill the quiet seasons. Organised tours will still appeal to the older generations but with alternative destinations and activities being the preferred choice. Furthermore, the mature traveller is likely to take several holidays per year so likely to try different activities and locations on each trip. By 2030, due to changing holiday demands from the silver traveller, we will see a greater crossover of generations visiting the same holiday hotspots.


As well as an increase in silver travellers, holiday companies will be targeting the rise of single travellers. According to Skyscanner, single travellers accounted for 24% of all travellers in 2015; up from 15% in 2013. A greater mix of generations from female travellers, silver travellers and the young backpacker are looking for holidays with like-minded people without having to compromise on dates, location and activities.

The travel industry is becoming more accommodating to single travellers so will reduce the single supplement and target more deals to solo holiday makers. All generations, having been accustomed to using online booking services for over ten years, will find planning, booking and amending the holiday a smooth process thanks to digital advances in online booking.


The needs of the business traveller will change very little by 2030 but hotels are already altering their layout and design to ensure the business traveller has a stress free and relaxing experience whilst at the hotel. Business travellers were able to check in and update their travel preferences on their mobiles and tablets; by 2030 facial recognition software will be increasingly in use across hotels, limiting interaction between the hotel guests and staff, speeding up the check in process, and further personalising the hotel experience. 3D motion technologies will create an interactive business environment in on-site business centres where the business traveller will be able to interact in real time with colleagues in other cities in order to create an authentic meeting environment.

The layout of the hotel lobby and hotel room is already changing to offer more social spaces. As most business travellers will be travelling alone, the hotel lobby will become more of a social space as well as a work space whereas the hotel guest room will continue to shrink in size. Hotels, trying to compete with the Airbnb model, will aim to become a home away from home with a comfortable lounge and bar area, creating an informal environment to work or relax.


Ethical, philanthropic and green travel will be an even greater part of our culture in 2030 with ecotourism being one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry, by 20% to 34% every year according to World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Millennials and Generation Z (born after 2000), having grown up in an era where the “Go green” motto was prevalent, will want to continue their ethical and green lifestyles when away from home. About 73% of the Millennials and Generation Z are willing to pay more for sustainability, compared to 51% of Baby Boomers.

Ethical and green travel will no longer be a niche area of the travel industry but will be increasingly intertwined with our everyday travel choices. Tourists will be better informed, and therefore, more demanding when choosing sustainable hotels and travel options. Just as hotels have a star rating, by 2030 hotels we could see hotels display their carbon footprint.

The green traveller will still expect delicious food but will expect the food to be locally sourced, and they will still expect charging pods for their devices but will expect the electricity to come from an energy saving medium such as solar panels. In order for hotels to market themselves as green and ethical, they will need to demonstrate they use renewable energy, waste is at a minimum, they are giving back to the local community, and, hotel staff are being paid a living wage.


Evolving consumer preferences are and will, have a significant impact on tourist accommodation demand. This is reflected in the number of brands targeted at specific traveller groups that the large hotel groups have launched in recent years. It is also being reflected in the type of overnight accommodation being developed. While hotels will continue to account for the bulk of tourist accommodation in 2030, the market share of ‘alternative’ hospitality accommodation sectors, such as serviced apartments/ apart-hotels and hostels, will have increased. The benefit to investors and developers is that this will further widen the property solutions available to them.

By 2030 we expect there will be a greater onus on developers and building owners to deliver a more sustainable and energy efficient building to operators as guests will be increasingly demanding of brands environmental credentials. Operators greater technology and software requirements will also place more importance on the broadband speed available to a particular property.

What an operator wants to do within a building envelope will also have implications both in terms of build and potentially investment performance. For urban hotels the greater intensity of use of communal areas is a trend that will be more widespread in 2030. This use will be focused around co-working and food and drink amenities, not only for use by residents but also those within the vicinity of the building. While some operators will look to directly manage these add-on facilities, we expect leasing to specialist operators in these spheres will be more common by 2030, effectively generating an additional income stream and in turn potentially enhancing returns to building owners. We also expect some specialist co-working operators will launch their own hotel brands in the future.

The real opportunity for both operators and investors will be the broader range of destinations travellers will want to visit and stay in 2030. While the key gateway cities will continue to attract the bulk of overnight visitors, the appetite to visit lesser known destinations will provide new investment and operator opportunities.


Key Contacts

Linh Dinh Huong

Linh Dinh Huong

National Head
Marketing Communication


+84 24 3946 1300 Ext 112