The pandemic put a kibosh on travel, and we all know the relief among travelers once they felt free to roam once again. While Covid still remains a concern among travelers, the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) will testify that travel levels have once again returned to 2019 levels, a banner year for the nine DINE member inns. In Spring of 2022, the Hilton Corporation conducted a survey of 1000 US adults aged 18 and up. The trends revealed in Hilton’s survey show a new, redefined traveler with novel needs and preferences. DINE inns are ahead of the curve in addressing the newest traveler preferences and trends. People are willing to travel to novel places. Nearly 80% of Americans plan to take a wish list trip in the coming months according to Hilton’s survey, with close to 60% saying they will first travel domestically before heading overseas. Let’s take a look at how DINE inns address the redefined traveler and their preferences and trends going into 2023.
Wellness is the new travel priority
According to the Hilton Survey, 98% of respondents stated that wellness activities while on vacation take priority, looking for experiences beyond access to the spa and gym that focus on connecting the mind, body and spirit. More importantly, what constitutes wellness varies from traveler to traveler. As Hilton’s survey reported, travelers feel mentally refreshed while traveling when they experience the local culture (41% mentioned) or turn their phone off and unplug (according to 33%). Healthy eating was another area of wellness mentioned by about a third of the men responding to the survey.
Yet another trend mentioned in the survey that was brought on by the pandemic could be classified as tastings. While we were all at home comfort food, cooking, virtual tastings and all things culinary took on new meaning. At home foodies are now travelers who will actively seek out culinary experiences when they go on vacations.
From hiking to skiing to culinary tours, guests of DINE inns can experience local culture while addressing physical activity and relaxation all in one getaway. Visit the Specials section on DistinctiveInns.com to learn about everything from culinary vacations and cooking schools to spa getaways and active, outdoor fun. DINE specials and packages celebrate and encompass these trends and have been even before the pandemic.
Reunion & Reconnecting Rule
The Hilton survey concluded that by separating family and friends, the pandemic resulted in a new travel priority of reunion and reconnection travel in 2022. A second survey conducted in October of 2020 found that 63% of travelers felt making memories with loved ones is one of the most important reasons they travel, second only to traveling for relaxation. And nearly three in five (57%) travelers surveyed believe the people who accompany them are what make their trips unforgettable.
DINE innkeepers also put the emphasis of all they do on reconnecting and romance. By offering amenities and packages geared toward intimacy, privacy and rediscovering one another, getaways to DINE inns also put the focus on time together, relaxing and one-on-one conversations.
Cleanliness and Contactless are the new focus
With the pandemic came a whole new emphasis on cleanliness. The Hilton survey showed that more than 3 out of 7 travelers (75%) indicated their preferred travel destinations would offer reliable touchless identity and contactless clearance experiences. Throughout the pandemic, DINE Innkeepers connected with both hospitality and government experts to implement all new aspects of cleanliness, contactless and culinary care. While already going above and beyond the hospitality protocols for cleaning, DINE innkeepers stepped it up and kept it up even after the pandemic waned.
Now that you’ve established you’re a redefined traveler, time to get in on the trends with a getaway to any of the DINE inns. Don’t forget to book directly with the inn for the best price and availability.
In Maine: Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic