The future of travel

The future of travel

5 Mins

Hands up if the last flight you booked was on your mobile, or stick them up if you clicked through to that Top Ten Beaches travel article your friend liked on Facebook. Let’s just assume all hands are now in the air. Because this has been the year of SoMo (social and mobile retail) and apparently, the next big thing will be robotics and AI. Indeed the ‘future’ seems increasingly weighted to technology while real live people are shoved to the side lines. Sigh. But before we all get a bit down and ‘2016’ about how the world has changed, it’s worth logging off and taking a stroll down to your local high street. Because despite the chatter that this globalised world now conducts its business online, it seems we’re still rather partial to talking to and buying from real people, of having a buying ‘experience’ rather than simply clicking a button.

Take Stockbridge in Edinburgh. Voted one of the best places to live in the UK in 2016, it’s a buzzing, vibrant example of a high street. Of course, there are the usual suspects of Starbucks et al but most shops are independent, small businesses delivering unique services or artisan goods. Back in 2001, Jimmy Martin opened his eponymous travel agency here, hardly expecting that the next 15 years would bring an onslaught from online travel, a banking crisis, a recession and even a cloud of ash. But here he still stands. Not just surviving but thriving; “Talking to a customer, understanding exactly what they want and then coming up with a tailor-made package just for them, that’s what it’s all about,” he explains. And the days when the internet was the cheapest place are over, “we are as competitive as the best deals online but with the added benefit of face to face interaction ensuring we get it spot on.” This bears out the latest findings that one of the major trends we’ll be seeing in the travel industry is the rise in highly personalised, tailor-made services and a preference to build trust through face-to-face rather than digital interaction. It’s food for thought when you consider the amount of time we spend trawling through various sites and reviews on our mobiles looking for the perfect holiday. Ironically it might just save you time and money to pop into Jimmy’s rather than clicking on TripAdvisor.

Visit Halong Bay, Vietnam on a river cruise. Image: Scenic Luxury Cruises


Travel trends for 2017 by Jimmy Martin Travel


Adventure holidays for all ages

These are big right now. Its about cherry picking the places you’ve always wanted to visit, matching them with must-do experiences then putting it all together in a bespoke trip. Think walking in Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.


These holidays have made a comeback as people are looking for more variety. A typical muti-centre holiday includes three cities or two cities plus a beach or lake all in one trip. Something like Rome, Venice and Florence topped off with luxury stay at Lake Garda, Viareggio or somewhere on the Neapolitan Riviera.

Safe holidays

This is a massive one for 2017. Spain, Canary Islands, Portugal, Madeira, Cyprus, Croatia and the Greek Islands are at the top of the list and they’re selling out early as a result.

River cruising

It’s on the rise as it suits an older clientele. It’s a more intimate way to cruise with just 50 people and they don’t just cover Europe. We have a fabulous one on the Mekong visiting Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.


Jimmy Martin Travel, 94 Raeburn Pl, Edinburgh, EH4 1HH, Tel: 0131 343 1800, Email:,

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