Hilton predicts 2024 trends – rest and relaxation to drive travel

Hilton’s third annual trends report is called ‘What Millennials, Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers tell us about travel in the year ahead’


By Wendy Golledge

11 October 2023

Global hotel operator Hilton has released its 2024 trends report, following a global survey of more than 10,000 travellers from nine countries.

What Millennials, Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers Tell Us About Travel in the Year Ahead predicts that sleep tourism will be a key driver of hotel bookings in 2024.

The number-one reason for travelling in the next 12 months will be to ‘rest and recharge’, with more emphasis on quality sleep than ever before.

Conducted by Ipsos for Hilton, the report draws on video diaries with 60 US travellers plus in-depth interviews with dozens of Hilton travel experts.

The SWAY sleep therapy experience at Conrad Bali

Catalysts of change and innovation for travel in 2024

The Hilton report, which in 2022  focused on frictionless travel, more engaging experiences and enhanced wellness offerings, uncovered four key themes for 2024. Each is expected to drive change and innovation for travel in the coming year and beyond.

Overall, wellness still rates extremely highly on consumers’ agendas. Personal wellness matters to travellers and sleep tops the list.

1. Sleep

Regardless of generation, the report states the number-one reason people want to travel in 2024 is to rest and recharge.

Guests requesting in-room white noise is an emerging trend, driven by the nearly 10% of global travellers who say they travel with a white noise machine.

Gen Z is the most intentional about winding down, making small choices throughout the day that can make a big impact on their sleep.

Close up, smiling man in suit wearing glasses

“Guests today broadly define ‘rest’ as getting good sleep. As the wellness spotlight turns to rest, Hilton is uniquely positioned to lead the industry in evolving and innovating the on-property experience. We are focusing on the ‘power up’ and ‘power down’ moments of the day that contribute to quality sleep.”

Matt Schuyler

Chief brand officer, Hilton

2. Connectivity and personalisation

The report reveals that travellers value connectivity and personalisation.

In a tech-enabled world, people of all ages said they’re looking for innovative and seamless digital solutions to simplify travel and personalise their stays.

More than three quarters (80%) of the global travellers surveyed said it was now important to them to be able to book their trip entirely online.

Two people mountain biking
Mountain biking near Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia, Wales

3. Culture and experiences

The study also found that culture and experiences will drive leisure travel decisions, with consumers increasingly prioritising the purchasing of experiences – something the wellness sector is well placed to capitalise on.

When asked, 64% of global travellers said they aimed to reduce other areas of their personal spending to prioritise leisure and wellness travel in 2024.

4. Extended business travel

Those planning to travel for business are committed to maximising that time on the road by incorporating opportunities for family or friends and leisure.

Globally, more than a third of Gen Z and Millennial business travelers said they planned to extend a business trip in 2024 to enjoy leisure time before or after their work obligations.

In addition, 24% of global business travellers planned to take a friend or family member with them on a business trip – presenting another key opportunity for the wellness sector.

Smiling man, close up, suit and purple shirt

"Though the world moved faster than ever in 2023, we saw a fascinating paradox emerge with our guests. Travellers appreciated the moments when they were able to slow down. And at the end of the day, travellers rallied around the universal appreciation for sleep."

Chris Nassetta

President and CEO, Hilton

Wellness across the generations

Two in five of the Millennials questioned said they prioritised indulgence and pampering (36%) and wellness-focused experiences (37%).

Gen Z wanted to experience something new when they travel (84%) but they too wanted to feel taken care of or pampered (78%).

Baby Boomers, meanwhile, may recognise the benefit of technology, but they really appreciate the human factor of hospitality and spa.

To read the full Hilton report, click here.

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