Throughout history, our ancestors have had the urge to discover new and better places. The curiosity to explore has remained, and it seems to be getting stronger and stronger. I was bit by the travel bug at a young age, and have continued to explore the far-flung corners of the world ever since. But, a lot has changed since my first trip. As technology advances and costs are lowered, unexplored destinations appear closer, making it easier than ever before to jet off for the weekend.
With 8 million people traveling every day, travel has become commonplace, causing the industry to evolve quickly. But, there is one thing that is evolving faster: the traveler. Our expectations of travel, before, during and after the trip, are becoming higher and more complex.
Technology at our fingertips
Long gone are the days where you get lost on your travels and drive for ages searching for a place to sleep. Thanks to geotagging and GPS systems, the connected travelers have access to information about the location and everything happening around us. This access to technology is creating more personalized experiences, allowing us to get more out of our travels.
Jungle trekking is replacing beach holidays
Travellers want more active and culturally immersive experiences. Instead of lazy days on the beach, adventure holidays are the new experiences to bring back home. Think jungle trekking, shark diving, and heli-skiing. The same holds for where we choose to spend the night, from ziplining into a treehouse to underwater hotel rooms to hammocks high above the ground. Ecocube is a startup addressing this, by creating a unique experience where you inhabit the nature in a sustainable accommodation.
A quest for tranquility
Social media has given rise to the need for unique and out-of-the-box travel experiences, for the ultimate post on Instagram. However, this need has also given rise to the polar opposite – demand for a true escape. Away from emails and social media, to unplug and recharge. Some take it a step further and sign up for silent meditation retreats to avoid all forms of communication during their travels.
Lost in translation
Communication can often be an issue when traveling. Without a common language, misunderstandings will arise and you might end up eating something you never intended to eat (speaking from experience). Now, technology has advanced so that we can instantaneously communicate, allowing us to get a greater understanding of the people and the places we visit.
Tourism boards have created virtual spaces to lure new travelers into visiting their countries. Ground Control has developed a virtual reality space for Porto to show new visitors what they can expect. VR allows you to ‘test drive’ your holiday and experience it before you go, to tweak your planning for the best possible holiday. Maybe this is the start of virtual travel in the comfort of your own home?
Travelling has never been easier. So, what are you waiting for?
Pack your suitcases… Next stop: Lisbon Tourism Summit!
The Lisbon Tourism Summit will explore the new needs of the future traveler, and exhibit the startups mentioned above. The Lisbon Tourism Summit is a gathering for tourism innovators from across the globe to address the challenges and developments within the industry. Together with Turismo de Portugal, Abreu, Airbnb, Amadeus, Barraqueiro, Nos and Pestana we will examine the driving forces disrupting the industry. If you want to learn more about future traveling trends, join us.