As travel has become more and more accessible to people over the past few decades, the global industry has boomed in recent years, but consumer behavior in tourism keeps changing rapidly.
On November 20th, the leaders of the sector will gather in Lisbon to discuss the challenges of the Tourism Industry, but we will unveil just now a little peek on the travel trends that will lead in 2019!
1. Off-peak travel
Overseas traveling is not for summer vacations anymore! Recent studies suggest that seeking warm weather is not the motivation for travelers anymore.
There are a lot of perks to winter traveling – the low season allows for more affordable trips and stays for consumers, but also an opportunity to experience new places or new experiences in the same place.
This opens an opportunity for countries that are not seen as “summer destinations”, as well as for summer destinations to spread out the influx of visitors throughout the year.
Winter festivals around the world attract millions of visitors, such as China’s Harbin Ice Festival (which had over a million visitors last year), the number of hotels opening in or around the Arctic Circle is increasing, and seeing the Northern Lights is quickly becoming a must-Instagram moment.
2. Experience-Based Travel
Adventure travel has been in vogue for a while, but the concept of adventure is rapidly changing – evolving from adrenaline activities to “experiencing a new culture”.
This comes to show a completely new angle on searching for a destination – travelers are now looking into vacations that are also an opportunity to learn and enrich themselves: interests are spiking for holidays’ activities like hiking tours, bike tours, surf classes around the world, cooking classes and food photography workshops.
Even honeymooners are choosing adventure travel – opting for something different and absconding to Switzerland or doing safari tours.
3. Conscious Travel
The awareness of our footprint on earth is getting to travelers. Conscious is all about enjoying our planet while being conscious of the damage we bring to it. Eco-hotels are on the rise in searches, and large ship cruises are aiming to reduce their environmental footprint.
Responsible tourism does not mean just reducing your travel footprint but also maximizing the benefits to local communities, minimizing negative social or environmental impact, and helping local people conserve fragile cultures and habitats or species.
4. Foodie Travel
The rise of celebrity chefs, famous restaurants and quality food-related content is making travelers ever more open to traveling the distance for a good dish – and an local food experience is essential to having an authentic experience of a place. Restaurant guides are up in searches and even people with food restrictions are willing to be adventurous as vegetarian and vegan food guides become more popular.
Instagram-able moments are more in vogue than ever when it comes to food, with popular foods attracting travelers to specific neighborhoods in towns.
The booming craft bar scene on America’s West Coast is a magnet for beer aficionados, and wine enthusiasts are heading to wineries and tasting rooms around the world.
5. Weekend Travel
Not everyone can take a two-week vacation to globetrot around the world, and it doesn’t matter. Travelers are willing to maximize their downtime by extending their weekend into mini-trips. Stopovers are also becoming popular in itineraries as a way to explore more cities in one travel and get the most of the getaway. Travel opportunities are right around the corner!
6. Uncharted Territories
Destinations are changing as well. The same spots you see all over your friends Instagram pictures don’t seem new anymore, so people are looking beyond big cities and searching small town destinations and secret spots off the beaten path.
As well known travel hotspots in Europe struggle with over tourism, the industry stakeholders are looking to less-traveled destinations in the continent to redistribute the demand – several eastern Europe countries now offer new experiences and benefits to attract travelers to the lesser known parts of Europe.
At the same time, central Asia and the middle east are growing in international arrivals and surpassing Europe and South America – the Middle East is currently the fastest-growing travel region in the world!
As the trends change and the number of travelers grows, is the industry ready to tackle the challenges presented by this increase in traveling? Are stakeholders ready to create an ecosystem that is both pleasant to travelers and responsible in its impact on local communities and the environment? That’s just some of the questions answered by the industry leaders on the next Lisbon Tourism Summit, happening on November 20th. Get to know the summit here, and see how you can join and contribute to the discussion.