While the travel industry is facing some big changes after the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also seen a resurgence of new and exciting trends. From’shoulder season travel’ and automated bookings to Bleisure trips and ‘experiential’ tours, staying on top of these emerging tourism trends can help tour operators, DMOs and other travel companies make the most of the opportunities that are still available in 2024.
In the TrovaTrip survey*, Gen Z and millennials ranked as having the highest travel intent, with both demographics valuing experiences more than things. They’re seeking a more authentic travel experience than ever before, whether it be volunteering on a trip or learning an apprenticeship skill during their vacation. They’re also prioritising their travel budget, with many reducing spending in other areas to ensure they can afford the trip of their dreams.
With international travel restrictions easing, the trend for home-based holidays is on the rise. This includes everything from a staycation with local day trips to a tropical all-inclusive resort. This is ideal for travellers who want to get away from it all, but are unable or unwilling to travel overseas.
The ‘N-Ach’ (‘never-again’) travel phenomenon is seeing more and more people planning unique experiences that they’ll never forget. These are the types of experiences that have a deeper impact and really make a difference in a person’s life. These are experiences that will challenge a person, push them out of their comfort zone and teach them something new about themselves or a place they’re visiting. This is a great way for travellers to have some real adventure and see the world in a different light.
For those who have a high ‘N-Ach’, there is also the growing popularity of ‘personal growth’ trips. These are a mix of educational and physical activities that will help a person achieve personal goals and improve their self-esteem. These may include learning a new language, climbing to the top of a mountain or even just learning how to cook a new recipe.
With the increasing focus on sustainability, more and more travellers are choosing to travel to destinations that are sustainable and supporting local communities. This can be as simple as eating at a restaurant that uses organic ingredients, or it can go as far as traveling to a destination where the locals have carved out a niche for themselves in a certain industry like artisanal cheese production.
The desire to be’set-jetting’ continues to grow with many travellers citing TV shows and movies as being a major inspiration for their travel plans. This is particularly true for younger audiences who have grown up on a diet of TikTok and Instagram content creators. It’s not surprising, then, that they’re keen to visit the filming locations of their favourite TV shows and films. Dubrovnik, Croatia is one example of a popular destination that’s benefitted from this trend since the release of the final season of Game of Thrones.