Five travel trends to watch in 2019.

Explore what trends will be driving the direction of the travel industry this year.

By Megan Rahou23rd January 2019

If you are wondering what’s in store for the year ahead or if you need some inspiration, here is our forecast on what will be big in the travel industry in 2019.

Experience is everything.

Today’s consumers are seeking out and requesting more unique experiences than ever before. A 2018 survey by Skift Research found that 67% of affluent travellers would rather spend their money on activities, instead of on a luxurious hotel. Consumers bucket lists are becoming more goal-orientated, this can be seen through the increased interest in investing in once-in-a-lifetime experiences, for example, watching wild orangutans in Borneo and visiting the Great Wall of China.

Authenticity is highly valued by consumers. A key trend that has developed within experiential travel is the desire to live like a local. Tourists are looking for ways to fully immerse themselves into the local way of living by using public transport, trying new cuisines and exploring smaller nearby towns.

Trying out new cultural experiences enriches travellers and provides them with greater trip satisfaction. All the while benefiting the local economy and often being a cheaper option for travellers. This trend will lead to a surge in the comeback of forgotten destinations and requests for culinary tours and classes. Experiential travel is not new but the demand for it is on the rise and there are no signs of this trend slowing down. 

Responsible tourism.

Consumers are taking on more responsibility to minimise their impact on the environment, enabling them to travel with a clear conscience. Booking.com found that 87% of global travellers say they want to travel more sustainably. To support this market leaders such as TUI have pledged to deliver ten million ‘greener and fairer’ holidays by 2020 and Thomas Cook is looking into removing seventy million pieces of single-use plastics within the next twelve months.

The growing issue of over-tourism and the adverse effects it has on locals is a hot topic within responsible tourism. Over-tourism occurs when a high volume of visitors, travel to a particular destination leading to locals being pushed out to make way for holiday rentals. Resulting in increased living costs and overcrowding. Recent social and political events in European cities have led to tourists becoming more aware of the effects of this issue. Consequently, more travellers will be seeking out less ‘touristy’ destinations and experiences. 

With tourists becoming increasingly concerned about travelling responsibly, more companies are offering eco-friendly holidays and tours to help put their mind at ease, without having to sacrifice on luxury. For example, Hayes and Jarvis have a spectacular portfolio of eco-friendly resorts and escapes to choose from.

 

Going solo.

According to Hostelworld, there has been a 42% increase in solo backpackers travelling the world over the past two years. Furthermore, the number of female solo bookings grew by 45% between 2015 and 2017 – 5% more than their male counterparts. Travelling alone comes with many benefits, including being able to choose your own adventure and explore at your own pace.

Solo travel is no longer defined by your relationship status. Research by Mintel found that out of every person who takes a solo holiday, a third of them are not single. To meet the demand of this booming sector more establishments will abolish single supplements and introduce more competitive single-occupancy rates in 2019.  If you are considering going solo this year, Just You is a holiday company specialising in this type of travel and has over 150 itineraries designed with solo travellers in mind.

Mini-vacations.

This year is set to be a big one for bite-sized travel. Many travellers are realising the benefits of shorter getaways, instead of cashing in on all of your holidays at once why not spread them out throughout the year? The increased popularity of wellness retreats and staying in unusual accommodation such as tree-houses, pods and yurts have largely contributed to the uptake of frequent mini-vacations.

Booking.com recently released a travel predictions report, which anticipates that more than half of travellers around the world plan to increase the number of weekend trips they take in 2019. The correlation between the rise of serial short bookers and experiential travel is no coincidence. Travellers are trying to squeeze itineraries into shorter time-frames, enabling them to tick more experiences off of their bucket lists.

Savvy business travellers are also taking more micro-trips, by combining business with leisure. According to Travel Weekly ‘bleisure’ trips increased by 46% last year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Blurring the lines between business and leisure is allowing travellers to extend work trips to accommodate personal leisure activities.

Insta-worthy destinations.

With influencer marketing being the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method, it’s no surprise that tourist boards, hotels and resorts are teaming up with social influencers. Instagram is a platform that has transformed travel; influencers with large online followings are paid considerable amounts to visit and post photos of their trips, giving them the ability to spark new trends.

A report by Expedia found that one in four travellers pick holiday spots based on social media posts, and 67% go by “Instagrammability” when choosing holidays. The power of this platform has led to people relying on their feeds to get inspiration for their future travels. After achieving insta-worthy status, you will see travellers flocking to new destinations and of course taking photos to document their experience.

Iconic resorts such as the Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, has over three hundred thousand followers. On average each photo posted on their Instagram achieves around ten thousand likes. Highlighting the exposure that can be gained from using this platform and what opportunities it can uncover.