The travel industry is an ever-changing sector that requires businesses to rapidly pivot to cater to new trends, destinations and young generations who think more wisely about where they spend their hard-earned cash. Next year promises to be one of the most exciting in travel, spurred by new technology which gives travelers the opportunity to explore a destination before they ever arrive.
Then there’s the final frontier: NASA will begin construction of their new Lunar Space Station with a planned launch in 2022 and there will be even more investment pumped into the exciting space travel race.
With so much going on, it’s hard to know where travel will take us in 2019, but here are some trends to keep your eyes on:
Rise of the Micro-Trip
Over half of the world population plan to take more weekend breaks in 2019 than they did this year. Thanks to improving flight routes, a rise in low-cost airlines and cheap deals on accommodation, travelers will be taking more trips, but shorter ones in 2019. With most having a relatively short vacation allowance, travelers will want to maximize their time away and not put all their eggs in one basket with that single annual trip. Where they visit will very much depend on where they live, but destinations tipped to be hot in 2019 include London due to the weak pound predicted after Brexit.
Techie Travel Trends
Technology is changing the global travel industry and 2019 promises to be one of the most innovative yet. A rise in artificial intelligence, speech recognition and virtual reality means tech will be quickly moving into the travel sector next year, particularly through apps. Most will be centered around your phone allowing you to access hotel rooms without a key, track your luggage on flights and using smart apps that help plan your vacation based on your tastes and budget. You may see apps which help you understand a destination before you arrive through virtual reality and more sophisticated language products that will allow you to talk to locals without knowing the lingo. We may even see the first introduction of self-driving vehicles towards the end of the year.
Learning Something New
More and more travelers are looking for something stimulating and life changing on their adventures. 2019 will see a decline in fly and flop holidays and a rise in travel packages that include an element of learning or skill development. This includes trips like volunteering, art-based tours, language courses or water sports vacations. As universities and colleges become more expensive around the world and a boom in self-made start-ups, Generation Z will start to question the need of college qualifications vs learning while abroad.
Catering to Business Travelers
As the world becomes more globally connected, there has been a rise in the number of international business trips. However, the lines between business and leisure trips will start to blur as travelers become more eager to maximize their time abroad. Traditional amenity-packed business hotels with start to add more leisure-based facilities like health clubs, pools and spas. With most business trips typically being short, travelers will be looking to add value to their time with short premium guided tours and experiences available after traditional working hours.
More Discerning Travelers
In today’s world, it is all too easy to book every element of one’s travel separately. Millennials and Generation Z will continue to become more discerning in the way they spend their money. Instead of booking all-inclusive group tours, this age group will spend their money in the elements of the vacation they see as most important. Some may opt for low-cost flights, but top-notch hotels. Others may be willing to slum it in cheap dormitories while splurging on experiences like swimming with whale sharks or guided food tours.