2024 will be a year of worldwide caution with the war in Ukraine and in Israel and the several natural disasters that have hit this year like the earthquakes in Morocco and Turkey and the volcano eruption in Iceland. As a result, people may avoid these areas or travel under extreme safety measures.
Be that as it may, several online travel agencies, like Booking and Skyscanner, forecast a year of many travel trends and some being a continuation of the 2023 trends. In order to be even more attractive for visitors when planning a trip, adding these trends in your own way can present you as a more alluring option for specific traveler profiles. Here, the biggest trends and some ideas to include them in your tours.
What are the new travel trends for 2024?
There are currently four different generations of adult travelers that seek different types of travel, Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers. In the center stage there are two constant topics, sustainability and AI, these also manifest in the travel plans for 2024. However, the most common trends among these generations are the following:
- Wellness travel
- During the pandemic, all self care and wellness activities rose high enough to keep on being at the center of consumers’ lives even after the lockdown. Therefore, one of the main trends is still wellness travel, which mainly focuses on spiritual and self improvement retreats and spas or activities during the trips that help them with their inner growth.
- Solo travel
- The art of spending time on your own has extended itself to traveling as well. Getting to know new places and cultures is an excitement that solo travelers love and this includes getting to know new people from all around the world. They usually travel on a budget and search for places and activities where they can absorb as much of the culture as possible while making new friends.
- Authentic travel
- A deep dive into the local culture through meaningful experiences, connecting with the local communities and learning their traditions, trying their food and getting to know their flora and fauna. Travelers want to feel like they are almost part of the place they are visiting, they want to break through the tourist illusion and live the real version of their destinations.
- Sustainable travel
- Recently the younger generations have shown a common interest in the world’s status. They care about the environment and positively affect it. In the travel industry, they look to leave a small carbon footprint or even better, none at all. Nevertheless, it is not the only factor that weighs in, but like in any other industry, travelers try to align themselves with brands and companies that share their concerns and have strong sustainable missions and values. For example, tour operators that also fight against sexual tourism.
- Workation or Bleisure
- Work and vacation or business and leisure. Workers on business trips try to have some time for leisure before or after their work obligations. Combining their professional life with the opportunity to travel is one of the most important trends nowadays. Ever since the pandemic hit, self employed travelers want to experience new countries while making money, which means they work remotely from places in their travel bucket list. However, global full time employees also travel as much as they can and sometimes, they even bring a family member along.
- Technology travel
- Especially in luxury travel, we are starting to see an increase in the AI influence, for instance, to expedite processes like ordering more towels from the hotel room. Nevertheless, AI is also being structured as a tool to personalize and plan or research trips.
- On the other hand, Forbes recognizes a technological trend that mixes with sustainability, in which they talk about a 2040 forecast with traceability and accountability trackers through the metrics of carbon footprints.
- Another form of technology invading the tourism territory is integrating VR into tours, in particular landmarks that offer an immersion of what they looked like several years ago.
- Revenge travel
- It was the biggest post pandemic trend, but it is still a motivation to add traveling as an important activity for 2024. Gen Z keeps growing up and with them entering the workforce, they are starting to be able to afford their own vacations and since they mostly lived their early twenties and late teens during the pandemic, what better way to keep on transitioning into adulthood then expanding their knowledge and experiences through traveling.
- Affordable luxury
- Most travelers find themselves wanting to experience luxury without having to spend extravagant amounts of money, so they look for luxury quality at fair cost and different economies allow travelers to experience it in a different country. Vietnam and Malaysia are two examples of affordable luxury destinations where 5-star lodging is very common at a very good price.
- TV and cinema as travel inspiration
- This trend has been popular for a while now and it will not be any different this 2024. Using TV shows and movies as inspiration when choosing where to travel has also created tours like the Game of Thrones film locations tour in Dublin and Dubrovnik, or the Gossip Girl tour in New York, the Lord of The Rings tour in New Zealand and the Warner Bros Village in Los Angeles. A variation of this trend is gig tripping, where you travel purely for a concert or musical festival, but also visit the location.
- Analogue adventure
- Disconnecting from social media and finding oneself is also one of the current motivations to travel. detoxing from technology and the daily pressures is one of the mental health practices that especially Gen Z and Millennials follow. So, for them planning a trip where they can relax and forget about all responsibilities and simply enjoy the moment and the views they are experiencing is considered deeply necessary.
How to add the 2024 travel trends to your tours?
Knowing what travelers are looking for can help you add or change aspects of your tours. For example if you know you have a tour with mostly reservations for only one person, perhaps try to include activities where they can bond and get to know each other. If you have a tour with mostly group reservations, maybe try modifying it to an authentic and local focus.
Annexing new tours to your catalog with emphasis in the 2024 trends could look like late afternoon or early morning schedules for work travelers, local culture oriented tours with stops in the most neighborly chosen spots, including wifi on the tour buses for anyone who needs to stay on top of business affairs, giving tours to remote locations a spiritual or self improvement angle, like when hiking pyramids, and so forth.
Aspects like sustainability and technology could be integrated into the nature of the tour depending on what you are visiting. From changing the method of transport to adding VR into living a small part of history. Small changes can add value to your customer experience and drive them to reviewing your tours positively.
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