As the ‘touch and go’ trend dwindles, travel is becoming more meaningful and exhilarating in 2020. Here are 7 trends that are defining luxury travel this year
By: Rajeev Nangia, COO, TRAC Representations
Posted on: January 6, 2020
Outbound travel industry has been growing exponentially with a large section of the affluent middle class, not only from the urban capitals but also from Tier 1 and Tier 2 markets, driving the travel growth trajectory. Change and evolution is more fast-paced than ever, with shifting demographics and developing technology creating brand new travel trends. Consumers have become conscious travellers and the current trends reflect that. The travellers are moving over traditional packages and are aspiring for experiential indulgences.
An interesting trend of ‘Do it myself’ is gaining popularity. Self-planning is taking over the traditional dependence on travel trade. More significantly, travel agents are now like facilitators and implementors. Travellers today want to be in control of their holiday planning, and the availability of online options and deals are empowering them to choose as per one’s budget.
As we enter a new decade, the following trends will be big in the travel industry:
1. Sustainable Travel
The importance of traveling with sensitivity to the environment is going to be higher on the agenda of the travellers. Destinations, airlines, hotels are embracing this trend, and is only set to become more prevalent in the coming years. As awareness and action about the environmental issues we are facing become more mainstream, travellers increasingly desire to travel sustainably. For instance, a glamorous destination like Monaco is exhibiting ‘Green is the New Glam’ as their vision to travel sustainable, which is not only educating, but also aspiring travellers to travel responsible amidst high-end luxury.
2. Rise in Experiential Travel
Bespoke, tailor-made and customized experiences are further growing in popularity vs. traditional off-the-shelf itineraries. People want to travel better so as to develop a deeper, emotional and a more personal connect with the destination. The savvy travellers of today want to experience and get under the skin of the destination through further exploration.
3. Exploring the Less-Explored Places
2020 will be the year of travel exploration. Uncommon and less travelled destinations will be in trend. The biggest growth in demand will come for destinations that aren’t the usual tourist hotspots. For example, instead of Paris and Switzerland, the top trending destinations now are French Riviera, Italian Riviera, Azerbaijan, Jamaica.
4. Expansion of Wellness Travel
Today’s travellers are moving towards trips that allow them to start a healthy lifestyle. As the shift to holistic development and taking care of oneself continues to grow, people have increasingly sought to fulfil these needs while travelling. Peaceful retreats, digital detox, Ayurvedic therapy, Yoga retreats, quality-ageing treatments will be in demand.
5. At Your Own Pace Travel
2020 will be the year to travel at your own pace. We will see an increase in the popularity of slow travel. The new-age traveller wants to live the place by opting to travel at his/her own pace. Local will be focal. From enjoying local cuisine to celebrating regional festivals and attending local events, they want to experience every detail of their trip at a relaxed pace.
Micro-cations have taken a leap over big grand vacations. Travellers will squeeze curated travel itineraries into shorter timeframes. They will find ways to fit micro-cations in their busy schedules without having to sacrifice time at work or with family.
7. Rise of Millennial Travellers
Millennials, who are people born between 1982-2000, will continue to be a pre-eminent force in the travel industry and will account for substantial amount of travel spend in 2020. This generation has the mindset to spend and they want to use it on experiential travel to new and exotic destinations.
Lastly, as social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are advancing, its users are actually leaning on the influx of posts, whether from their peer-groups or influencers or celebrities, to inspire their next vacation. When people are attracted to a particular destination, they tend to plan their holidays centred on what they had seen on social media. User-generated content is the modern word-of-mouth, it has become a popular source of inspiration for modern travellers, and often impacts the initial decision to plan a trip.
A senior management personnel with over 30 years of experience in travel, trade, and hospitality industry, Rajeev Nangia has been working with TRAC Representations since 1993. Having extensive experience to handle complex and challenging business environments and an expert in Travel & Tourism domains, he is an accomplished professional with a proven track record of successfully managed business operations having professional relationships with leading bodies in tourism and its affiliated sector. As part of the core group of TRAC, Mr. Nangia is an active member in procuring the accounts as well as conceptualizing and implementing strategies for various destinations.