As we approach the dawn of a new decade, Gen Z travellers are coming of age bringing with them a strong influence on the future of travel with some very distinct travel trends to watch out for in 2020 and beyond. These young people have practically grown up with technology and social media; have an awareness of climate change and the individual need to be responsible for our own carbon footprint; along with overtourism being a recent hot topic, how and where we travel in the future will be greatly influenced by these factors. Below are some trends to be on the lookout for:
Eco-Travel: While travel is good for the mind and the soul, it is frankly dreadful for the planet. 2020 looks set to be the year that eco-travel becomes properly mainstream.
One-of-a-Kind Experiences: We’re not talking about anything on the tourist trail, or even off the beaten track, but true travel into the unknown – places where foreigners have rarely, if ever, stepped foot.
Ultra-Personalized Experiences: Whether we like it or not, we live in the age of data: where every click, swipe, and keystroke is recorded. One positive effect of this information gold mine is the ability for companies to offer up ultra-personalized experiences designed just for you.
Insta Travel: Travel has always been about seeing new and exciting things. Today’s travellers can instantly broadcast their fun to the masses while competing for that magic Instagram moment.
Pop Culture Travel: With the successful Netflix series Chernobyl or HBO’s Game of Thrones or the highest-grossing film of all time, Avengers: Endgame has travel to these destinations ever been more popular. Chernobyl, Dubrovnik, and the tiny Scottish village of St Abbs have seen an incredible increase in tourism over the last 10 years.
Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg has drawn much attention to “flight shaming” prompting responsible travellers to think more carefully about how often and where they fly to. As a result, look for a more conscientious resurgence in train travel that focuses more on the journey instead of the destination and other eco-friendly transportation modes. Once at your destination you may see more walking, biking or e-Scooter options instead of a traditional bus tour.
At the other end of the spectrum…Space Tourism is just on the horizon! Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic (barring any unforeseen setbacks) plans to take members of the general public on a 90-minute sub-orbital flight into space aboard VSS Unity. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin hopes to launch crewed test flights of its New Shepard craft in 2020, in preparation for sending up its first space tourists. Space X has plans to travel around the moon in 2023 and take 100 paying earthlings a week to visit the first-ever space hotel by 2025.
Accommodations are set to become a little less conventional in 2020, as travellers seek to combine unique experiences with Instagram-worthy moments. If it doesn’t look like a hotel, it’s the best kind. Watch for Treehouses, underground abodes, cliff-side retreats, repurposed buildings, vintage Airstream trailers and the hybrid home-tels to become popular. Vegan hotels without wool, silk or feather duvets and purely plant-based restaurants are popping up as an increasing number of people are choosing to shun meat and animal products.
There is an allure inspired by the rootless spirit of camping. 700,000 Heures is setting a trend for nomadic hotels that move around the world. They emerge in a different location every six months, temporarily transforming extravagant private homes with staff and a collection of more than 100 trunks that open out into bars, benches and sinks so guests can dine and sleep under the stars wherever they choose. From April to November 2020, it will take over two sites in Japan – a temple in Koyasan and a traditional house at a fishing village in Ine.
Kelly Miller – Blogger at Travel Placement Service