The year 2022 has been dominated by ‘revenge travel’, with American travel to Europe alone jumping up 600% from 2021. Amid shifting demands and future opportunities, the travel sector is aiming to be more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient, as found in the World Economic Forum’s Our World in Transformation series. How will these goals shape the future of travel and what are the top trends are they predicted to give rise to?
The vast majority of Americans consider their pets to be important family members. Hilton Hotels’ recent 2022 Travel Trends Report indicates that one of the strongest future trends in travel involves bringing pets along. In fact, seven out of every ten people from the Gen-Z and Millennial generations say they are more likely to travel in the future if their pets are welcome. Even countries like Australia, which have very strict regulations for pet travel, are making changes. Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority has finally allowed dogs in airline cabins, though the ultimate decision must be taken by individual airlines. Just a few changes you can look forward to are the launch of a larger number of pet-friendly accommodations, the advent of 100% pet-friendly resorts, and the inclusion of special hotel features that make pets feel more at home.
The old ‘package tour’ vacation is increasingly losing its appeal, as tourists grow keener to embrace meaning and to connect with local communities on their travels. This trend will have two main effects. The first is that local communities will have a greater say in the planning and management of touristic activities. The second is that tourists will be able to discover local habitats and wildlife, and learn about traditional rituals, cultures, food, and wisdom, first-hand. One example of a successful community initiative is the Chalalán Ecolodge in the Amazon. It is the result of a collaboration between Conservation International and a local rainforest community from San José in Bolivia. The lodge is totally owned and run by local managers and staff, thanks to the training provided by Conservation International in areas such as management, housekeeping, and food preparation.
Many travelers are seeking connection to family and friends. The value that loved ones bring to our lives was brought home in a powerful way during the lockdown era and people are ready to make up for lost time. Travelers are therefore opting for blended trips that comprise visits to new places while also making time to visit family living in or close to their chosen destinations. This trend is bound to continue over the next few years, as the risk of a global recession in 2023 rises and some consider leaving their multi-purpose travel plans for upcoming years.
Travel with pets, community-based travel, and multi-purpose travel are three of many trends that will shape the way people enjoy their vacations in the future. Sustainability, which is a strong trend in current times, will also continue to hold sway, with travelers increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their adventures. In order to reduce their carbon footprints, many travelers will be visiting destinations within their own countries, since there is so much to discover right next door.