While there might be some dips in travel to popular destinations of the past, travellers will be traveling this year.
Standing out from the crowd – while avoiding them altogether – will be the “must-dos,” particularly among millennials. But don’t discount the older generations, and their bucket-lists, who will have money to spend and may want to detach from all that chases their desire for peace, especially impatient travellers.
Boomers Are On The Roll They’ve been there and done that. The so-called Baby Boomers (generally those born between 1946 and 1964) will have the disposable cash to spend and will look to escape their own life stresses, namely health and weather, and for those still actively employed, work. For everyone who discounts the contribution of boomers to the travel economy, there will be eyebrow-raising numbers to contend with. According to a survey by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Baby Boomers expect to take up to five leisure trips this year and spend nearly US$6,500 on travel. While that is roughly the same amount, or slightly less, than what Millennials are expected to spend this year, an increasing number of Boomers are looking for more rewarding travel, just like Millennials.
The Young And The Restless, For the 18-35-year-old travellers, an experiential journey is what’s trending for 2018. Usually, the ones to set the trends before following them, Millennials, and the even younger Generation Z, seek more hands-on and rewarding experiences. Sustainable travel and trips to “endangered” places are attractive places to go for the younger travellers who are increasingly concerned about disappearing natural treasures due to changes in climate. Young travellers are gravitating toward destinations that offer more than a typical backpacker’s European-style getaway and instead provide more immersive natural and urban experiences. Travelagentcentral.com lists Australia and New Zealand, Italy, the UK, Spain, Thailand, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Peru among the top destinations for 2018. Traditional city destinations are not off the map entirely since the emergence of discount airline and accommodation sites give budget-conscious young travellers the ability to see many European and Asian cities without breaking the bank.
Have you heard the term “voluntourism?” It means just what it sounds like. Adding the experience of humanitarian volunteering while enjoying an adventure is becoming an alluring trend among younger Millennial travellers in 2018. Younger people are very socially conscious and the need to share doesn’t stop at selfies and other pictures. Sharing their knowledge, skills and “helping make the world a better place” is seen as a great way to spend a memorable trip.
The Over-Under On Tourism Another term you might be hearing more of this year is, “over-tourism.” As the name implies, some destinations have become so popular they risk being overrun by visitors. Destinations such as the Galapagos Islands are protected by law from over-tourism, but this mostly involves the national park area. Surrounding areas have seen an increase in development of accommodations, restaurants and shops.
Iceland’s recent surge in popularity shows that governments need to take action and work in tandem with tourism and economic entities to ensure the availability of resources, accommodations, and infrastructure while protecting the reasons people come to visit in the first place. According to digital media company Skift, tourism is now Iceland’s biggest export with roughly 2.3 million visitors in 2017. What trends for 2018 show are that some travellers will spread their wings beyond places they would normally consider in order to discover under-appreciated destinations. Using Europe as an example, less travelled destinations such as Belarus, Poland, Cyprus and Moldova are on visitors’ maps this year, according to intrepidtravel.com. Remote regions of the world will be more popular among social media-savvy travellers seeking a unique experience and one-of-a-kind shot.
Table for One, A more intriguing trend we’re seeing is solo travel. According to thestar.com, the newspaper’s website, more women are living alone than men for the first time in the country’s history and that has translated into more searches and inquiries into traveling alone. The report also notes that the trend is global. It’s becoming more popular to go at it alone and there are a few reasons for this. Most individual travellers find themselves relaxed and unconstrained when traveling alone. Trying to accommodate the schedules and desires of other traveling companions can be challenging. It’s also an opportunity to check off “bucket list” items sooner when other considerations aren’t in the mix.
We Are Family The family dynamic is changing. While traditional vacations to family-friendly destinations will continue unabated, the mix of family members traveling in 2018 will continue the trend of being a bit more non-traditional. Many single parents will obey their wanderlust and decide to travel with their children, casting aside the stereotypical scene of a mom, a dad and two kids visiting a Disney park.