Tourism

Space travel and eco-activism high on the radar for 2019

It looks like sustainability and cultural immersion will once again be hight on travellers radars, after gaining huge amounts of popularity over the past few years.

That is, according to new data released by Booking.com to reveal the top travel trends we can expect for 2019.

Using insights from over 163 million verified guest reviews and research from 21,500 travellers across 29 countries, the online booking site has singled out eight major predictions for 2019.

1. The Appren-trip

2019 will see a focus on travellers making choices with extra significance as they look to add more purpose to their trips. Over half (56 per cent) of global travellers agree travelling has taught them invaluable life skills.

When looking at the most popular kinds of trips with purpose, 68 per cent of global travellers would consider participating in cultural exchanges to learn a new skill, followed by a volunteering trip (54 per cent) and international work placements (52 per cent).

2. Easy does it

In 2019, “ease” will be the gold standard by which tech travel innovations will be judged.

In past years, travellers have heard a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and speech recognition; in the coming year, the winning innovations will be those that can seamlessly offer these technologies as a practical solution to travellers.

Think keyless room-access with your phone, personalised travel tips or a robotic concierge who can communicate with guests in their mother tongue.

Research has shown that the innovations that will have travellers most excited include real-time luggage tracking through a mobile app (57 per cent) and having a single app for travel planning, booking and travel needs (57 per cent). This is higher than the prospect of using self-driving transportation in the traveller’s destination (40 per cent).

Multiracial hipster friends couple having fun with smartphone in subway train - Urban relationship concept with young people watching mobile phone in city underground area - Bright desaturated filter

3. Watch this space – uncharted territories

NASA will start construction of its Lunar Space Station in 2019 (launching in 2022) and we’ll continue to see considerable investment in orbital spaceflight.

In 2019 and beyond, we will continue to push the extreme limits of where travel will take us and as space technology advances, even the prospect of space tourism will seem achievable with 40 per cent of travellers confirming they are excited about the prospect of space travel and are open to experiencing it (38 per cent).

Until space travel becomes a reality, 2019 will likely see new, seemingly impossible types of holiday home and hotels out of our imagination start to emerge before our eyes.

Of most interest is under terra firma, with six in ten travellers (60 per cent) confirming they want to stay in accommodation under the sea.

4. Up close and personal

2019 looks set to see rapid developments in the way travel information is consumed and used. Generic travel guides of the past will make way for increasingly short-form, hyper-relevant and personalised content.

A third of travellers want someone or something to do the hard work and make travel recommendations for them and around two fifths (41 per cent) want travel brands to use technologies such as AI to make travel suggestions based on past travel experience.

In fact, over half would be excited about tech travel innovations such as a digital tour guide, bringing them a truly bespoke experience.

5. Conscious travel

Reflecting increased global interest in social issues such as human rights, equality and working conditions, 2019 will see a more conscious traveller with even more questions being asked around social, political and environmental issues in potential travel destinations before making a decision on where to visit.

Currently almost half feel social issues in possible travel destinations is important when choosing where to go and over half (58 per cent) choose not to go to a destination if they feel it will negatively impact the people who live there.

Colourful handicrafts being prepared for sale in Pingla village.

As travellers increasingly seek new and authentic experiences, they also want to ensure that they can travel in safety.

Platforms such as Destination Pride are harnessing the power of multiple data sources to provide travellers with a ranking of how LGBT+ friendly their chosen travel destination is, while destinations and organisations will increasingly step up their support for women travelling alone.

6. Plastic not-so-fantastic

Millennials and Gen Z travellers will look for sustainable experiences in their destination, while accommodation providers will look to reduce their plastic usage and increase their sustainable credentials.

An overwhelming majority of global travellers (86 per cent) say they would be willing to spend some time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay, with over a third willing to clear plastic and litter from a beach or other tourist attraction.

As travellers have a greater desire to travel with conscience, there will be an increase in the number of new travel start-ups and individual enterprises committed to shaping a new future for our planet’s destinations, with intriguing technology at the core of their solutions.

7. The experience curator

Travel with experiences at its core was one of 2018’s major travel trends but 2019 will take it even further. ‘Doing’ will weigh equally with ‘going’, if not more, when it comes to travel reflection.

For almost two thirds of travellers, experiences are now valued higher than material possessions, 2019 will see travellers packing in many different and authentic experiences, from where they eat and sleep to how they shop or watch their favourite sports game with an emphasis on creating moments that will bring us joy and comfort long after the fact.

In 2019, two-fifths of travellers plan to visit a destination that makes them feel like a kid again.

We’ll see properties looking to add more childlike and playful touches such as ball pits and bouncy castles for adults to cater for a Millennial and Gen Z audience, who are the biggest groups who travel to feel like a child again.

8. Maximising the micro

Over half of global travellers report they plan to take more weekend trips in 2019. It’s a year that’s predicted to be all about made-to-measure, bite-sized travel with more curated itineraries squeezed into shorter time frames.

Less is most definitely more as travellers are offered a more bespoke experience.

Tourist dancing with local Brazilian woman "Baiana" in Pelourinho, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

With continued innovations in transport, from more flight routes, easy, on-demand car rentals and real-time public transport insights, the micro trip will become more varied and tailored, making shorter trips more personal and rewarding.

We’ll also see a continued surge in desire to stay in unique and remarkable types of accommodation, which offer the chance to make a serious travel statement, even on the shortest of getaways.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Aviation

Big Fat Airline Wrap

Writing this airline wrap makes us want to go on holiday. Keep an eye out for our Go Fund Me so we can afford to pay for first class Emirates seats.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Is the OneWorld alliance in danger?

Qatar Airlines has threatened to leave the alliance, following a dispute with Qantas. Similarly, we’re threatening to leave work early if our boss doesn’t give us an early mark.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Rome tackles overtourism by limiting tour buses

Rome is set to ban tour buses in certain parts of the city centre. Meanwhile, we’ve been banned from the office snack shelf after eating more than our fair share of Tim Tams.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline forced to breathalyse staff after co-pilot caught almost 10 times over limit

We have enough trouble operating a computer when we’re drunk let alone a plane. That’s why our articles have so many typos on Fridays.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Beyond passport-free travel: SITA President reveals predictions for the future of airports

We picked Sumesh Patel’s brain to find out about all the shiny new tech airports are investing in. We assume he has a bit of a headache now.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean unveils agent portal to boost sales

More like SAILS are we right? Because it’s a ship? Yeah, we hated that joke too.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: Brand USA launches video series to uncover hidden gems of the US

The new series asks people living in little known US towns to reveal all their dirty little secrets. Okay, fine – they’re actually giving travel tips, but we promise the advice is just as juicy.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

WORLD FIRST: Ground-scraper hotel built in Shanghai quarry

The bottom floor suites are underwater, encased in an aquarium and feature a 24-hour butler service. And yes, we have pictures.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

SHOCKING: Luxury hotels apologise for dodgy cleaning practices

All we can say is we’ll definitely be soaking any cups at hotels in hand sanitiser before we use them in the future. Ew.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Big Fat Wholesaler Wrap

We’re not big Monday fans here at Travel Weekly. However, we don’t mind having a peruse through the Monday Wholesaler wrap and daydreaming up the ultimate trip we’ll never afford.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Crystal Cruises’ Karen Christensen on the changing face of cruise passengers

Millennials are shaking up the cruise industry in a big way. That’s not to say they are literally shaking the ships themselves, that would be highly dangerous.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

New Art Series hotel coming to Brisbane

The $60 million hotel will be carved into the cliff under Story Bridge. But don’t worry, they’ve assured us all trolls living under the bridge will be rehoused prior to opening.

Share

CommentComments