Tourism

“Travellers want to disconnect”: James Thornton on the evolving travel client

That’s it, folks! We’re donezo for the year.

Time to sit back, relax and drown ourselves in champagne and Christmas cake.

But first, we’ve got some words of wisdom for you to help get you set up for the new year.

As you may have noticed over the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing predictions for the year ahead from some of the industry’s most influential figures to help our readers kick-start their new year.

And today is no exception.

Below we have for you some great advice from the one and only James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid.

See you all in 2019!


The way people travel is evolving.

People want to travel with companies that have a social conscience and give people real life experiences on the ground that benefit local people as well as the travellers themselves.

Travellers want to disconnect.

Mobile phones were designed to make our lives easier, but somehow they seem to leave to us feeling even busier and stressed and tired as we become more connected and that’s making people feel burnt out.

We’re seeing lots of people who want to get off the beaten track and go to places they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to go and so we expect our expeditions to perform really strongly next year, because they give people the opportunity to disconnect from the real world and I think that will be really important.

Almaty Mountains, Kazakhstan (Istock/Aureliy)
Almaty Mountains, Kazakhstan (Istock/Aureliy)

Destination wise, I think we’ll see more people travelling to the central Asian, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia.

Places like Greenland for polar travel, African destinations like Ethiopia and Zimbabwe I think will be quite popular and not just for getting away and disconnecting, but also to escape overtourism, which has gotten so much attention recently.

People recognise the impact that tourism can have if it’s not managed correctly and so I think we’ll see a lot of popularity around alternative destinations.

Japan will really fly next year, it’s just super, super popular and I think it will definitely grow in demand in 2019.

But tour operators will need to offer experiences beyond the traditional destinations like Kyoto, Hiroshima or Tokyo, where overtourism is starting to rear its head.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Wholesalers

Big fat wholesaler wrap

There are only two things we like about Mondays: the wholesaler wrap and looking at all the pretty photos in the wrap instead of doing any work.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Visitors to Maria Island asked to stop taking wombat selfies

Frightened wombats on Maria Island are being chased around by tourists with selfie sticks, and if that’s not the most heartbreaking thing you read today we can’t imagine what will be.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Australian woman who overstayed Thai visa by 100 days to be sent home

An Australian woman is soon to arrive home having been placed in a Thai detention centre for “massively” overstaying her visa.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid’s $1 deposit trips have returned!

This is the most exciting news we’ve received all day and we just found out the pizza place down the road is doing a two for one deal. So that’s saying something!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Research: Aussie travellers prioritising self-care and self-improvement trips

We’re practising self-care by making an avocado face mask and meditating for an hour. Just kidding, we’re going to eat guacamole and sip margaritas at knock-offs.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Eat your way through the globes healthiest national dishes

Personally, we’d prefer to eat our way through the world’s national desserts, but each to their own.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

PONANT now offers free unlimited WIFI on all ships

At Travel Weekly our WIFI is so limited we’ve employed an intern whose only job is to try and crack our neighbouring offices’ WIFI passwords.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Bunnik Group launches new small group brand

And what better way to kick off a new brand than by offering up to 50 per cent discounts? Well, besides free champagne and puppies but you can’t have everything.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“I saw MH370 crash”: Fisherman claims to know coordinates of wreckage

The 42-year old said he saw the flight “move like a broken kite” but could not explain why it took him five years to come forward.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the week

Take a look at this impressive list of industry movers and shakers. The most impressive thing we’ve done lately is turning up to work on time.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

We’re so excited it’s Friday we’ve poured ourselves a glass of the semi-stale bubbles in the fridge. Here’s hoping it doesn’t give us alcohol poisoning.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Malindo Air cabin crew alleged to have carried $21 million worth of drugs into Australia

Eight people have been arrested as part of a major drug bust which involved cabin crew from Malaysia’s Malindo Air.

Share

CommentComments