That’s right, folks, it’s THAT time of year again.
Time for all manner of industry voices to tap their hot picks for the new year, or decade, we should say.
Our first cab of the rank for 2020 trend predictions is Booking.com which has just released its top travel trends for 2020 drawing research from more than 22,000 travellers across 29 markets and insights from over 180 million verified guest reviews.
This year, the platform has its money on a travellers seeking out a greater sense of exploration fuelled by technology, a growing sense of responsibility and a desire to form a deeper connection with the places they visit.
Here’s a rundown of what you should be looking out for in 2020 according to Booking.com.
1. The rise of the ‘second city’ traveller
Over half (55 per cent) of Australian travellers want to play a part in reducing over-tourism, while 48 per cent would swap their original destination for a lesser-known but similar alternative if they knew it’d leave less of an environmental impact.
Expect to see companies respond to this demand by introducing functions that make it easier for travellers to identify second-city/neighbourhood destinations through understanding traveller’s trip preferences and matching these with an alternative or lesser-known destinations in their chosen country or region.
2. Tech-spect the unexpected
2020 will see travellers put key aspects of their decision-making process even more firmly in the hands of technology. Smart, trusted tech-led recommendations will connect travellers to a myriad of new experiences that might not otherwise have crossed our path, while also saving time and enabling us to max out every minute of ‘now’ while on holiday.
This will be music to the ears of the almost six in 10 (58 per cent) Aussies, who say they want tech to offer them ‘wildcard’ and surprise options that would introduce them to something entirely new in the coming year. Meeting that demand, 2020 will see even more applications of Artificial Intelligence offering tailored suggestions of destinations to visit, places to stay and things to do based on your current preferences, previous trips and key contextual factors such as weather and popularity.
3. Slo-Mo is the new #FOMO
In 2020, almost half (45 per cent) of Australian travellers plan to take slower modes of transport to reduce their environmental impact and seven in ten (69 per cent) would prefer to take a longer route to experience more of the journey itself. Types of transport that play into our desire to take the pace down a notch will also come into their own – from peddle bikes to trams, sleds and boats, as well as our own two feet.
In fact, almost three in five (59 per cent) of Aussie travellers already don’t mind spending more time travelling to reach their destination if they’re taking a unique mode of transport. Likewise, 66 per cent would be interested in feeling as if they are going back in time by taking a historical train journey (e.g. Flying Scotsman, Orient Express).
4. Discovering the all-amusive escape
Travellers will want to be as time-efficient as possible on holiday, so instead of settling into one theme for the entire holiday, 2020 will see a rise in travellers exploring the ‘all-amusive’, by visiting destinations that offer an array of enriching experiences and attractions. Over half (55 per cent) of Australian travellers said they want to go on one long trip to a place that has all of their favourite activities and sights close together, and 64 per cent agree that they would choose a destination that offers all of their favourite activities and sights near each other to save travel time.
Booking.com travellers identified Montevideo (Uruguay), Ilhabela (Brazil) and Naha (Japan) as top destinations, amongst others, that offer these all-amusive experiences.
5. Pets in the priority lane
With more than half (51 per cent) of Australian pet owners saying that their pet is as important to them as their child/ren, it’s no surprise that 2020 looks set to herald a new era in pet-centric holidays. We’ll see travellers putting the needs of their beloved pets well before their own when it comes to selecting where to go, where to stay and what to do.
A third (33 per cent) of Aussie pet owners agree that in the coming year they would choose holiday destinations based on whether they can take their pets and 45 per cent would be willing to pay more to stay at an accommodation that’s pet-friendly.
6. Making great memories with ‘grand’ getaways
2020 will be the year of the ‘grand’ as more grandparents will take epic holidays with just their grandkids, leaving the middle generation behind. Over two thirds (69 per cent) of Aussie grandparents agree that spending time with their grandkids keeps them feeling young and 75 per cent believe that parents need alone time without their children.
7. Race to the reservation
For many, where and when they travel will start with – and depend on – whether they can reserve a table to enjoy highly coveted cuisine, in many cases at places whose waiting lists stretch months long.
Hidden gems – those places which have long been favorites amongst the locals and offer sought-after homegrown flavours, sometimes well off the beaten track – are the ones most likely to tickle the tastebuds of travellers looking for a local gastronomic experiences, especially the three quarters (74 per cent) of Aussie travellers who say that eating locally sourced produce is important to them when on holiday.
8. Fast track to long-term travel
Over one in ten (12 per cent) of 18 to 25-year-olds are planning to retire before they turn 55 and what they plan to do is also changing. 2020 will see travellers shift their mindset and start to plan big for their future golden years, with over two thirds (68 per cent) of Australian travellers seeing travel as the perfect way to spend that free time.