Nine travel trends to look out for in 2019

Nine travel trends to look out for in 2019

Intrepid has released its travel trend forecast for the coming year, with Aussie travellers expected to head to more remote destinations with deeper meanings.

“Where and how you travel is now a social marker, it identifies who you are. The traveller of 2019 will be defined by their strong social conscience and a heightened sense of adventure,” Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton said.

“2019 will mark 30 years of Intrepid Travel and we are proud to see how our style of travel has evolved into a way of connecting and benefiting locals as well as the travellers themselves.

“Next year will be the ‘coming of age’ for travellers as we see significant changes to how, why and where they holiday.”

1.‘Getting away from it’ all will go next level: We can all relate to feeling busy, tired, stressed and wanting to escape daily pressures including social media.

Intrepid Travel-Mongolia-trans-siberian-railway

In 2019 however, an escape will go to the extreme with more burnt out people opting for uncharted expeditions to unknown places with little connection to the outside world.

Earlier this year, Intrepid’s first ever trip of this kind, the Uncharted Expedition sold out virtually overnight with 10 travellers choosing to journey 3,500 kilometres from Kazakhstan to Mongolia on roads not yet mapped by Google and where there is intermittent electricity and WIFI, a few cold showers and fermented mares’ milk as a treat along the way!

More extreme mystery getaways will be released in 2019.

2. Anti-consumerism will drive people away at Christmas: Credit card debt, unwanted presents and over-the-top marketing from retailers will drive more people out of the country for Christmas 2019.

Intrepid Travel-india_varanasi_traveller-on-boat-ganges

This year, Intrepid has almost doubled its family trips departing over the Christmas period and 29 per cent are solo travellers over the festive season. In a real break from tradition, holidaymakers are choosing the steamy destinations of India, Cambodia and Central America instead of a white Christmas.

3. Travel will become a tangible way to empower women in developing countries: With 2018 all about the ‘me too’ movement, travellers will look for opportunities to make a real difference through the products they buy and the places they travel.

More women will travel to developing countries to support local women, with Intrepid launching Women’s Only Expeditions to experience their way of life in Jordan, Morocco and Iran.

“Women are undoubtedly disadvantaged in the workforces of some developing countries. Only 25 per cent of women in Morocco work while 30 per cent of women work in India. Our goal has been to double the number of female tour leaders by 2020 to create employment opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have existed,” Thornton said.

4. Travel will also allow women to empower themselves: Next year, more women will lean on travel as a way to empower themselves such as by travelling to destinations outside of their comfort zones, achieving a goal like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or diving into ayurvedic tradition and yoga in South India.

Intrepid Travel-Morocco-Berbers-Expedition-headscarf- (50)

In fact, Intrepid has seen a 31 per cent increase in female solo travellers in over two years.

5. Forgotten destinations will make a comeback: Thanks to recent media attention on the issues surrounding overtourism, we’ll see travellers rethink places that were once hot and then not. Intrepid is experiencing a rise in travel and trip searches for EthiopiaZimbabweMoldovaGreenlandKazakhstan and Hungary.

Global bookings to Hungary are up 155 per cent while bookings to Moldova are up 80 per cent globally, while Australia has seen a 72 per cent increase in bookings.

6.Travellers seek honorary citizenships: ‘Living like a local’ will go up a notch with holiday makers getting so under the skin of a destination, they consider themselves honorary citizens.

Fuelled by the rise in sustainable tourism and growing awareness to put tourist dollars to good use by supporting local communities, travellers in 2019 will seek out more local experiences than ever before.

During a Tehran tour for example, travellers will take the train with locals and female travellers can experience the fascinating women-only carriages, where everything from make-up to lingerie is sold to passengers who need not leave their seats.

“We’ll see more people skip the gondola in Venice for the vaporetto. Public transport will take preference over cabs and more people will take up friendly invites from locals to join them for a home-cooked meal or home-brewed tea,” Thornton said.

7.Passports become cookbooks: It’s no longer enough to buy a cookbook.

Travellers want to learn the local ingredients and assemble it all in the kitchen of a local to be replicated back home to dinner party guests.

Sri Lanka is tipped to be the hottest place for a food tour in 2019 – quite literally with its spicy curries, fresh seafood and sweet desserts on offer.

Intrepid Travel-Iran_tehran_cooking_class_HR_049A2278

Intrepid has seen a 40 per cent increase in bookings on their Sri Lanka food adventures in the past year while Australian bookings to Sri Lanka increased by 79 per cent and Kiwis by 176 per cent.

“Food specific tours were once exclusive to high-end and expensive travel companies. With that no longer the case, we’re seeing destinations like Sri Lanka rise in popularity thanks to the plethora of street food, spice markets and cooking classes run by locals in their own homes,” Thornton said.

8.Travellers will no longer be deterred by fear mongering: Next year, travellers will demonstrate greater resilience to media reports, news, propaganda and fear mongering to make their own minds up on countries like Iran, Egypt and Turkey.

Intrepid Travel-egypt-pyramid-sphinx-giza

Intrepid have seen a rise in travellers visiting the Middle East by 121 per cent in 2018.

After a few tough years, there has been a 132 per cent increase in Aussies travelling to Turkey in September 2018 compared to the same time last year.

9.Aussies will get better acquainted with Japan: Japan is set to saturate our screens with the Rugby World Cup next year followed by the Olympics in 2020.

This will see Australians travel to the country deepen. Travel to Japan is up 37 per cent and 2019 bookings at an all-time high according to Intrepid Travel.

The country now receives around 257,000 Aussie holidaymakers a year, up from just 46,000 ten years ago.

Demand will also increase to go beyond major Japanese cities to places like Okinawa. This remote southern island chain is considered exotic even to Japanese residents. Travellers will learn karate, ride in a glass-bottomed boat and snorkel with manta rays.

For more 2019 travel inspiration and deals, head to

Latest News

  • News

Female entrepreneurs in tourism invited to enter the 2024 Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Awards

Entries have officially opened to the 2024 Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Awards – a prestigious and comprehensive programme that celebrates female small business owners from across the country. This year marks the third consecutive year of the Awards, which spotlight the achievements of some of the nation’s most inspiring women in small business. Including […]

  • Travel Agents

Roy Morgan names Flight Centre the most trusted travel agent brand in Australia

Flight Centre has been named the most trusted travel agent brand in Australia, according to a new Roy Morgan report. The leading research agency’s recent Roy Morgan Risk Report: Trust and Distrust Rankings of Industries and Brands in Australia (February 2024) compared a range of industries and within the travel and tourism sector, which included […]

  • Hotels
  • News

Minor Hotels’ Anantara group reimagines the brand as its portfolio surpasses 50 properties

Anantara Hotels & Resorts is marking a significant milestone with a reimagined brand identity as recent openings across Europe, Middle East and Asia have propelled the brand portfolio beyond 50 properties. Part of the Minor Hotels group, the Anantara visual refresh takes an elegant, pared-back approach that enables each hotel’s unique character to shine – […]

  • Tourism

Club Med Musandam is newest addition to the resort group and a first for the Middle East

Club Med has announced the newest addition to its Exclusive Collection portfolio with the opening of Club Med Musandam, the first Club Med resort in the Middle East. Set to be unveiled in 2028, the development of Club Med Musandam marks a significant investment milestone, surpassing the $100 million mark. A ground-breaking development as a […]

  • Luxury
  • Products

Louis Vuitton champions travel in campaign featuring Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Louis Vuitton has relaunched its iconic Core Values Campaign with a new chapter that sees tennis champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Shot by industry legend Annie Leibovitz, the campaign features the tennis icons summiting a mountain together in the Dolomites of Italy with the tagline ‘There are Journeys that turn into Legends’. Together, they […]

  • Aviation

Garuda and Singapore Airlines to offer reciprocal benefits to frequent flyers, plus explore revenue sharing arrangements

Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines will deepen their commercial partnership and offer reciprocal benefits to their frequent flyer program members, plus explore revenue sharing arrangements for flights between Indonesia and Singapore, subject to regulatory approvals.  The frequent flyer program agreement was signed by Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra and SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong in […]

  • Hotels

My Fiji announce an exclusive deal with new Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort & Spa

My Fiji have announced an exclusive deal with the new Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort & Spa, Fiji’s newest premium resort experience, offering exclusive packages for a limited time. Situated along the shores of Wailoaloa Beach, the resort offers 324 modern rooms, immersive amenities and world-renowned Fijian hospitality, Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort […]

  • Cruise

Sydney Swans greats announced for Crown Princess cruise

Princess Cruises has partnered with the Sydney Swans to offer fans the first-ever AFL Member cruise aboard Crown Princess. This four-night voyage to Tasmania departs January 25, 2025 and guests will be able to immerse themselves in a once-in-a-lifetime Sydney Swans experience featuring special events and activities dedicated to fans. The cruise will feature Sydney […]

  • Destinations

Listening to whales, followed by Ales and Prawn Tails on the Sunshine Coast

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is preparing to welcome more than 40,000 humpback whales that are making their way up the Australian east coast on their annual migration. The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s premier whale tourism destinations, built on its long-established whale watching cruises and Sunreef’s pioneering Swim with Whales experience, which celebrates its 10th […]

  • Aviation
  • Travel Agents

Webjet relaunches partnership with AirAsia with a huge Asia flights sale

Online travel agency Webjet has have relaunched their partnership with AirAsia with a huge Asia flights sale, available until 2 June. To give customers a greater breadth of choice and price point, hundreds of new flight options to Aussie favourite destinations have been added, including Bali, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok via AirAsia, AirAsiaX, Thai AirAsia […]