Top travel trends

Emerging trends driving tourism business as researched by online travel journals unpack three most trends to consider for your potential visitor;

  • Merging business trips with leisure

Conferences are opportunities to leverage. When reaching out to meeting planners, consider offering them information about leisure activities that might interest them.

In 2017, according to the study ‘Multi-National Travel Trends’ conducted by Expedia Group Media Solutions, 60% of business trips were extended to include leisure periods. This growth was 40% in relation to 2016.

This trend steadily escalated in 2018 with no signs of slowing down. In fact, over 70% of travelers who combine business and leisure travel have reported that there are destinations they have visited or will visit in the future for business that they would like to extend for leisure travel.

  • Food Tourism

If you have been pre-arranging for stop-over lunches or early dinner during your road trip, this is a perfect experience visitors are interested in.

There has been a growing demand around culinary travel, and this trend is expected to continue through 2019 as more travelers plan their trips around food.

Social media is largely responsible for driving this trend, as travelers today have the ability to share their edible adventures with friends and even strangers — particularly through Instagram. Long considered a niche market, Food Tourism is moving into the mainstream as more destinations recognize the benefit of curating culinary experiences to attract these travelers.

Go an extra mile and partner with your local stakeholder to craft unique itineraries that appeal to foodies, wine connoisseurs, craft beer enthusiasts, and the like. Tout your unique culinary offerings to create unique experiences to attract visitors.

  • Cultural exchange and closer proximity to the local community

An increasing number of travelers are looking for opportunities for a cultural exchange and participate in activities that enable a greater contact with the local community.

They travel in order to discover a city, region or country in its totality: the language, traditions, history, to gain the local’s perspective or even master the skills and crafts for which they are known. These travelers are non-invasive and approaches the local culture respectfully, keen to learn.

The most immediate response is that a cultural exchange is not a commodity, unlike mass tourism that has spread all over the world in recent years. This experience is based on a different philosophy, which is in turn based on a hunger to learn and share knowledge, something which the UNWTO also highlights in their definition of sustainable tourism.

Someone who goes on a cultural exchange travels in order to discover a city, region or country in its totality: the language, traditions, history, to gain the local’s perspective or even master the skills and crafts for which they are known. This traveller is non-invasive and approaches the local culture respectfully, keen to learn.

Another important point to consider is that when on an exchange, you stay in the houses of families with whom you share this experience. You are welcomed into the day-to-day life of local residents: you stay with them, you shop in their local, everyday stores or, in the case of students, attend the local school as another member of the student body.

In this way, anyone that takes part in a cultural exchange learns about the local culture alongside their host family in a completely natural way. The result? Knowledge and understanding are generated which in turn reduces the historical, cultural, social or natural impact, which is the basis of sustainable tourism.