Booking.com has delved into its unprecedented insights from over 163 million verified guest reviews and research from 21,500 travelers across 29 countries to reveal eight travel predictions for 2019.
Over half (56%) of global travelers agree traveling has taught them invaluable life skills, and 2019 will see a rise in people’s desire to learn something new whilst away, as well as an increase in volunteering and skills-based vacations.
Easy does it
In 2019, “ease” will be the gold standard by which tech travel innovations will be judged. In past years, travelers 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 offer a practical solution to travelers.
Watch this space – uncharted territories
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 won’t seem such a giant leap anymore. Four in ten travelers (40%) confirm they are excited about the prospect of space travel and are open to considering the experience themselves (38%).
Up close and personal
2019 looks set to see rapid developments in the way travel information is consumed and used. Generic, comprehensive travel guides of the past will make way for increasingly short-form, hyper relevant and individualized content, which can be neatly integrated in travellers’ feeds. As importance deepens on personal, individual recommendations that unlock the most out of every trip, expect producers of rich and professional travel content to find even better ways of distributing this through the use of AI as we move through the coming year, reaching us exactly when we need it most.
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 destinations before making a decision on where to visit. Currently, many Canadian travellers (38%) feel social issues in possible travel destinations are of real importance when choosing where to go and half (50%) choose not to go to a destination if they feel it will negatively impact the people who live there.
As travellers increasingly seek new and authentic experiences, they also want to ensure that they can travel in safety, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. 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 organizations will increasingly step up their support for women travelling alone.
Plastic not-so fantastic
The issue of single-use plastic will continue to be a hot topic, but in 2019 environmental concerns will turn into greater environmental action. 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 travellers (78%) say they would be willing to spend some time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay.
Expect to see a number of new travel start-ups and individual enterprises committed to shaping a new future for our planet in the coming year.
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 more than half of travellers (52%), experiences are now valued higher than material possessions.
As we continue to lead busy lives, experiences will help to ease the burden of stressful adult life. In 2019, 31% 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.
Maximizing the micro
Over a third of Canadian travellers (38%) 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 travel itineraries squeezed into shorter time frames. Less is most definitely more as travellers are offered a more bespoke experience.
“2019 is set to be an exciting year for travel. With technological advancements, a more connected world and a continuously growing consumer appetite for the best travel experiences, we’re poised for groundbreaking developments, taking travel to unexplored heights,” Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com comments. “With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com continues to innovate and learn, and we’ve never been more excited to be at the epicenter of this thrilling industry.”
Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 21,500 respondents were polled (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Respondents completed an online survey between 10th August to 30th August 2018.