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The biggest travel trends for 2024

By Sarah Allard

Glamorous train travel

If 2022 was all about a return to travel, then 2023 was the year we went further than ever before. Travellers took to the skies, rails, roads and seas to tick off major bucket-list moments, with Arctic adventures, luxury yacht cruises and even the first tourist trip into space .

In 2024, travellers will be putting what’s important to them front and centre of their plans, valuing deeper experiences that leave a positive impact, time spent with loved ones and wellness moments that last well after checkout. We’ll be choosing destinations carefully, slowing it down to enjoy the silence and the stars, indulging in our love of food in new and interesting places, and immersing ourselves in wellness practices that help us live longer.

These are the 20 travel trends likely to guide how we see the world in 2024.

Astro tourism

Astro tourism

1. Astro tourism

What’s the trend? Astronomy, of course, is a field of study that has been around since the dawn of civilisation, and the act of gazing up at the stars has long been a source of soul-soothing wonder. Today, the more society falls deeper into an ever-expanding virtual world, the more we feel a need to broaden our horizons in the real universe. Astro tourism, or star bathing, is the act of travelling with the aim of catching sight of astronomical phenomena – disappearing to lands devoid of any pollution, crowds and traffic, where we can focus solely on the skies above and while away hours gazing at the stars, planets and constellations overhead.

Why will it matter in 2024? Increasingly, wellness-centric hotels and spas are creating the space for guests to gaze upwards, watching for comets, spying constellations and identifying patterns in the glittering expanse. In the UK, Port Lympne has opened the Lookout Bubble, a glass dome allowing guests to sprawl out on king-sized beds and study the stars. Further east on the Arabian Gulf, Zulal Wellness Resort is surrounded by the expanse of the Qatari desert – the ultimate destination for pollution-free astromancy, with dedicated workshops and stargazing sessions for families and children looking to learn more about the cosmos. Safari company Desert & Delta organises trips for travellers looking to soak up the stars across Botswana and Namibia, where guests can sleep in tents at remote locations such as the Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the world’s largest salt flats, and spend nights with uninterrupted star vistas. Similarly, Tswalu is a South African safari camp with star beds set on a sleep-out deck in the Korannaberg mountains. And 2024 happens to be a big year, astronomy-wise, from mind-boggling eclipses to spectacular meteor showers – plus, scientists are predicting the best displays of the northern lights in 20 years, according to the Guardian , as we approach the next solar maximum (the sun’s peak of its 11-year activity cycle). Olivia Morelli

2. Eco diving

What’s the trend? A rise in divers choosing their travel destinations based on the sustainability of the scuba centres, and having a more positive, regenerative impact on the ocean once there.

Why will it matter in 2024? In 2022, UK marine ecology charity The Reef-World Foundation found that 95 per cent of divers wanted to book with sustainable operators, but struggled to do so. In response to this, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (Padi) launched its Eco Center accreditation on World Earth Day (22 April) 2023, with the United Nations Environment Program and Reef-World itself. The steps required to earn this green status are so rigorous – including sharing evidence of conservation activities and a real reduction in environmental footprint – that Padi advised operators to allow at least 12 months to hit the criteria, taking us to… Earth Day 2024. After an initial figure of just 11 worldwide, there are now 100, and Padi has set a goal to reach 660 by 2030 – a 10th of its membership. “South East Asia currently has the highest density (more than 20), along with the Caribbean ,” says Julie Andersen of Padi. So what does this mean for divers and their trips? “The type of conservation work done and reported on depends on the Eco Center,” Andersen explains. “Those in the Caribbean offer coral replanting programmes, key for regenerating coastlines. In Baja, Mexico , they’ve developed citizen science courses, collecting data for whale conservation.” There are also a number of new Padi courses being launched for any diver to take anywhere, including the Global Shark and Ray Census in August 2024, as well as the relaunch of the Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course before December. Becky Lucas

3. Home swapping

What’s the trend? Increasingly, discerning travellers are looking to stay away for longer stretches, while the rise of remote jobs post-pandemic means that working and living abroad has never been more appealing. The catch? Forking out on hefty accommodation fees while you’re at it. Enter home swapping: the perfect solution to guarantee yourself a (free) home abroad while you offer up your own in exchange – for weeks or even months at a time.

Why will it matter in 2024? As the cost of holidaying continues to climb, home swapping is an affordable alternative to splashing out on expensive hotels or Airbnbs. And while the concepts of couch surfing and house exchanges have existed for decades, several slick new platforms are redefining what home swapping looks like today. Twin City, which operates in cities as far-flung as Lisbon and Los Angeles , has curated a community of 1,100 plus carefully vetted users in just eight months. For an annual subscription fee of £150, members can find Twins to connect with through the platform, and are encouraged to exchange local recommendations for their city as well as their homes, enabling members to feel as if they’re swapping with a trusted friend rather than a stranger. Meanwhile, Kindred, a home-swapping platform where members rack ​​up credits for each night that they exchange homes, raised $15 million in funding this year to expand operations across the USA and Europe, and currently has 10,000 plus homes in more than 50 cities. Members simply pay a cleaning and service fee for each stay, while the cost of the stay itself is free. Or skip out on membership fees entirely and head straight to TikTok, where Gen Z appears to be spearheading the home-swapping movement on social media. Inspired by cult film The Holiday , trending tags #houseswap and #homeswap have garnered more than 23 and 20 million views respectively, with users utilising the platform as a means to advertise their homes, discover like-minded peers to swap with and document their adventures along the way. Gina Jackson

4. Train stations are the new food destinations

What’s the trend? Train stations around the world are usually passed through as quickly as possible, having not been designed for commuters to stay and hang out. Nowadays, as travel delays increase and visitors want more local experiences, it pays for train stations to welcome travellers with shops, restaurants and bars for them to explore. In an effort to create a more dynamic visitor experience, historic train stations are being revamped, with bespoke food and drink offerings as an integral part of the redesign.

Why will it matter in 2024? As train stations are renovated to accommodate more travellers and update old infrastructure, local restaurants and bars are being added to attract more customers. In 2023, the new Moynihan Train Hall in New York City became home to The Irish Exit, a bar from the team behind the acclaimed Dead Rabbit, and Yono Sushi by trendy BondST, plus outposts of beloved NYC restaurants Pastrami Queen and Jacob’s Pickles, with Mexican hotspot La Esquina coming soon.  Platform 1 a new bar and restaurant that opened in November underneath Glasgow Central Station . The cave-like space, with its historic brick arches, serves street-food-style dishes and craft brews made in the on-site microbrewery, plus there’s an outdoor beer garden. As part of its renovation, Toronto’s Union Station launched Union Market in May 2023 with favourite local food retailers Manotas Organics, Chocolatta Brigadeiro’s, Patties Express and Kibo. Meanwhile, in Somerset, Castle Cary station is in the process of a revamp, with nearby hotel The Newt creating a creamery, cafe and co-working space, which is set to open in 2024. Also on tap for the next few years is the completed renovation of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, with plans for a 20 per cent increase in concession space that will focus on local purveyors. Devorah Lev-Tov

5. Sports tourism

What’s the trend? No longer the domain of lads on tour keen to sink as many pints as possible with one eye on a football game, sports tourism has evolved in the past few years with a new generation – and type – of sports fan emerging thanks to glossy TV documentaries ( Formula 1: Drive to Survive , we’re looking at you). Now, we’re taking our fandom out of the house and following a host of different sports in destinations across the world, planning holidays that hinge around seeing games, races and other activities in exotic locales, and extending trips on either side to see the sights too.

Why will it matter in 2024? A little event known as the Olympic and Paralympic Games anchors the 2024 sports calendar. It kicks off in Paris in late July and runs until early September , during which time more than a million tourists are expected to check in across the French capital. The games have inspired city-wide projects such as the €1.4-billion clean-up of the Seine, which , all going well, will allow public swimming in the river for the first time in a century. Elsewhere, the Tour de France starts in Italy for the first time in 2024, with competitors speeding off in Florence before heading to Rimini on the Adriatic coast and then north to the Apennines through Emilia-Romagna. New bike routes in the area have been released by tour operators such as Ride International Tours and Ride Holidays for cycling enthusiasts keen to join in the fun. Sarah James

6. Coolcationing

What’s the trend? For the vast majority of folk, summer holidays used to be about following the sun, seeking the heat – watching the mercury climb and hitting the sands. With the intense, record-breaking temperatures of recent years, however, many are considering travelling in the opposite direction: booking "coolcations" in temperate destinations, which also benefit from being less crowded.

Why will it matter in 2024? Rising temperatures caused by the climate crisis have resulted in the hottest recorded summer in the UK – just over 40℃ in July 2022 – while 2023, with a sweltering summer in much of Mediterranean Europe, North America and China – is on track to be the hottest year ever. Little wonder that many travellers are thinking again before booking literal hotspots such as the South of France and Sicily in July or August. A survey for luxe travel network Virtuoso found that 82 per cent of its clients are considering destinations with more moderate weather in 2024. Destinations such as Iceland, Finland and Scotland, according to Intrepid Travel, along with Latvia, which is surging in popularity. “We’re seeing an increase in those holidaying further north,” says Andrea Godfrey of Regent Holidays. “Scandinavia and the Baltics are both getting noticed more: they offer a more pared-back style of holiday but have some lovely beaches, and forests and lakes for both relaxation and adventure activities.” Cooler temperatures are particularly well suited to family travel too. “We’re getting far more enquiries from families for destinations that offer summer sun but also respite from the high temperatures being experienced in beach resorts across the Med,” says Liddy Pleasants, founder of family specialist Stubborn Mule Travel. “Kayaking in Norway, with its midnight sun, for instance, and cycling or hiking in Slovenia, which is also very good value.” Time to ditch the SPF50… Rick Jordan

Gig tripping

Gig tripping

7. Gig tripping

What’s the trend? For years, athletes and wellness gurus were the big headliners at retreats. But rock stars are, well, the new rock stars of travel. Call it the Swift Effect. Destination concert business is up more than 50 per cent, led mostly by Taylor Swift, says Janel Carnero, a travel advisor at Embark Beyond. In the USA, tickets for Swift’s Eras Tour cost thousands and were still impossible to score. Music fans are realising they can pay less and have a more memorable experience by seeing their favourite pop icons perform in say, Amsterdam or Milan . Tours from performers such as Pearl Jam, U2, Doja Cat and Madonna will anchor trip itineraries, while music festivals (Glastonbury sold out in less than an hour) will be major catalysts for travel.

Why will it matter in 2024? New music festivals, including Untold in Romania's Cluj-Napoca, are introducing travellers to undiscovered destinations, says Alexandrea Padilha of Fischer Travel. And it’s no longer just about the music, says Carnero. “It’s the social aspect of sharing experiences with friends,” she adds. Hotels and travel companies have taken note and are creating the equivalent of backstage VIP experiences for guests. Global adventure collective Eleven has recently introduced Music with Eleven. The programme’s dedicated team of music-industry insiders (including Chris Funk, guitarist from the Decemberists) custom design itineraries that might include sitting in on a recording session at Flóki Studios, just outside the Arctic Circle at Deplar Farm in Iceland. And Rhythm & Sails hosts musicians on its catamarans. The company’s music director, Anders Beck of the jam band Greensky Bluegrass, curates the line-up of artists who perform sessions onboard and in ports as you island hop around the Caribbean . Jen Murphy

8. Resorts will help you biohack your health span

What’s the trend? Longevity is the latest wellness buzzword thanks to best-selling books such as  Outlive  and the hit Netflix documentary  Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones . Between 2021 and 2022, venture-capital investment in longevity clinics more than doubled from $27 million to $57 million globally, according to analysis from longevity research and media company Longevity.Technology. Now, the science of extending life and optimising health has become the focus at hotels. Blue Zones retreats are the new boot camps and even sybaritic resorts are offering the latest biohacks. Poolside vitamin IV anyone?

Why will it matter in 2024? Since the pandemic, feeling good trumps looking good. “People have become aware of the critical importance of developing a more proactive, preventive approach to health on all levels,” says Karina Stewart, co-founder of Kamalaya, a wellness retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand . This means a new willingness to go beyond diet and exercise and embrace sci-fi-sounding bio-regenerative treatments such as ozone therapy and hyperbaric oxygen chambers, both on offer at Kamalaya's new Longevity House. Luxury hotel brands are embracing the trend too. Six Senses Ibiza recently teamed up with biotech company RoseBar to offer guests full diagnostic testing. Maybourne Hotel Group is collaborating with wellness tech pioneer Virtusan to help guests boost performance. And Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea administers treatments such as stem cells and NAD+ (aka the fountain of youth) through its partnership with Next Health longevity centre. At 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay in Kauai, guests are welcomed with a B12 shot instead of bubbles and the resort’s new wellness-specific rooms come with recovery-boosting mod cons including infrared light mats. If the trend continues, the secret to longevity may be as easy as taking more holidays. Jen Murphy

9. Peak season gets the cold shoulder

What's the trend? There’s been a dramatic recent increase in shoulder season travel to Europe’s most popular destinations (particularly France , Spain , the UK and Italy ), which is set to continue in 2024. Luxury travel specialists Original Travel has launched new shoulder season itineraries to locations traditionally in demand during the summer – including the crystalline seascapes of Sardinia and Corsica – after seeing 14 per cent more bookings for September 2023 than for August 2023. Pegi Amarteifio of Small Luxury Hotels of the World shares similar insights. “Comparing phone reservations in 2023 against 2019, we’ve seen a 33 per cent increase for March to May and a 58 per cent increase for September to November , a pattern reflected across our other booking channels too.”

Why will it matter in 2024? A combination of social, economic and environmental factors is driving this trend into 2024. The cost of living crisis means a heightened focus on value. For 62 per cent of respondents to’s 2024 travel trends survey, this is a limiting factor for 2024 travel planning, so much so that 47 per cent of respondents are even willing to take children out of school for cheaper off-peak travel. Shoulder season travel is also becoming more attractive due to rising temperatures, and more feasible due to flexible working. Layered on top of these practical considerations is an emotional motivation too: travellers are craving authenticity more than ever, seeking a tranquil, local feel when abroad, rather than Where’s Wally beach scenes. Toyo Odetunde

10. Private group travel

What’s the trend? The post-pandemic desire to gather friends or family and embark on a shared holiday experience shows no sign of abating – in fact, it’s on the increase in luxury travel, as people appreciate the benefits and savour the moment, from 3G family groups to 50-something empty-nesters keen to rekindle life-long friendships. Just don’t take Succession ’s family outing to Tuscany as a role model.

Why will it matter in 2024? “While some predicted group travel would peak post-pandemic, we’ve seen it have a lasting, positive impact with private group bookings continuing to be a dominant trend,” says Tom Marchant of Black Tomato, for whom group travel now accounts for 30 per cent of bookings. The company has just launched its See You in the Moment series to cater for the demand: it uses a mood board of over 35 experiences themed around key flash points, from The Meal (a backcountry feast served on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, for example) to The Challenge (rafting down the Apurímac in Peru, perhaps), all designed to create lasting memories. For Scott Williams, meanwhile, multi-generational travellers are thinking big: why take one house when you can take a whole estate, such as Meli on Paxos in the Greek Islands, which sleeps 17? Other groups are taking to the water, with Red Savannah reporting an increase in bookings for Turkish gulets, Egyptian dahabiyas and Indonesian phinisis. Scott Dunn have seen an increase in bookings amongst groups of friends, with 30 per cent of respondents in a recent survey saying they were planning trips for 2024 that included ski trips to France, adventure travel in South and Central America, and beach breaks on Antigua and Barbados. Empty-nesters are also a growing force, with groups of couples in their 50s to 70s hiring villas in the shoulder season for cultural weeks away, and all-female groups – mainly aged between 50 and 65 – who are proactive in wanting to renew long-term friendships. “We had one repeat group that included several cancer survivors,” says Sarah-Leigh Shenton at Red Savannah. “A hammam afternoon in Turkey was a deeply bonding experience and they’ve since travelled to Jordan and Sicily together.” Rick Jordan

11. AI aims to be your sidekick

What's the trend? Early last year, after OpenAI’s ChatGPT broke the record as the fastest-ever growing consumer app, travellers started playing around with AI chatbots to get inspiration on where they could go. More recently, major travel booking platforms have started to integrate AI chatbots into the booking experience. But if 2023 was the year of AI chatbots wanting to plan your trips , 2024 will be all about how AI aspires to be your travel sidekick. A wave of new AI-powered features and products aims to support travellers on the ground – all while raising concerns around the potential negative impacts as AI becomes more widely integrated with our travels.

Why will it matter in 2024? AI will start to make more real-time interventions in our travels in 2024. One practical example is live translation , which Samsung plans to launch on its 2024 Galaxy devices. Imagine calling somewhere you want to visit to get information without worrying about whether staff speak the same language as you. Another example is greater AI personalisation in popular apps you already use. Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has recently touted the company's increasing use of personalised AI algorithms , which will learn about your habits and make suggestions based on what you’re doing. For the true early adopters, real-time travel interventions could also mean ditching your screen entirely and clipping a screenless personal translator and travel assistant to your chest. This is the unusual idea behind the new talking and projecting AI Pin from Humane , a start-up backed by investors including OpenAI’s Sam Altman, that promises to function a bit like the universal translator from Star Trek . Will anyone want to actually wear the pin or will it go the way of previously hyped devices such as Google Glass? It certainly raises a host of ethical questions about privacy and data protection. Yet the more that AI products successfully help in addressing on-the-go problems, the more travellers will come to rely on them too. JD Shadel

12. Skip-gen travel

What’s the trend? Skip-gen travel describes when grandparents holiday with grandchildren, in other words, "skipping" a generation. “In the past few months, I've had around twice as many enquiries as usual for grandchild/grandchild bookings,” says Clio Wood, founder of family retreat company &Breathe . “There’s been a rising trend of grandparents taking their grandchildren away,” agrees Ollie Summers, Head of Sales at bespoke operator Scott Dunn . “Often to places that have a sentimental meaning to them.”

Why will it matter in 2024? Several travel agencies have created itineraries to cater specifically for this demand in 2024. “Skip-gen safaris are emerging as a micro-trend from the UK, reflecting a niche traveller group now well established in the US luxury market,” says Liane Goldring of Mahlatini Luxury Travel . “The grandparents are usually in their 70s and still active enough to fully embrace a fully guided safari adventure.” Original Travel, meanwhile, has relaunched its Bonding Holidays Collection , featuring trips focussed on discovering something new together, such as its 14-day Family Ranching itinerary in the American West. Some of this growth can be attributed to big-ticket lockdown promises coming to fruition. Now, amid the UK’s cost of living crisis, parents are also keen to make the most of the time and childcare support of their typically baby boomer, more comfortably retired parents. Plus, the global ratio of living grandparents to grandchildren is higher than ever, thanks to a combined increase in life expectancy and drop in the number of children per person. We’re even said to be living in the "the age of the grandparent". Don’t expect this trend – or your grandparents – to slow down anytime soon. Becky Lucas

Glamorous train travel

Glamorous train travel

13. Train travel gets glam

What’s the trend? Rising climate consciousness has fuelled a rail travel revival, the luxury train niche is reaching new heights of popularity, extravagance and ambition. Travel booking platforms are reporting growing demand for luxury rail trips , where the journey is, yes, the destination. In fact, new design-forward train lines increasingly rival the finest hotels for the culinary experiences and bells and whistles on offer.

Why will it matter in 2024? A new wave of rail lines and itineraries launching in 2024 puts an emphasis on deeper immersion into the culture and landscapes of the destinations, which are more and more off the beaten track. Responding to growing demand for luxury train travel among its user base, specialist platform Railbookers plans to launch arguably the most geographically extensive and expensive luxury train itinerary around. With prices per person starting at $113,599, the 80-day Around the World by Luxury Train voyage will cross four continents and 13 countries. Beginning in August , the slow journey will string together existing luxury rail trips including Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Jasper and India’s Maharajas Express from Delhi to Mumbai. In Asia, the previously paused Eastern & Oriental Express is making a grand comeback starting in February, with carriages getting an upscale revamp and its legendary route being retraced through Malaysia's landscapes. Meanwhile, Japan is a hot destination for its scenic train journeys such as the exclusive Train Suite Shiki-shima , which quickly closed applications for its 2024 trips due to demand. And in Europe, six new train lines will commence or terminate in Rome under Accor's La Dolce Vita umbrella, with suites designed by starchitects Dimorestudio, building on the cultural legacy of the famous Orient Express . JD Shadel

14. Restaurateur-owned hotels

What’s the trend? Restaurants and hotels are the two linchpins of the hospitality industry. And naturally, the two are often intertwined on one premises. Until recently, though, most hotels weren’t started or owned by restaurateurs. Yet as food-focused travel keeps increasing, with people hankering for the next hot reservation and planning entire trips around discovering a culture through its food, it makes sense that restaurateurs are adding hotelier to their CVs – and ensuring their new properties have impressive food offerings. We’d be remiss not to mention Nobu, which began as a restaurant in 1994 and in 2013 launched its global hotel brand, as a harbinger of the trend.

Why will it matter in 2024? Just as design brands (RH, West Elm) have opened hotels in recent years, now restaurateurs are getting in on the action. In the USA, restaurateur and 12-time James Beard award nominee Sam Fox has just launched the Global Ambassador in Phoenix, Arizona, with five restaurants. Santa Barbara’s Good Lion Hospitality is relaunching Petit Soleil , a Californian wine country boutique hotel, with a new bar and restaurant slated for next spring. The Lafayette Hotel & Club was debuted last summer in San Diego by Arsalun Tafazoli, founder of a local hospitality group that operates 16 bars and restaurants. The hotel has five restaurants and bars, with two more opening by the end of the year. In Dallas, Harwood International, which owns a dozen or so restaurants in the area, opened Hôtel Swexan in June. In the St Gallen region of Switzerland two hotels were recently added to beloved restaurants: the revamped Mammertsberg  and  Gasthaus Traube . In Slovenia, AS Hotel is a new place to stay launched Sebastjan Raspopović, son of chef Svetozar Raspopović-Pope of renowned restaurant Gostilna AS in Lublijana. Aside from a restaurant by Raspopović-Pope, the hotel has an eatery by Michelin-lauded chef Ana Roš. Finally,  R48 , and its lauded Chef’s Table, was opened in Tel Aviv last spring by R2M Hospitality Group, which also runs restaurants CoffeeBar and Herzl 16. Devorah Lev-Tov

15. Silent travel

What’s the trend? In an age of overstimulation, silence might be just what we need from our travels in 2024. Offering a chance to restore and reset, silent travel represents a more mindful kind of trip, one that doesn’t leave you needing a holiday to recover from your holiday. Silent meditation retreats are an increasingly popular wellness trend, but silent travel also encompasses secluded nature resorts, sleep retreats , quiet hotels , silent walking tours and even silent disco and concert experiences.

Why will it matter in 2024? Saturated with stress and screen time, many of us are looking for ways to disconnect. The silent walking trend that recently took TikTok by storm reflects a growing impulse to escape the noise of our tech-fuelled lives and embrace the quiet, with promising implications for wellbeing. One 2015 study suggests silence may help to stimulate brain development, while another found that two minutes of silence during or after relaxing music increased the music's calming effects. With the Global Wellness Institute forecasting a 21 per cent increase in wellness tourism in the next two years, what better counter to the chaos of our always-on lives than silence? Silent travel is also part of a move towards more sustainable tourism. Quiet Parks International , for example, offers unique nature experiences in dedicated quiet spaces, reducing noise pollution for the surrounding wildlife. Silent travel opportunities abound in 2024. Kick off the year with a silent retreat in Portugal (with Innate ) or Italy (with Mandali ). More adventurous silent-seekers can trek the peaceful Japanese Kumano Kodo trail, or explore Finland’s Arctic landscape with a Silence & Nature Tour . For a tailor-made silent experience, Black Tomato’s Blink camp offers luxury accommodation in the world’s most remote settings, while its Get Lost programme promises to help you find yourself by getting lost in a far-flung location. Tasha Kleeman

16. Urban gardens

What’s the trend? Never mind the biophilic office and those pot plants you forget to water: whole cities are going green as architects and planners create leafy microclimates amid the grey concrete to help keep us cooler, connect communities and even feed us.

Why will it matter in 2024? Having trees and gardens in our cities is a pretty good idea. King Nebuchadnezzar certainly thought so, which is why his Hanging Gardens of Babylon made it into travel’s first-ever bucket list – the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – back in the 2nd century BC. Nowadays planting trees creates much-needed shade, stores carbon and increases biodiversity, but it also makes our cityscapes so much nicer. While Valencia, an early adopter of urban greening with its 12km-long Turia Garden in 1986, is the 2024 European Green Capital, France is busy planting trees like there’s no tomorrow: go to Paris for the 2024 Olympics and you’ll spot budding new forests growing in Place du Colonel-Fabien, Place de Catalogne and in the Charonne district, while Bordeaux’s Grandeur Nature project includes urban cooling islands, micro-forests and rain gardens. All of which will doubtless be discussed at the ISHS Green Cities 2024 symposium, hosted by RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, England, in September. Meanwhile, on Cyprus – an island that experienced temperatures of 44℃ in 2023 – the new Salina Park opens in time for summer shade in the seaside city of Larnaca. In Brazil, Rio’s Hortas Cariocas is a groundbreaking achievement that will be completed by the end of 2024: the largest urban vegetable garden in the world, connecting 56 community gardens across favelas and schools. And in London, the £1-billion Google building in King’s Cross will show just what can be done with one structure. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the "landscraper" – only 11 storeys high but stretching out longer than the Shard is tall – is hoped to provide a blueprint for future urban projects: running along the rooftop is a multi-level garden, with wildflowers, lawns and decked seating areas, set with more than 55,000 plants and 250 trees. Can you dig it? Rick Jordan

17. Back-of-house tours

What’s the trend? Greener hotels giving us a look behind the scenes to show us – not just tell us – they're sustainable. We don't mean a look-see at solar panels or composting, but heart-lifting experiential tours that help us appreciate why it matters to support socio-economic uplift through tourism. In South America, Blue Apple Beach invites visitors to get up close and personal with the community work it does in Colombia through its impact fund. Founder Portia Hart wanted more than token-gesture carbon offsetting, where locals themselves could decide how money was spent. In Africa, guests of the Bushcamp Company contribute to initiatives through the Luangwa Conservation and Community Fund. A popular excursion in Zambia is visiting the boreholes that are installed with outreach funds. Each pump provides fresh drinking water to hundreds of people a day, and visitors who spend time with those gathered get a very tangible insight into how such provisions funded by hospitality can literally change lives in regions most affected by a warming planet.

Why will it matter in 2024? Transparency is on the up as the European Union's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive comes into force and greenwashing is coming close to being officially outlawed. A year of droughts, floods and heatwaves also reminds us we need to make better-informed choices in our travel planning – and all the better if we can also get a crash course in the science and sociology of positive impact. Experiences that go beyond explaining responsible practices, but demonstrate a deep respect for communities on the climate-change frontlines and help make their challenges relatable to visitors are especially helpful. Juliet Kinsman

18. Wild feasting

What’s the trend? Have you ever noticed how food always tastes better outdoors? But in today’s modern world many of us are more used to eating a sandwich while staring at a screen. Wild feasting describes the trend for beautifully curated culinary experiences in natural environments with the incorporation of hyper-local and foraged ingredients. In Sweden, for example, you can tap into a network of do-it-yourself outdoor restaurants where you book a table in a scenic location, search for nettles, birch leaves, lingonberries and trumpet chanterelles, and then cook them on an open fire according to a recipe card provided by a Michelin-grade chef.

Why will it matter in 2024? A greater range of wild feasting opportunities will give urbanites a chance to properly connect over food. Leading the way is Noah Ellis, founder of the UK's Nomadic Dinners. “Since launching in 2018, we experienced compounded year-on-year growth for our feasting and foraging experiences,” he says. In 2024 he will be hosting a new series of fire feasts, including one set among the bluebells. Also tapping into the zeitgeist is TikTok star Alexis Nikole Nelson (aka the Black Forager) who will publish a book about wild food in 2024. And don’t forget, 2024 is the last year you will be able to eat at Copenhagen ’s legendary, foraging-focused restaurant Noma before it turns into a test kitchen and closes to the public. Another innovator is Holmen Lofoten’s Kitchen On The Edge Of The World series in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, where guests can participate in four nights of wild feasts cooked by top chefs. In 2024, these will include Lennox Hastie, José Pizarro and Heidi Bjerkan. Ingunn Rasmussen, owner of Holmen Lofoten, says: “Now, as when we were little kids, gathering around a bonfire in the wilderness, sharing stories, feasting under the stars in these magical, remote surroundings is one of the absolute highlights, both for our guests and for us.” Jenny Southan

19. Plan-free travel

What's the trend? Saying no to endless scrolling to plan every inch of a trip, and saying yes to spontaneity instead. The power of the algorithm-spawned era of Fomo travel is waning, with those once secret spots made Insta-famous becoming tired and cookie-cutter, and the drive to plan a trip around them losing momentum. The rising counter movement is travel with no plans at all.

Why will it matter in 2024? The plan-free appeal is going one step further in 2024. recently reported that 50 per cent of UK travellers want to book a surprise trip in 2024, where everything, even the destination, is unknown until arrival. And it’s possible to do it via travel companies such as Black Tomato, whose Get Lost service offers customers the ability to simply select a preferred environment – polar, jungle, desert, mountain or coastal – and leave its team decide everything else. “While we launched Get Lost several years ago, post-pandemic we’ve seen a notable and rising uptick in bookings and enquiries,” says Black Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant. Journee offers a similar surprise element, with travellers only finding out where they’re going at the airport. The service, which includes a full itinerary and access to a team via Whatsapp, is particularly popular with solo female travellers, while overall demand has grown so much that the London -based brand recently launched trips in the USA. Lauren Burvill

20. Frontier tourism

What’s the trend? To go above and beyond. Or below and under. As crossings of the tumultuous Drake Passage to Antarctica rack up millions of TikTok views and traffic jams form on Everest, canny travellers are seeking more individual, less obvious experiences that combine thrill-seeking with more meaningful self-empowerment.

Why will it matter in 2024? One person’s frontier is another’s backyard, of course, so frontiers are entirely subjective here. For some, this could mean being the first to camp under the stars in a remote landscape, or hike an ancient pilgrimage trail that’s been off the map for centuries. It’s still possible to bag a rare place on a Kamba African Rainforest Experience in the Republic of the Congo, being one of just 12 people to explore a game park the size of Belgium. Black Tomato, meanwhile, is designing an intrepid new expedition to the remote Mitre Peninsula in Argentina, along with a trip in Peru navigating the Sacred Valley of the Incas by raft. “This sort of adventure goes beyond bragging rights and is more akin to self-empowerment and the gratification of pushing our own horizons,” says Black Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant. The Ultimate Travel Company is also heading to Peru, a country repositioning itself for luxury travellers, with stays at Puqio, its first tented exploration camp,, in the remote Colca Valley in the Southern Peruvian Andes. Wilderness camping is also pegging out fresh terrain in Kyrgyzstan, with yurt stays on the steppes trending for 2024, according to Wild Frontiers, as is Mongolia ; while Albania, Mongolia, Pakistan and the Empty Quarter of Oman are all on the radar for an increasing number of travellers. And while the space-age pods of White Desert have already sold out for New Year’s Eve 2024 and 2025, latter-day frontiersfolk can take the path less travelled and explore the frozen continent’s southern coast (99 per cent of visitors go from South America to the northwest) with The Ultimate Travel Company’s new Ross Sea cruises, seeing the Ross Ice Shelf and Transantarctic Mountains. Don’t forget to pack your penknife. Rick Jordan

online trends in travel

Some key digital Trends in the online travel industry, including digital travel trends, how customers research travel purchases, and more. 

We’ve gathered and analysed data from 455,262,785 online user journeys and booking statistics from a range of Travel ecommerce websites, to provide you with comprehensive information including current trends, in depth statistics and crucial factors in the brand new 2023 Travel Ecommerce Stats & Trends Report .  

Find out in-depth answers to all of your Travel ecommerce questions in the current climate – how are your customers browsing? When are customers most likely to commit to a sale? What is the best and proven way to grab their attention?

Table of Contents

Online Travel Trends 2023 Key Stats

With total online sales peaking at 62.5% on desktop and 37.5% on mobile. Compared to 2021 we found that mobile has gained a little market share increasing 3%.

We can gather that, on average, around half of the overall visitors are committing to a sale. However when we delve deeper into the stats, we can start to analyse the complete customer journey – from browse to basket. 

SaleCycle’s new 2023 online travel market research found users are abandoning their carts/bookings much less. In fact, desktop abandonment has improved 4%. Mobile abandonment has also improved by 2%.

Users show much higher intent to complete their purchase on desktop with an 8% lower abandonment rate than mobile users.

We can assume that the reason for this is that potential customers are browsing elsewhere across other travel websites, therefore leaving your sale behind. 

2023 cart abandonment trends for the online Travel industry

Although the numbers here could seem alarming, this kind of consumer behaviour tends to occur when faced with committing to large purchases – we all want to find the best deal.

Also, these numbers indicate a much healthier place for the travel industry compared to the previous year. Online travel trends show that the sector is bouncing back in a big way.

So how do you decrease browse abandonment rates? SaleCycle specialises in decreasing your shopping cart abandonment rates with hundreds of insights and solutions to find the best outcome for your business. We cover topics to tackle abandonment rates across the board, with Beginner’s Guides to Cart Abandonment, all the way to the end goal of creating the most effective Cart Abandonment Emails , which we also delve deeper into in this article.

Travel Booking Platforms – Mobile vs Desktop Stats

This mobile vs. desktop conversion rates investigation overall shows us that mobile rates, including browse abandonment and online traffic, are significantly higher than desktop figures.

The reason for this could be down to the fact that mobile is a much more dynamic way to shop across the majority of ecommerce platforms, with the ability to be able to open and close windows with ease, for example. 

However when it comes to committing to a large travel ecommerce sale, we can see that these shoppers lean towards using desktop. This being the only desktop result (at 62.5%) with a higher percentage of consumers.

From this Report, we have also gathered that 58% of all Airline sales are purchased on desktop. But why are mobile conversion rates behind desktop here?

2023 Airline sales by device

We have seen in previous and current customer behaviour reports that this is a common theme. Consumers feel more at ease buying larger products – such as a flight or holiday – on a larger screen, compared to other ecommerce sectors such as retail and fashion, which totals at a higher percentage of 56.06% on mobile sales. 

For one, it can be easier to navigate around a site and view important information on a bigger screen, so some shoppers may browse and research online travel on mobile and select a choice later on. People are also more likely to buy on a desktop when purchases are more complex – in this case, Travel purchases fit under this concept. 

Online Travel Sales Trends by Sector

When looking at total sales by month in the Travel sector, it mostly comes down to customer behaviour and how we act as consumers depending on different environmental and seasonal factors. 

For example, we can see that Cruise and Ferry sales peaked in July – during the height of the summer, also known as the typical British ‘Summer holiday’ season. Airline sales also peak around summer months as well as winter months, which can also be associated with the holiday season.

In that same instance, Road and Rail stays fairly consistent throughout the financial year. This may be due to the fact that we rely on this sector for everyday commutes, and not just vacation-style journeys. 

online travel sales trends by sector

For all Travel sectors, the least popular time to make a purchase (and therefore travel) is at the beginning of the year – January and February. We can assume that this is down to potential consumers’ state of affordability at the start of a new year. Again, this is because seasonal factors come into play and so, there is a need to improve holiday season performance – this is a challenge, however when we can gather that November through to December (the Christmas period) is driven by December online sales and festive shopping, which is often followed by a rest in spending. 

With this information, you can gather that this is a crucial time to introduce enticing opportunities for the customer. Personalised content in email campaigns could come into play here, alongside potentially your own sale period and online remarketing strategies.

Total Online Travel Sales by Device & Year

SaleCycle tracks and compiles data from user journeys in the Travel sector on both mobile and desktop to understand and then present the most authentic results. Year after year, it is clear that total online sales via mobile has increased when compared to desktop sales – presented here in this infographic. Although desktop sales are still leading the way in Travel, we can see that consumers are gradually becoming more confident in completing a purchase with their mobile device.

We saw this trend especially from the start of the pandemic to post-pandemic, where a total of 110% growth in online sales via mobile in travel occured. So how can you reduce mobile cart abandonment rates within the Travel Sector?

Airline online sales by device

The Travel sector has been known for its desktop-heavy conversions, with excessive form fields and documents (such as booking terms and conditions), something that can seem daunting when compressed onto a small screen. 

However, it seems that Travel companies have caught onto this issue and are slowly but surely optimising their ecommerce pages to fit a mobile screen using tailored mobile form design strategies , overall improving the customer journey.

Testing different formats of ecommerce websites is something we highly recommend across all sectors. Doing ecommerce AB Testing best practices and website optimisation as a whole can produce the kind of positive results we see here in the Travel sector.

Online Travel Traffic vs Browse Abandonments

All ecommerce brands want to understand their customers to the best possible degree in order to capture a sale. By comparing online traffic and browse abandonment rates, we are able to gauge intent levels of users throughout the year, which can be utilised to get you the best conversions going forwards.

In this Report, we can see that browse abandonment rates are at their highest in December at 83.43%, meaning that customers are currently more likely to decide against a purchase at this time of year compared to any other month. February is also when there is the least amount of online traffic, which we can see here in this graph. 

online traffic vs browse abandonment in 2023 travel sector

However, browsing still exists and therefore can still be utilised to create engagement. Call to action tools such as browse abandonment emails and browse reminders would be most useful during this time, to remind your customers to reconsider their commercial intent. It’s vital to keep these potential customers engaged over the long term.

As mentioned in the Report previously, mobile is leading the way when it comes to online traffic and browsing travel sites, taking up a total of 59% of all online traffic, which is 4% higher that the previous year.

However, total online sales via mobile is just 37.5%, paired with a mobile browse abandonment rate of 84%. This suggests users use their mobile devices to browse more than purchase.

So, in order to maximise online sales opportunities, travel ecommerce sites need to consider this phase of the consumer’s journey and put tools in place to help make that final purchase decision. Email marketing including browse abandonment emails alongside email personalisation are just some of the many methods we at SaleCycle cover, to see a positive shift in overall conversion rates.

traffic and sales in travel by device 2023 stats

Online Travel Cart Abandonment Email Metrics

Our 2023 Travel Ecommerce Stats & Trends Report has shown that Travel sector email open rates, compared to the overall ecommerce market, are significantly much higher: 

  • Ecommerce Average: 34.97%
  • Travel Sector Average: 57.91%

This could be down to travel businesses using personalisation in emails to their advantage – for example, features such as personalised destination data. 

Call to action, or ecommerce CTA , also plays an important role in the travel sector with fluctuating prices, peaking the interest of customers and driving them to make a faster purchase decision.

As a whole, cart abandonment emails perform very well in the travel industry. We know that travel customers take a longer amount of time to complete a purchase compared to other ecommerce sectors, and therefore marketing correctly with cart abandonment emails can play a huge role in helping that decision along.

So overall – well-timed, multicycle cart abandonment emails are a great tool.

Online Travel and Universal Search

With the advent of universal search, whereby Google shows multimedia results, the days of ten blue links on search results pages are long gone.

For online travel searches, more space is now being taken up by universal search elements.

These include Knowledge Graphs , which appeared in 65% of desktop and 22% of mobile travel searches, maps (17% desktop, 23% mobile), and images (18% desktop, 15% mobile).

Digital Trends in the Travel Industry - universal search

Tripadvisor and Online Travel Research

With more than 325m monthly users, Tripadvisor is in a position to influence a lot of online travel purchases.

Travel customers who visit Tripadvisor are also more likely to take time over research, with more than 80% taking more than four weeks to complete a purchase.

online trends in travel

It’s also a popular starting point for many travel searches, especially in the earliest phases of travel research.

online trends in travel

Abandonment Rates in Travel

The average abandonment rate for online travel sites was 85.63% in 2022, according to our recent data.

For comparison, the average overall ecommerce abandonment rate was 79.53%.

Cart/Abandonment Rate by Travel sector

Online travel generally involves a longer research and booking process, and can be the high cost purchases, so this does mean abandonment rates can be relatively high.

Some travel purchases can be simpler than others, such as hiring cars and booking hotels, so we see lower abandonment rates for these types of travel sites.

Online Travel Abandonment Trends

Abandonment rates tend to be lowest at peak times for buying, such as promotional events, or during certain seasons.

online trends in travel

For this reason we can see a dip in abandonment rates for most travel sectors around January, perhaps as people begin to book holidays for the summer.

For airlines and travel especially, we see a further dip in abandonment rates around May, possibly due to travellers booking last minute holidays for the summer months.

Why Hotels Should Ask Customers to Leave Reviews

A report from TrustYou finds strong reasons why hotels should contact customers and ask for reviews.

  • 80% of customers who received a request left a review. Just 22% wrote a review without being asked.
  • The majority (54%) of guests have experience writing and submitting at least one review in the previous 12-months.
  • On average, 95% of traveler reviews are positive; 93% of travelers’ most recent reviews are reportedly positive.

Why Travel Bookers Prefer Apps to Mobile Web

Travelport Digital looked into the travel activities people use apps for and why they would choose to use apps ahead of mobile websites.

online trends in travel

Speed and increased functionality were the most popular reasons to favour apps, as well as the ability to receive useful updates.

People value updates on trip status, price alerts and discounts, as well as reminders of bookings in progress.

online trends in travel

The key theme here is user experience. Apps can mean a better experience, and the travel brands with the best apps stand to benefit here.

online trends in travel

Best Travel Sites on Mobile

According to a Google study of speed and usability, these are the UK’s top ten travel sites on mobile.

online trends in travel

Hotel Conversion Rates

The average conversion rate for hotels is 2.2%, according to a study by Fastbooking .

However, conversion rates vary between hotel sites, with the top 20% of hotels averaging 5.6% compared with 0.3% for the bottom 20%.

Preferred Devices for Travel Bookings by Country

Desktop remains the most popular device for making travel bookings, according to a report from EyeforTravel .

online trends in travel

Airlines and Social Customer Service

A study from Conversocial looks at the performance of US and Europe / Middle Eastern airlines on social media.

online trends in travel

It found that US airlines respond faster on average, but are less responsive overall than their EMEA counterparts.

Travel Booking Search Trends

The Travel Market Performance Report from PI Datametrics looks at search trends in the travel industry.

The report looks at share of voice across the UK flights market, showing the sites that appear most often for flight related search terms.

The top 3 performers own 52.6% of the entire flights market, with Easyjet the best performing airline.

online trends in travel

In the US, there’s a similar pattern, with the top three owning 57% of the entire flights category.

online trends in travel

Reviewed by Brad Ward Written by Brad Ward — Updated on 22/08/2023

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Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at SaleCycle. He's been covering ecommerce and digital marketing for more than a decade, having previously written reports and articles for Econsultancy. ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and more.

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The Biggest Travel Trends of 2024, According to Expedia Group's President

Can you guess the one major travel trend from 2023 that's sticking around?

online trends in travel

Courtesy of Expedia

With the new year just around the corner, travel planning for 2024 is in full swing. Online travel booking behemoth Expedia recently unveiled its 2024 travel trends report , combining a vast trove of first-party data with a global consumer survey of 20,000 travelers. Think of it as a peek into what will define the travel landscape in the year ahead. 

“What’s happening in culture often shapes consumer behavior, and we’ve definitely seen that in travel,” said Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands, in an interview with Travel + Leisure . There’s a wide array of intriguing intel, from how travelers are looking for recommendations (hello, ChatGPT) to the destination “dupes” jet-setters are choosing so they can avoid overcrowded destinations.

Generative AI

While generative AI tools like ChatGPT took the spotlight in 2023, according to Gieselman, only a small fraction of travelers — 6 percent in total — used it to plan their trips. However, in 2024, Expedia predicts more widespread adoption; half of those surveyed are interested in using generative AI to plan their next getaway. 

The technology’s ability to simplify the planning and booking process — though often with unintended side effects — is driving its use. Nearly 40 percent of travelers say they would use generative AI to help find the perfect stay. 

Destination “Dupes” and "Set-jetting"

AI may (or may not) prove helpful for trip planning, but how will travelers narrow down where to go? The Expedia-commissioned study explored the “dupe” trend that has taken over TikTok by applying it to 2024 travel destinations. “These cities made the list because they all experienced a noticeable uptick in searches on the Expedia app over the past year, so it’s clear that they’re emerging as great alternatives,” Gieselman says. 

In many cases, these “dupes” are affordable alternatives to places that are historically more expensive. At the top of the list was Taipei, Taiwan , with a 2,786 percent increase in flight searches for 2024; Expedia says the city is a dupe for Seoul. Other notable dupes include Pattaya, Thailand (dupe for Bangkok); Paros, Greece (dupe for Santorini); Curacao in the Caribbean (dupe for St. Martin); and Perth, Australia (dupe for Sydney). 

There’s one 2024 trend that’s a sure bet — and a holdover from 2023. “Set-jetting” will continue to be in vogue for the new year. More than half of the travelers surveyed say they’ve researched or booked a trip to a destination after seeing it in a television show or movie. 

Giselman and company dug closer into specific programming that is influencing this trend. For instance, following the release of Wednesday on Netflix, Expedia saw a 150 percent increase in travel searches for Romania. There was a 200 percent increase in searches to Paris after Emily in Paris debuted its most recent season. 

A longtime favorite, White Lotus, is filming its third season in Thailand and Expedia expects a surge in travel to the Southeast Asian country. After all, the first two seasons of the series drove a 300 percent increase in demand to Hawaii and Sicily.

Sober Travel and More

Once on the ground, Expedia expects travelers to fully embrace “dry tripping,” going beyond the traditional Dry January or Sober October to have low- or no-alcohol getaways year-round. The travel industry has responded accordingly, stocking minibars with zero-proof options and offering mocktail-making experiences. 

Giselman says that it’s Gen Z travelers who are driving the dry tripping trend. “Sober-curious lifestyles are becoming more commonplace, and many Gen Zers are practicing alcohol-free lifestyles," he notes.

Wynn Las Vegas , a T+L reader favorite in Sin City , offers a “Drinking Well” zero-proof cocktail program developed by a master mixologist featuring reishi mushrooms, ashwagandha, and maca. Meanwhile, The Merrion , a T+L reader favorite hotel in Dublin , distills its own nonalcoholic gin. Expedia says more than 40 percent of travelers are likely to book a detox trip in the next year, with half of respondents saying they would be interested in staying at hotels that offer easily accessible alcohol-free beverage options.

The complete travel trends report, with several other key tenets , comes on the heels of Expedia Group’s recent launch of One Key , a single unifying travel rewards program across Expedia , , and Vrbo . 

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Top 9 Travel Trends & Innovations in 2024

How are the latest trends in the travel industry reshaping trip planning and enhancing tourist experiences in 2024? Explore our in-depth industry research on the top 9 travel trends based on our analysis of 3500+ companies worldwide. These trends include AI, immersive tourism, IoT, contactless travel & more!

Technological advancements in the travel industry meet the growing demand for personalized experiences, safety, and sustainability. Post the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging travel trends mark a shift towards contactless travel through digital payments, self-check-ins, and more. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain are automating various hospitality and travel-related operations.

For instance, smart hotels make use of internet-connected devices to remotely control rooms. Further, businesses offer virtual tours by adopting extended reality (XR) technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Travel companies also leverage data analytics to personalize marketing. At the same time, traveler assisting solutions like chatbots and voice technology aid them in booking accommodation and optimizing journeys. These travel trends improve the overall profitability of the tourism industry and enable it to make operations more sustainable and safe.

This article was published in July 2022 and updated in February 2024.

Innovation Map outlines the Top 9 Travel Trends & 18 Promising Startups

For this in-depth research on the Top 9 Trends & Startups, we analyzed a sample of 18 global startups and scaleups. The result of this research is data-driven innovation intelligence that improves strategic decision-making by giving you an overview of emerging technologies & startups in the travel industry. These insights are derived by working with our Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform , covering 2 500 000+ startups & scaleups globally. As the world’s largest resource for data on emerging companies, the SaaS platform enables you to identify relevant startups, emerging technologies & future industry trends quickly & exhaustively.

In the Innovation Map below, you get an overview of the Top 9 Travel Trends & Innovations that impact travel & tourism companies worldwide. Moreover, the Travel Innovation Map reveals 3 500+ hand-picked startups, all working on emerging technologies that advance their field.

Top 9 Travel Trends

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Immersive Tourism
  • Internet of Things
  • Contactless Travel
  • Big Data & Analytics
  • Post-Pandemic Tourism
  • Tour Premiumization


Click to download

Tree Map reveals the Impact of the Top 9 Travel Trends

Based on the Travel Innovation Map, the Tree Map below illustrates the impact of the Top 9 Travel Industry Trends in 2024. Startups and scaleups are enabling contactless travel using technologies like biometrics, radio-frequency identification (RFID), and near-field communication (NFC). This is due to increasing health and hygiene concerns post the pandemic. The use of AI in tourism ensures hassle-free trip planning while AR and VR allow tourists to virtually visit various locations and excursions. IoT increases visibility into tourism industry operations and allows passengers to track their luggage more efficiently. Further, the demand for personalized and luxurious travel is rising. Several startups enable recreational space travel as well as offer sustainable travel options to passengers.


Global Startup Heat Map covers 3 635 Travel Startups & Scaleups

The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the global distribution of the 3 635 exemplary startups & scaleups that we analyzed for this research. Created through the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, the Heat Map reveals that the US, Europe, and India see the most activity.

Below, you get to meet 18 out of these 3 635 promising startups & scaleups as well as the solutions they develop. These 18 startups are hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised, and more. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.


Interested in exploring all 3500+ travel startups & scaleups?

Top 9 Travel Trends in 2024

1. artificial intelligence.

Hotels employ intelligent chatbots, powered by AI, to provide quick and personalized responses to traveler inquiries. These chatbots simplify the booking process and gather customer reviews, aiding potential travelers in making informed decisions. Moreover, AI-based robots enhance the customer experience by automating hotel disinfection and delivering room service.

At airports, these robots guide travelers and assist with luggage handling. Facial recognition technology, driven by AI, expedites identity verification at airports, enhancing security and offering a swift alternative to traditional methods. Startups are developing AI-powered trip planning solutions, optimizing journeys, and personalizing travel experiences.

Travel Professor develops a Travel Chatbot

UK-based startup Travel Professor offers an AI-enabled chatbot for travelers. The startup’s chat widget software monitors multiple flight deals and notifies users when their preferences match. It also provides travel destination recommendations and flight price alerts. This allows travelers to book economical flights and have a budget-friendly tourism experience.

Pneuma Travel facilitates Travel Planning

US startup Pneuma Travel develops a voice-assisted digital agent, Sarah , to streamline the process of travel planning. This assistant, powered by AI, excels in arranging flight and accommodation bookings and assists travelers in discovering a variety of activities. Sarah , available round the clock, provides continuous support for all travel-related inquiries.

Moreover, Sarah customizes travel options according to individual preferences and budgetary constraints. The agent further enhances the travel experience by providing insights into local attractions in unfamiliar cities. Importantly, Sarah enables real-time modifications to travel plans, in compliance with specific airline policies, thereby minimizing waiting times for users.

2. Immersive Tourism

Immersive tourism caters to the growing demand for meaningful experiences among travelers, leveraging AR, VR, and mixed reality (MR). VR simulates original locations through a computer-generated environment, allowing tourists to virtually explore destinations. It provides travelers with a comprehensive 360-degree tour of points of interest.

AR enhances the travel experience with interactive elements such as navigation maps and ads. Travel companies employ AR and VR-based gamification to heighten tourist attractions. Moreover, these technologies enable hotels and resorts to present amenities and rooms in an engaging, interactive manner.

VR Travel Expo offers VR-based Travel Plans

US startup VR Travel Expo develops a VR travel application to transform the way people research and book travel. The application enables users to plan their vacations more efficiently. It provides an engaging platform for users to explore and expand their knowledge of the world. Moreover, it employs 3D geospatial technology that creates real-time digital twins of the world. This further enhances the travel planning experience.

AR Tour makes AR Glasses

Italian startup AR Tour offers AR-powered tours. The startup’s AR glasses superimpose reconstructed images of archaeological ruins to show how the site originally was. Its tour informs the tourists about the site’s history and significance via an audio-visual package. Moreover, the startup designs lightweight AR glasses to prevent motion sickness among tourists, improving convenience.

3. Internet of Things

IoT generates ample data that tourism companies leverage to personalize services in their subsequent visits. Hotels use IoT sensors to enable smart rooms that automate room lighting, temperature, and ambiance control, enhancing guest comfort. These sensors adjust appliances in vacant rooms, conserving energy and reducing the building’s carbon footprint.

Startups harness IoT to deliver location-specific information to customers, including real-time luggage tracking via IoT tags, minimizing lost items. Airlines also incorporate IoT-based solutions into seats, monitoring passenger temperature and heart rate for proactive health management.

Altitude enables Smart Hotels

New Zealand-based startup Altitude creates an IoT-based hotel software and hardware to develop smart hotels. The startup makes self-service kiosks to automate reservations, room up-gradation, payments, as well as check-in and check-out. Its hotel management platform further enables contactless engagement with guests. Additionally, Altitude’s mobile keys allow guests to open doors using mobile phones, providing convenience and saving time for travelers.

Smart Tour provides Smart Itineraries

Brazilian startup Smart Tour offers smart itineraries using IoT and quick response (QR) codes. The startup recommends travel routes and destinations based on the user’s preference in real-time. This facilitates a seamless experience for travelers. Besides, the user-generated data enables tourism managers to better understand consumer behavior and indulge in proximity marketing. The startup also offers a contact tracing solution to monitor COVID-19 infected travelers and ensure public safety.

4. Contactless Travel

Travelers benefit from contactless recognition technologies like retina scanning, which replace traditional travel documents, speeding up passenger identification and reducing airport queues. QR codes offered by travel companies allow tourists to access relevant information on their mobile devices, enhancing engagement.

Hotels have introduced contactless self-check-ins, enabling visitors to arrange services before arrival. Additionally, contactless payment modes are available in hotels and restaurants for swift and secure transactions. Moreover, wearable devices are transforming the travel experience by providing real-time notifications and touch-free access to services and information.

Loxe designs Smart Hotel Keys

US-based startup Loxe makes smart mobile keys for hotels. The startup’s smartphone app replaces key cards with contactless mobile keys that allow users to unlock doors using smartphones. It also reduces operational costs incurred in the manufacturing of conventional keys or plastic cards. Moreover, the startup designs a Bluetooth retrofit module that converts normal door locks into mobile-ready door locks. This allows hotel owners to easily convert their existing locks into smart ones without additional expenses while improving guest safety and convenience.

Avendi provides Contactless Payment

Singaporean startup Avendi offers contactless and cashless payments for travelers. The startup allows tourists to accumulate expenses throughout their trip and pay at the end of the journey. Avendi’s app utilizes QR codes to add all the billed expenses and shown through its dashboard. The user settles the tab amount in the preferred currency, preventing the inconvenience of cash withdrawal or credit card payments.

5. Big Data & Analytics

Big data empowers travel companies with customer trends for strategic marketing. Analyzing traveler behavior, they offer tailored recommendations for hotel bookings, cab hires, flight reservations, and ticket purchases.

Predicting future demand is another advantage of big data and analytics, helping hotels and airlines identify peak periods to optimize revenue. Advanced analysis of transactional data aids in detecting cyber fraud, and safeguarding sensitive customer information such as credit card details and biometric data.

CheckandPack creates a Travel Platform

Dutch startup CheckandPack offers a big data travel platform. It runs marketing campaigns to gather traveler data and understand tourism trends. Based on these insights, the platform enables businesses to approach travelers with a customized appeal. It also provides travelers with holiday planning.

3Victors provides Travel Data Analytics

US-based startup 3Victors offers travel data analytics. The startup’s product, PriceEye Suite , proactively monitors the prices of numerous airlines to provide insights into competitor prices. It creates a dashboard to display travelers’ location of interest, allowing travel airlines to better manage their revenue and pricing strategy.


6. Post-Pandemic Tourism

Post-pandemic tourism focuses on safe, sustainable, and flexible travel options, responding to evolving traveler preferences and health guidelines. Enhanced health and safety protocols, including regular sanitization and contactless services, become standard in airlines and hotels, ensuring traveler confidence.

Destinations and operators emphasize outdoor and less crowded experiences, catering to a heightened demand for nature-based and wellness travel. Flexible booking policies and trip insurance gain prominence, offering peace of mind amid uncertainties. Sustainable travel gains traction, with tourists and businesses prioritizing environmental impact and community well-being.

GOPASS Global enables Pre-travel Risk Management

Singaporean startup GOPASS Global provides a travel risk analytics platform against COVID-19. It analyzes the biosecurity risk elements involved in a trip, such as border restrictions, quarantine requirements, airport type, and airline transit points or seating in real-time. This allows travelers to assess risk factors and plan their trips accordingly.

Moreover, the startup creates world maps displaying information regarding COVID-prone areas, testing areas, and vaccine coverage. This provides travelers with a preview of the current situation, allowing them to ensure safety during business and leisure travel.

Workcations enables Work from Anywhere

Indian startup Workcations provides properties at tourist destinations for remote-working individuals. It offers amenities like internet connectivity, food, and a quiet ambiance, allowing tourists to work in a peaceful environment without hindrance. This increases employee productivity, motivation, and retention.

7. Tour Premiumization

Hyper-personalization in travel experiences is on the rise, with tourists eager to immerse themselves in diverse cultures. Luxury travelers enjoy tailored experiences and intuitive services through tour premiumization. Health and wellness packages offered by travel startups help tourists unwind.

These retreats enhance health and offer detoxifying food options. Space tourism is another exciting development, offering leisure or research trips to space. Lastly, travel startups are fostering customer loyalty and building strong relationships through membership or subscription models.

STOKE provides Space Tour

US-based startup STOKE facilitates space travel using everyday-operable rockets. The startup’s rockets are reusable and deliver satellites to any desired orbit. This enables on-demand access to space, paving way for space tours for exploration, recreation, and research. The startup also emphasizes the economical and rapid development of its hardware for feasible spacecraft launches, advancing space tourism.

Origin offers Travel Personalization

Dutch startup Origin provides premium travel personalization to tourists. The startup utilizes machine learning and travel curators to plan creative vacations. It also arranges flights and accommodation for travelers. Further, the startup measures the carbon output of itineraries and offers sustainable tourism options.

8. Ecotourism

Traveling responsibly minimizes tourism’s environmental impact and supports local communities’ well-being. Ecotourists strive to reduce their carbon footprint during their journeys. Startups contribute by developing sustainable transport, ecolodges, and solar-powered resorts.

Airline passengers have the option to offset carbon emissions during flight bookings. Local tourism stimulates small businesses economically and creates job opportunities. It also emphasizes minimum littering, which lowers pollution and the time spent on cleanups.

Jet-Set Offset simplifies Flight Carbon Offset

US-based startup Jet-Set Offset creates a carbon-offsetting platform for air travel. The startup partners with non-profit organizations working against climate change and connects them with travelers. Each time travelers book flight tickets via the startup’s platform, Jet-Set Offset contributes a certain amount per mile for their journey to environmental organizations. This way, the passenger’s journey promotes mileage-based donations to offset carbon emissions.

The Green Stamp facilitates Ethical Wildlife Tour

Dutch startup The Green Stamp provides a platform to book ethical wildlife tours. It curates tours based on the tourists’ inclinations toward certain locations or wildlife. Exploration of these projects allows travelers to indirectly contribute to their cause as these wildlife projects donate to the welfare of local communities and the environment.

9. Blockchain

Blockchain provides the travel industry with operational transparency and security. Traceable payments, particularly for international travel, are a key application, that fosters trust among parties involved in transactions.

Automation and enforcement of agreements in travel insurance and supplier contracts are achieved through smart contracts. This strengthens reliability and cuts administrative costs. Travel firms establish customer loyalty programs where points are exchanged for cryptocurrency. Lastly, blockchain increases data storage security, reducing the risk of information leaks.

Upswing facilitates Guest Profiling

Indian startup Upswing creates AURA , a blockchain-powered platform for guest profiling. It provides a holistic view of guests, their preferences, and purchase patterns. The platform associates a score with each guest and suggests improvements in their service. This facilitates hotels to provide a personalized experience to their guests and, in turn, increase sales.

UIQ Travel develops a Solo Traveling App

US-based startup UIQ Travel develops a blockchain-based app to connect solo travelers. It discovers people with shared interests and suggests tours or attractions. Such hyper-personalized recommendations assist in experience discovery and also increase traveler engagement.

Discover all Travel Trends, Technologies & Startups

Tourism, although severely impacted by the pandemic, now continues to rapidly grow across the globe. Post-pandemic trends indicate an increasing emphasis on hygiene and safety during travel. The industry is witnessing the widespread adoption of disruptive technologies like AI, XR, IoT, and blockchain. The travel industry utilizes big data to understand traveler trends for targeted marketing. The transition to ecotourism is accelerating as businesses integrate zero-emission transit and carbon offset programs to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Travel Trends & Startups outlined in this report only scratch the surface of trends that we identified during our data-driven innovation and startup scouting process. Among others, personalization, decarbonization, and travel safety will transform the sector as we know it today. Identifying new opportunities and emerging technologies to implement into your business goes a long way in gaining a competitive advantage. Get in touch to easily and exhaustively scout startups, technologies & trends that matter to you!

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  • Tips & tricks
  • Trends 2024

Travel Trends 2024: How the Digital Revolution Is Shaping the Future of Our Industry

Aurelio Maglione

Table of Content

Digital transformation in the travel industry, sales channels: balancing the old and the new, direct bookings vs resellers, marketing channels and strategies for 2024.

The world of travel is experiencing an unprecedented era of transformation: as we enter 2024, the industry continues to deal with the aftermath of the global pandemic and adapt to new consumer behaviors, technological advancements and evolving market dynamics. In 2023, we have witnessed a robust recovery, with international travel volumes approaching pre-Covid levels . However, this doesn’t mean a return to the old ways, as customer preferences have changed significantly in recent years.

There is a growing appetite for personalized, flexible and sustainable travel options, with digital nomadism redefining the concept of both leisure and business travel, blurring the lines between the two. In addition, the rise of experiential tourism is shifting the focus from sightseeing to immersive cultural adventures. Sustainability has also moved from a niche consideration to a mainstream demand , as most people are increasingly aware of their environmental footprint and seek out eco-friendly accommodations and responsible travel experiences. This is more than a fad: it is a broader societal movement that is forcing the tourism industry to rethink its practices and offerings.

For tour operators and activity providers, staying abreast of these changes is essential to survival and growth. To better understand the travel trends that will shape the future of the industry in 2024, we interviewed over 100 industry professionals from all across Europe. This article is designed to accompany our infographic detailing their responses . We hope it will provide valuable insight into the key drivers behind their business strategies and offer actionable takeaways to help you replicate their success. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!


Tourism is undergoing a profound digital transformation, reshaping the way services are delivered and experienced. The emergence of smart technology in accommodations, such as IoT-enabled rooms, and the use of big data for personalized recommendations are examples of how technology is becoming an integral part of the travel experience itself. This integration presents an opportunity for providers to deliver unique value to their customers and stand out in a competitive marketplace.

The pivotal role of booking systems

The pivotal role of booking systems

Booking systems are at the heart of this digital revolution and have quickly become a critical interface between the supplier and the customer. Not surprisingly, 89% of respondents to our survey use them to easily manage bookings, sell tickets online and connect with leading OTAs. Let’s explore the top 5 features they find most beneficial in a booking system:

Key features of booking systems

Key features of booking systems travel trends 2024

  • Online payments: Offering secure, versatile online payment options is essential. This includes accepting multiple payment methods such as credit cards, PayPal, and digital wallets to serve a global customer base.
  • Dashboard calendar: An intuitive dashboard calendar facilitates the management of bookings, availability, and scheduling. This feature enables suppliers to stay organized and respond quickly to changes, minimizing overbooking and scheduling conflicts.
  • Booking widget: A customizable booking widget on the supplier’s website allows the booking process to be seamlessly integrated into the user experience. This results in a smoother booking flow and encourages more direct bookings.
  • Channel manager: With the proliferation of distribution channels, a channel manager becomes vital. It ensures real-time synchronization of availability across multiple platforms such as OTAs, the official website of the supplier and other portals, reducing the risk of overbooking and facilitating inventory management.
  • Booking management: Efficient booking management includes features such as easy cancellations or changes, automated confirmation and reminder emails, and customer management tools. This improves the overall customer experience and operational efficiency.

As the leading booking system provider in Europe, Regiondo has been at the forefront of incorporating these essential features. The platform offers a comprehensive solution that not only addresses the basic needs of booking and payment processing, but also provides advanced tools such as resource management , marketing integrations and detailed analytics. This makes Regiondo a model for digital transformation in the travel industry, demonstrating how technology can facilitate business operations and enhance the customer journey. To learn more about how Regiondo can help your business thrive, book a demo with one of our consultants.

New call-to-action

In 2024, the sales channels of the travel industry will continue to evolve: understanding how to balance them is key to maximizing reach and profitability.

Offline vs online dynamics

The travel industry has historically relied on a mix of offline and online distribution channels. While online channels have seen tremendous growth, especially in the wake of digital transformation, offline channels such as in-person travel agents and booking offices still play an important role, especially for certain markets and demographics.

Offline vs online dynamics

Current balance: In our Trends 2024 survey, we asked participants to break down the share of sales they make online vs. offline. The weighted average shows that 56.67% of tickets are sold through digital channels, while the rest (43.33%) are sold through phone, in-person, and other offline channels. In summary, the current landscape is skewed towards online, driven by the convenience, accessibility and wide range of options it offers. However, offline continues to thrive by catering to customers who value personal interaction and customized service.

Future trends: The future points to a more integrated approach, with a growing emphasis on phygital experiences that blend physical and digital elements. For example, interactive digital displays in physical travel agencies could increase customer engagement.

Another issue we wanted our experts to weigh is their relationship with distribution partners. Specifically, we asked them to disclose the number of online bookings they receive through direct channels (website, official social media pages, emails) versus those received through resellers. The results paint a clear picture, with a weighted average of only 33% of tickets sold through intermediaries. But let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of these two types of channels:

Direct bookings vs resellers travel trends 2024

Direct Bookings

  • Pros: Higher margins, direct relationship with customers, greater control over customer experience.
  • Cons: In order to attract direct bookings, you need to invest in marketing, technology and a strong brand presence.
  • Pros: Extended reach, especially in markets where your brand has less presence; reduced marketing costs.
  • Cons: Lower margins due to commissions, less control over the customer experience.

Leveraging Both

In our humble opinion, the key is to find the right balance. Leverage resellers to reach new markets and demographics, while building a robust direct booking strategy to drive customer loyalty and brand identity.

The Role of OTAs (Online Travel Agencies)

Among the various resellers, OTAs have become a dominant force in the travel booking landscape. As you know, they offer exposure to a huge audience, but at the cost of commissions. Speaking of which, we asked our survey participants about the average percentage of commission they pay to OTAs on each order. The results are interesting: 1 in 3 respondents said they don’t work with OTAs at all to save on these costs. As for the rest, the vast majority pay fees ranging from 20% to 29% of the price of their tickets.

the role of otas

We also asked our industry experts to identify which OTAs drive the most bookings for them from a selection of the most popular. Their response highlights how fragmented the digital distribution landscape can be, as a quarter of respondents said the resellers they have the most lucrative relationships with are not on our list. Still, when it comes to the top dogs, this is the podium:

  • GetYourGuide
  • TripAdvisor

Love ’em or hate ’em, OTAs continue to be a mainstay of the leisure industry, which is why we want to draw your attention to three important key elements that will help you get the most out of the commissions you pay:

  • Perform a cost/benefit analysis: As we have seen, commissions can vary widely, typically ranging from 15% to 30%. It’s important to understand the cost/benefit ratio and how it impacts overall profitability.
  • Negotiate: Negotiate better rates as your business grows, bundle services to increase the value of each booking, and use OTAs for visibility while encouraging repeat bookings through your direct channels.
  • Follow these best practices: Ensure your listings are up-to-date and engaging, take advantage of OTA marketing tools and analytics, and tap into OTA platforms for market insights and trend analysis.

New call-to-action

As the travel landscape continues to evolve with ever-changing customer preferences, it can be difficult for tour and activity providers to understand the most effective marketing strategies to employ. So we asked our experts to list the marketing channels that drive more bookings for their businesses. Here are their top 5:

Marketing Channels and Strategies travel trends 2024

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO (66% of respondents) continues to be a cornerstone of digital marketing strategies. It’s critical for increasing visibility in search engine results, driving organic traffic and building online authority.

  • Key areas of focus: Local SEO is especially important for travel businesses to ensure they appear in searches for local attractions and services. Optimizing for mobile and voice search is also essential as these trends continue to grow.
  • Content marketing: Creating valuable, engaging content that answers potential travelers’ questions can significantly improve search rankings and drive organic traffic.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth (61% of respondents) is a powerful tool, especially in the digital age. It can happen organically or be encouraged through referral programs.

  • Leverage social proof: Encourage happy customers to share their experiences online, whether through social media, blogs or video content.
  • Referral programs: Implementing referral incentives can motivate past customers to spread the word to friends and family.

Social media (Organic)

Organic social media marketing (54% of respondents) is about building community and engaging authentically with your audience.

  • Platform-specific strategies: Tailor content to the strengths and audience of each platform, whether it’s visually-driven Instagram, conversation-centric X (previously known as Twitter), or the increasingly popular TikTok.
  • Engagement and community building: Posting regularly, interacting with followers, and creating shareable content are key strategies.

Social media and Search ads

Paid social media and search advertising (29% of respondents) is a critical component of a comprehensive marketing strategy.

  • Targeted campaigns: Use the granular targeting options available on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google to reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  • Retargeting: Implement retargeting campaigns to capture prospects who have shown interest but haven’t yet booked.

Online reviews (25% of respondents) continue to have a significant impact on consumer decisions in the travel industry.

  • Online reputation management: Actively manage your presence on review platforms such as TripAdvisor, Google Reviews and Yelp.

But how much should you spend on marketing? As a point of reference, the estimated average marketing budget for respondents to our survey is €972.82 per month. The key, however, is to take a balanced (no pun intended) approach. While it’s tempting to focus on the latest trends, it’s more important to allocate resources across channels based on their performance and your target audience. We recommend regularly reviewing and adjusting your marketing budget based on analytics and ROI. This may mean shifting funds from underperforming campaigns to those that are delivering better results, or investing in new platforms and technologies.

travel trends 2024

As we look ahead to 2024, the travel industry is at a pivotal crossroads, marked by rapid technological advances, changing consumer behavior and evolving market dynamics.

Key points:

  • Digital transformation: The integration of technology into the travel experience, particularly through advanced booking systems such as Regiondo, is fundamental. The adoption of digital tools and features such as online payments, dashboard calendars, and AI-driven personalization can significantly improve efficiency and customer experience.
  • Sales channels: A balanced approach between offline and online distribution channels, and between direct bookings and resellers (primarily OTAs), is critical for long-term success.
  • Marketing strategies: The marketing landscape of 2024 will require a mix of advanced digital marketing, content marketing through storytelling, strategic influencer partnerships, local SEO optimization, and well-planned budget allocation across channels.

Looking ahead, the call to action for travel and activity providers is clear: adapt, innovate and thrive. Embrace digital transformation with open arms, understanding that technology is not just a tool, but a bridge to connect with and better serve your customers. Align your sales and marketing strategies to leverage multiple channels and respond to the changing needs and habits of travelers. Most importantly, stay attuned to your audience’s preferences and values to ensure your offerings resonate with their desire for unique, sustainable and culturally rich experiences.

The future of travel is bright and full of possibilities. Let’s embark on this journey together, innovating and evolving to create memorable experiences for tourists around the world.

Related Articles

9 Tourism Trends That Will Shape the Travel Industry in 2020 and Beyond

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Top Travel Industry Trends (2024-2027)

online trends in travel

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The travel and tourism industry is growing at an annual rate of 4.41% .

By 2026, the projected market value will be just under $1 billion.

Here are seven trends driving the future of the travel space.

1. Travelers go it alone

One website reports that 25% of all American millennials plan to travel by themselves each year.

Statistics show that the number of people traveling solo increased by 42% even before the pandemic.

According to Travel Market Report , Intrepid Travel is a small-group travel company that plans trips for 75,000 people per year.

Data shows that more than 50% of the travelers booking with them are going alone.

Overseas Adventure Travel, another small-group travel company, has seen such a boom in solo travel that they’ve upped the number of single spaces they have available in 2021, a 76% increase over 2019.

Solo travelers are big on social media too.


2. Travelers crave local experiences

The "experience economy" is huge in the travel industry.

But fewer and fewer people may be settling for commonplace vacation activities in the coming years.

Instead, “consumers [will] pursue authentic experiences , distancing themselves from mainstream tourism providers and venturing into pastimes that feel more meaningful”.

Data insights company AirSage marks this as an emerging trend because “people no longer want boring and conventional travel experiences as much as they used to. Instead, they would rather pay for vacations that are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities”.

Airbnb is betting on this trend.

Their website has offered the opportunity for consumers to book “experiences” since 2016.

But they also added online experiences in 2020 for people who are seeking to connect with locals without leaving their homes.

Other companies are banking their entire business model on this trend.

Withlocals offers “personalized traveling” — the opportunity for travelers to book private tours and activities with locals around the world.

withlocals screenshot-min.png

Camping (and glamping) trips have also become a popular way for people to travel while experiencing the local culture and staying safe amidst the pandemic.

Outdoorsy has been called the “Airbnb of RV rentals”.

And their sales exploded to $1 billion in 2020. That’s 400% growth since 2019.

Under Canvas runs seven glamping camps in wilderness locations across the United States aimed at exploring the local landscape and inspiring human connections.

The company reported a “surge" in demand in 2020 and had "strong" advanced bookings during 2021.


3. Travel tech adoption accelerates

As with nearly all businesses, technology is presenting the travel industry with seemingly endless opportunities.

The pandemic has only increased the speed of tech adoption in the travel industry.

A McKinsey survey showed that, because of COVID-19, “companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years".

One example: room service robots.

Two Chinese hotel giants invested in ExcelLand, a manufacturer that already had 3,000 robots in operation.


BTG Homeinnes is looking at these robots as a way to control costs and safeguard guests.

Hotels, airlines, booking sites, and others are using chatbots like never before.

Travelers can chat with providers during every stage of their journey.

And, they won’t (always) feel like they’re talking to a robot. Advances in AI have made this type of communication hassle-free.


United Airlines has launched an “ Agent on Demand ” service that allows travelers at the airport to video chat with a customer service representative simply by scanning a QR code.

More and more airlines and airports are deploying facial recognition technology.

Corporations and government entities tout this technology as a boon for travel safety.

But many privacy advocates have put a halt to this emerging trend. They warn that this type of surveillance could easily turn dystopian.

With all of this new tech, companies are also continuing to capitalize on an older piece of technology — the smartphone.

Stats show that travelers who book tours and activities on their phone spend 50% more than those who book elsewhere.

4. Consumers blend business and leisure travel

The latest statistics say there are nearly 5 million digital nomads in America.

The concept of being location-independent, traveling and working remotely, has become even more popular since the start of the pandemic.

The hospitality industry is starting to cater specifically to digital nomads.

Aruba is opening its beaches up to travelers who’d like to work remotely, calling the marketing campaign “ One Happy Workation ”.


Visitors can stay for up to 90 days. And do not need any governmental documentation.

Barbados and the Cayman Islands will also let you work remotely from paradise for an extended period of time. reports that the "workation" trend is going strong.

More than 50% of travelers say they would extend their business trip to enjoy personal time at their destination.


In 2020, hotels began catering to locals who needed a quiet place to work.

The Hamilton Hotel in Washington, DC, is just one example. It’s WFH-Work From Hamilton program offers rooms on a 6:00 am to 7:00 pm schedule.

5. The travel industry gets serious about sustainability

Recent data shows that more than half of US travelers believe there aren’t enough options when it comes to sustainable travel .


A poll conducted on behalf of Exodus Travels went even deeper into consumers’ attitudes .

  • 91% of travelers see the importance of taking ethical trips
  • 56% believe in buying souvenirs from local merchants
  • 44% want to support local businesses at their destination

Sustainable travel involves minimizing impact on the local cultural environment.

And also taking an eco-friendly approach to the physical environment.

Nearly 70% of travelers say they are more likely to book accommodations if they know the property is planet-friendly.

Many in the travel industry have recently made commitments to preserving the environment.

For example, India-based ITC Hotels Group has LEED certified each of its hotels.

As of 2023, hotels in the state of California will no longer be allowed to provide single-use toiletries in plastic bottles to their guests.


Marriott International has made a pledge to remove these types of plastics from all their hotels, too. But the pandemic has put a temporary stop to that plan.

A recent report from Skift made this summary statement regarding sustainable travel in the future:

“[It’s a] less flashy way of viewing and traveling the world . . . with an emphasis on safety, sustainability, and profound experiences while getting from point A to B without wrecking the climate and local quality of life in the process”.

6. Electric Air Travel Goes Mainstream

Speaking of sustainability, it looks like flying Teslas are finally here.

And they have the potential to make a big impact on at least three large industries:

The aircraft manufacturing industry, with over $200 billion in annual revenue between the top 3 manufacturers alone (Boeing, Airbus and Lockheed).

Commercial airlines, with $838 billion in annual revenue (pre-COVID).

And the ride-hailing and taxi industry, which was valued at $219.68 billion in 2022.

electic aircraft-min.png

Electric vehicles are cheaper to run , less expensive to maintain , and better for the environment than vehicles powered by conventional fossil fuels.

That’s just as true for aircraft as it is for cars.

When it comes to electric aircraft, there are two main types: fixed-wing airplanes and eVTOLs.

Fixed-wing electric airplanes are just what they sound like. There aren’t any 747-sized electric airliners yet, but smaller commuter planes are in production.

Eviation is leading the charge. This startup produces a 620-mile range, 9-seat commuter plane called the Alice.

According to the company, flying the Alice is dramatically cheaper than a regular internal-combustion powered airplane.

For a 100-mile flight, conventional fuel for a similar-sized Cessna would cost about $400. In Eviation’s electric Alice, it would only be about $10 .

Eviation recently merged with Clermont Aerospace after a $108.5 million valuation.

commuter plane-min.png

At the same time, AeroTEC and MagniX are teaming up to retro-fit existing airplanes with electric motors - with similar improvements to efficiency.

There are also electric-hybrid airplanes in development.

For example, the Project 804 by United Technologies.

As well as the Aero by Zunum, a startup backed by Boeing and JetBlue.

And the E-Fan X by Airbus and Rolls-Royce. This project was shut down in April 2021, but only after achieving its three main initial research goals (according to Airbus).

That covers fixed-wing electrics.

The other major kind of electric aircraft is the eVTOL.

eVTOL stands for “electric vertical take-off and landing”.

Non-electric VTOL examples include anything from helicopters to drones and Harrier Jump Jets.

eVTOLs tend to be smaller than their non-electric cousins, and designed for shorter flights across cities.

Some look like passenger-carrying quadcopter drones. While others have a fixed-wing component like regular airplanes.

Search interest in eVTOLs has been exploding lately as startups and major aircraft manufacturers demonstrate new eVTOL models.


In July 2020, Airbus conducted the first public flight of its autonomous 4-seat CityAirbus multicopter eVTOL. The CityAirbus has a projected range of about 60 miles (or 15 minutes).


Airbus also has Vahana , in development by its Silicon Valley innovation arm, Acubed .

For its part, Boeing’s Aurora Flight Sciences has been developing solutions for an air-taxi service in partnership with Uber. Including an autonomous electric passenger air vehicle.

Separately, Boeing is also reportedly partnering with Porsche to develop another eVTOL.

And Tokyo-based “flying car” manufacturer SkyDrive raised a series B of 3.9 billion yen (about $37 million) and conducted its first public manned demonstration of the SkyDrive SD-03.

The SD-03 is the world’s smallest eVTOL, requiring only as much space on the ground as 2 parked cars.

That small footprint is one of the main advantages eVTOLs have over traditional fossil-fuel powered VTOLs like helicopters.

eVTOLs like the ones mentioned above use multiple smaller electric motors with rotors spread out across the aircraft. Whereas a typical helicopter uses one main internal-combustion engine with two huge rotors stacked above. (Plus a smaller one in the tail.)

eVTOLs’ multi-motor design is called a “distributed electric propulsion” (DEP) system.

DEP systems have numerous advantages. They make piloting easier, reduce the footprint required for take-off and landing, and increase safety through redundancy (if one motor fails, there may be 7 more still running).

They also reduce noise emissions, as the rotors don’t have to spin as fast.

Noise and vibrations within the cabin are lower as well.

Thanks to these advantages, dozens of eVTOL manufacturers are currently vying to capture a share of the nascent “urban air mobility” market: eVTOLs used to fly over traffic.

Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Mexico, and Brazil have all been experimenting with urban air mobility initiatives.

But with all those benefits, why hasn’t electric air travel caught on before?

Two words: energy density.

In other words, the amount of stored energy in one pound of “fuel” — whether gas, diesel, kerosene or batteries.

Currently, conventional fossil fuels have more energy density than batteries. That’s why electric cars are generally heavier than their gas-powered counterparts. They have to be, in order to store enough power.

For aircraft, this added weight poses an obvious problem.

But it’s a problem we’re getting closer to solving.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that an energy density of 400 Wh/kg (watt-hours per kilogram) is the crossover point for lithium-ion batteries to beat kerosene jet fuel. Once battery technology reaches that level, the sky’s the limit for electric aircraft.

Today, the energy density of industry-leading Tesla batteries is currently about 260 Wh/kg. (Up from 124 Wh/kg in 2007.)

So when might we get to 400 Wh/kg?

Very soon, according to Musk.

(Though he has also said that Tesla has no near-term plans to make electric aircraft.)

That’s it for the top seven trends driving the travel and tourism industry forward into 2024 and beyond.

Through these trends, we can see a dynamic relationship between the travel industry and consumers.

It’s a push-and-pull that’s sure to continue in 2025 and companies that can adapt quickly to the changing wants and needs of travelers are the best suited for future success.

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Online Travel Booking Trends During the Pandemic

Online Travel Booking Trends During the Pandemic

Executive summary, overall booking trends, online booking site share shifts, u.s. online travel share in airlines and hotels, u.s. traveler planning habits, related reports.

  • The Past, Present, and Future of Online Travel March 2024
  • Outbound Travel 2024: Asia’s Big Year, Europe’s Slowdown February 2024
  • Will Hotel Pricing Strength Continue into 2024? January 2024
  • Skift Research Global Travel Outlook 2024 January 2024

Report Overview

This report looks at how online travel booking habits changed during the pandemic and how these behaviors will continue to evolve. Since February 2020, Skift has been regularly surveying 1,000+ Americans about their travel behaviors first on a monthly, and then a bi-monthly basis. The topline results of these surveys are published as our U.S. Travel Tracker . However, we ask more granular travel questions that have not been published previously.

This report teases out specific insights around which channels Americans use to book their hotels and flights. With this data we can see how direct bookings changed during the pandemic and whether it has reverted to pre-crisis trends. We can also look at specific booking site market share shifts and investigate whether the trip planning process shifted.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • How did the pandemic impact direct bookings and are these trends still in place?
  • How has online travel agency market share shifted since 2020 in the U.S.?
  • Did the pandemic change Americans’ trip planning process?

Using new data from our survey of American travelers we find that online travel booking trends are in flux. The early pandemic drove a wave of direct bookings, likely spurred by safety fears, customer service concerns around cancellations, and a lack of trust that third-parties could provide up-to-the minute in-destination information. 

However, we see mounting evidence that these first-party gains may not be durable. As financial concerns loom larger over trust and safety, our surveys show more shoppers reverting to third-party bookings, likely as they seek out discounts and comparison shopping to find the best value. 

Our survey data also hints at changes in the U.S. online travel agency landscape. Expedia Group’s multi-brand strategy makes it the largest family of booking sites in the U.S. by a wide margin. But their dominance is being challenged by aggressive investment from and new challenger brands like and HotelTonight. 

Despite the many shifts happening in online travel bookings, we see little evidence that the online travel planning toolset changed much. Online search and word of mouth recommendations remain the most important sources of travel planning (but not inspiration!) by far. This has been the case for the last three years since 2020 and throughout the pandemic.

Let’s start with the big picture. Skift Research asked U.S. travelers which channels they used to book their hotels and flights. We tagged all channels as either direct or third-party and then aggregated activity across both hotel and flight bookings. 

This gives us our broadest look into how travel direct booking has been trending. We find it is on the decline after a peak early on in the pandemic, although more than half of all transactions still come direct. 

According to our survey results, 64% of U.S. flight and hotel bookings came direct in 2020.. This fell to 61% in 2021 and to 57% in 2022. 

online trends in travel

We can rechart this to examine how the trend evolved over time. We exclude 2020 data here as it was too volatile at the monthly level with such limited travel activity taking place. What we see in the time series is that direct bookings peaked in early 2021 and quickly fell off into summer and fall 2021. 

online trends in travel

We suspect that it is no coincidence that this quick fall-off in direct bookings coincides with the rapid return of mass travel in the U.S. as vaccines became widely available and international locations began to re-open. 

Let’s split this aggregate data into its two component travel products: Airlines and Hotels. Individually the broad direction of the trend is the same and since the summer of 2022, both hotels and airlines have been operating at parity in terms of direct booking share. However, Airlines fell farther, coming from a high of 70%+ direct bookings down to 57%, today.

online trends in travel

Our best guess for this divergence is flight vouchers issued in the wake of mass cancellations in 2020. Online booking sites struggled to handle these future flight credits and we suspect most consumers rebooked directly. This would explain why Airline direct bookings remained elevated throughout all of 2021 even as Hotels fell. It would also neatly fit with the rapid decline of airline direct bookings in Summer 2022 as that is around the same time we began anecdotally hearing that consumers had used up many of their outstanding travel credits. 

After a mostly stable 2022, in both hotels and airlines, we see a small dip in the most recent reading from December 2022. It is still too early to tell if this is the start of another, larger, leg down or just a blip. But overall, what we see is a strong decline in direct bookings as we get further out from the heart of the pandemic.

This is consistent with our ongoing thesis around online travel built on the core that the pandemic was a crisis of trust and not of finances. We believe that consumers have higher confidence in both the travel product and the customer experience they will receive when they book direct. This is even more so in the case of booking branded travel experiences. But staying within a brand ecosystem limits the consumers’ ability to shop around for deals. Comparison shopping is the strong suit of the online booking platforms while their ability to control the end product experience and to resolve customer service issues is limited by their nature as third parties.

Skift Research believes that online travel booking sites stumbled in the early phases of the recovery because consumers didn’t trust that these brands could deliver on the very specific and safety-conscious experiences they were seeking. Consumers were also skeptical of third parties’ ability to provide real-time updates as to what amenities and activities were available in both properties and destinations. Plus, consumers were flush with savings from the pandemic and held branded travel vouchers. 

All of this drove a strong direct booking push that benefited travel supplier brands. To wit, in 2020, just 9% of American travelers told Skift that they had booked a trip because of discounts being offered. Trust and safety far outweighed financial concerns. That share of travelers remained mostly unchanged in 2021, rising to 11% of travelers incentivized by discounts. 

However, our last two surveys, conducted in October and December of 2022, mark a potentially significant shift in this trend. Most recently, 18% of respondents told us that discounts proved effective in driving their travel booking decision in December 2022, a six point share shift versus December 2021. 

online trends in travel

When paired with the broad lifting of COVID restrictions, rising prices due to inflation, and growing recessionary fears, we think the stage is set for a change in sentiment among the U.S. traveling public. We may be moving from a regime where trust and safety are the top priority to one where price is king. If not yet broad based, we suspect this change is rapidly taking place in certain demographics, especially in the more midscale and economy chain scales. 

Let’s focus in on inflation which we think is rapidly supplanting COVID-19 as the top concern impacting travel for the American public. The below chart shows how lodging and airfare prices have increased relative to 2019. While this is not the traditional way an economist would display inflation, we think that benchmarking the numbers against 2019 helps visualize the gut reactions that many consumers feel when looking to book travel today and comparing it in their minds eye against their last pre-COVID trip.

online trends in travel

As of January 2023, lodging prices were up 15% relative to the same period in 2019. Air fares were 6% higher, though note the summer spike when tickets were briefly 27% pricier than the same time in 2019. Broad U.S. inflation along the same methodology was actually 16% above 2019 levels. This means that in inflation adjusted terms, both hotels and airlines are still cheaper relative to 2019. But consumers struggle to think in real (inflation adjusted) price terms and instead see nominal price changes. Plus, broad inflation hurts the wallet just as well. When groceries and fuel prices go up, consumers have less to spend on travel, even if they can recognize that hotel price increases have lagged broader price changes. 

Our travel tracker survey says that inflation is already impacting traveler decisions. A majority of respondents told us that they had altered their travel plans due to rising prices. The most common decisions made were to take an alternative form of transport rather than flying and to pick a less expensive destination. We also saw nearly a third of respondents indicated that they had shopped around to pick a less expensive flight or hotel. 

online trends in travel

This ties directly into our thesis on brand value growing in importance relative to brand trust. We see evidence that discounts are becoming more effective and we suspect hotels and airlines alike will increasingly need to compete on price. This would undermine the current situation where brands have held the line on pricing power and much revenue growth is being driven by rising yields. It would also play straight into the hands of the online travel agencies which excel at comparison shopping and are strongly associated with value pricing. 

Even if an individual brand is not discounting, online travel agencies help consumers find properties within a market that are offering below market rates or else help them discover well-reviewed ‘trade-downs’ into lower price scales in the same market.

This narrative is consistent with the direct booking data that we are receiving from our travel tracking survey. If correct, it suggests that the high direct booking rates may have been a pandemic-only event and that we are on track to return to a more competitive mix of channel booking shares. Ultimately, we see this as a positive tailwind for online travel agencies. 

With the trend shifting in favor of third-party bookings, let’s examine what specific booking sites American travelers told Skift they used. 

We asked travelers to tell us if they booked either their flights or hotels via one of 16 specific online travel sites. Of these, three brands were owned by Booking Holdings (, Priceline, and Agoda) while six were owned by Expedia Group (,, Orbitz, Hotwire, Travelocity, and Alternative accommodations were not included in these survey questions and so Airbnb and are excluded from our data. Bear in mind that, as sample sizes in our survey get smaller at this granular level, these results likely don’t represent true market shares. But we believe this is still useful data to help us understand the order of magnitude of differences across brands and how trends in their relative positions are changing.

What we find is that Expedia Group is overwhelmingly the most popular family of booking sites used in the United States. In 2022, our survey suggested that 49% of airline or hotel bookings made on OTAs were done via one of the Expedia Groups’ brands. That is nearly double the share of its rival competitor, Booking Holdings. 

online trends in travel

But it is not all smooth sailing for Expedia Group. Although it remains the largest family of brands in the U.S., our data suggests a worrying trend that these sites are ceding market share. In our data, Expedia Group websites saw a ten point share decline, falling from 59% of OTA bookings in 2020 to 49% in 2022. 

Looking at individual websites and brands rather than at the parent company level gives us a bit more insight into the puts and takes of what is happening here. However, we again caution that as sample sizes get thin here, this data can be helpful in drawing an informed thesis about what is happening in the market, but it is not a conclusive market share.

We asked respondents to tell us what site they used when booking a flight or hotel. This data was then aggregated by year, and each site was ranked. This lets us come to a more nuanced conclusion about how consumer usage of OTA brands is evolving.  

Right off the bat, the most shocking result is that, in our survey data, surpassed as the most used booking site in the U.S. in 2022. had been number one in 2020 and 2021 with in second place. 

We should note here that this finding does not tie out with web traffic data from SimilarWeb that ranks above But then again, SimilarWeb only measures web traffic and not actual bookings. It is possible that has a better conversion rate of lookers to bookers as compared to

online trends in travel

Nonetheless, we think it is unlikely that truly overtook in 2022 in the U.S. But we do think that this data captures a very real surge in momentum that experienced in North America because of its increased strategic focus on this region. Also, it seems that’s U.S. push cannibalized bookings from Priceline. Priceline fell from a fourth place ranking in 2021 to sixth in 2022. This explains why market share at the parent company level for Booking Holdings didn’t budge last year.

It also emphasizes the importance of Expedia Groups multi-brand strategy. goes toe-to-toe with and both have similar usage amongst our survey respondents. But Booking Holdings has a weaker bench, and traction for Priceline and Agoda is slim. Expedia Group, on the other hand, owned four out of the five top brands in the U.S. in our survey. This is how the parent company has such greater U.S. share in aggregate than its European rival. 

This also explains why Expedia Group has been so reluctant to abandon its multi-brand strategy . It has good reason to fear that it could lose market share  by shutting down its smaller brands. But despite these valid concerns, a multi-brand strategy may face challenges in a future where Google continues to grow at the expense of other metasearch sites and where travel supplier brands consolidate and push direct loyalty. 

If Booking Holdings kept its overall share the same, then who stole Expedia Group’s market share since 2020? Our survey suggests a number of emerging competitors that are growing in the U.S. Each is small individually but add up to a notable market share shift in aggregate. Independent and Airbnb-owned HotelTonight both have climbed our rankings since 2020. But the most dramatic was

Hopper has rapidly risen as a new and formidable competitor in the online travel space. We only began including as a specific booking site in May 2022 (before that respondents would’ve included it in the “other” category) but it immediately shot up our ranking to become the seventh most popular OTA in our survey. 

Hopper proves that it is still possible to grow as a challenger brand in the U.S. online travel market, which many have long assumed to be fully saturated. Hopper has employed unique tactics like the development use of new fintech products and a heavy dose of user gamification a la Chinese social media apps. 

We can slice the booking site data for our survey by product type. The decline in Expedia Group market share and the rise of new OTA competitors is most pronounced in the market for hotels. In the market for flights, Expedia Groups’ share has remained consistently higher, unsurprising since sells few flights. 

online trends in travel

Skift Research asked respondents to tell us what tools and sources they used when planning a trip. We provided 13 different options. The most popular choices were online search, recommendations from friends and family, and travel review websites like Tripadvisor. 

We wanted to test a theory that the pandemic pushed Americans to do more of their travel planning online. To do this, we categorized each of our options into either an online or offline source and aggregated them. 

Did these travel planning patterns change much because of the pandemic? Short answer: no. 

online trends in travel

Note that percentages add to greater than 100% as most respondents use multiple travel planning sources. Online travel planning source usage has remained mostly consistent since 2020 and the same is true for offline sources. 

In fact, when we dig into the numbers, we saw few major changes in travel planning source usage. There were some small changes. The sources that saw higher usage in 2022 over 2020 were online travel publications, online metasearch sites, travel books, and traditional travel. This was offset by a moderate decline in recommendations from friends and families and online search.

online trends in travel

Note however, that because respondents can select multiple answers here, the percentages don’t add up to 100% and the percent shifts don’t net out to zero. With the gains in sources outweighing declines, it seems that Americans simply added more research sources into their travel planning process rather than swap out one source for another. This makes sense in the context of a more complicated travel landscape during and after the pandemic. 

Let’s wrap up this report by returning to our three original core questions and try to answer them. 

How did the pandemic impact direct bookings and are these trends still in place? The pandemic drove a large bump in direct bookings traffic to hotel and airline suppliers. The pandemic created a trust, safety, and customer service crisis that online booking third-parties struggled to overcome. As we increasingly put the pandemic in the rearview mirror and instead financial concerns take center stage, third-party bookings are returning. However, more than half of all bookings in our survey still come direct to suppliers. 

How has online booking site market share shifted since 2020 in the U.S.? Expedia Group was, and remains the largest family of online booking sites in the United States. But it seems to have lost some market share during the pandemic. grew as it heavily invested in a U.S. presence but our data suggests that Priceline declined for an overall neutral impact on Booking Holdings corporate. Instead most of the market shares during the pandemic flowed to OTA challenger brands, most notably Hopper, but also HotelTonight and

Did the pandemic change Americans’ trip planning process? Not really. Our survey data suggests that travel planning habits remained mostly static during the pandemic. Americans are turning to more information sources than in the past, but these new sources are incremental and not replacing previous modes of planning. There was little shift in preference for online vs. offline travel planning sources.

— Skift Senior Research Analyst Varsha Arora contributed to this report.

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Falling Domestic Fares and an A.I. Arms Race: What Travelers Can Expect in 2024

At the start of what promises to be a very busy year, we look ahead at what you’re likely to encounter.

Credit... Chanelle Nibbelink

Last year, after mandatory coronavirus restrictions were lifted around the world, international tourism recovered to 90 percent of prepandemic levels, according to the World Tourism Organization .

But it was also a year of upheavals, with disasters — both natural and man-made — disrupting travel, from wildfires to labor unrest and technological breakdowns .

With 2023 in the rearview mirror, we look ahead at what travelers will face in 2024.

Airline Prices: Will They Finally Drop?

An illustration of a commercial jetliner with a red price tag with a dollar sign hanging off its fuselage. The border of the illustration is a black airplane cabin window.

A record 4.7 billion passengers are expected to fly globally in 2024, up from the previous record of 4.5 billion in 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association . Analysts at American Express Global Business Travel say that average ticket prices across all regions are not expected to change significantly. But in the United States, domestic and international airfares are expected to move in opposite directions.

Hayley Berg, lead economist for the booking platform Hopper , anticipates that for the next six months, domestic airfare will cost less than in 2023 and prepandemic years. Travelers booking domestic flights in February can expect to pay an average fare of about $276 round-trip — an 8 percent decrease from the same month last year. Reasons for the falling prices include increased airplane capacity — the number of seats on a given route — and a drop in the cost of jet fuel.

“January will be the cheapest month of the year to book travel until the fall shoulder season in September and October,” Ms. Berg said. “Airfare will rise into late spring as the spring break and summer travel period heat up.”

International airfare departing from the United States is up 10 percent for 2024 compared with 2023, according to Kayak , a travel search engine. But airline capacity, Ms. Berg said, is rising and might eventually dampen that increase in prices.

Overall, the outlook for airfare this year is a return to normalcy, said the aviation analyst Robert W. Mann Jr.

“Revenge travel” and the volatility in airfare that has characterized the last few years are “basically in the rearview mirror,” he said. And ebbing demand for leisure travel might mean more excess capacity, further driving prices down.

— Christine Chung

A.I.: Will It Change My Vacation?

It is hard to believe that it has only been about a year since travelers started dabbling in ChatGPT-created itineraries. This year will bring even more experimentation and innovation. “A.I. is like a teenage intern,” said Chad Burt, co-owner of the travel adviser network Outside Agents , “better, smarter, faster than you, but you need to lead them.”

The expanding use of A.I. could influence how we book online, what happens when flights are canceled or delayed, and even how much we pay for tickets.

“In 2024, we will see a new breed of intelligent travel agents built on top of chatbots,” said Oren Etzioni , professor emeritus of computer science at the University of Washington. That means travelers will begin interacting with sites like Airbnb, Expedia and Priceline by typing out questions in addition to ticking boxes to search for lodging, restaurants and amenities like swimming pools.

A.I. will also power what happens behind the scenes at airlines and airports, said Gilbert Ott, director of partnerships at , which helps travelers find flights to buy with rewards points. For example, it could improve automatic rebooking onto new flights when customers miss connections or weather snarls runways. At United Airlines, for example, smarter software can offer rebooking options and issue food and lodging vouchers when a flight is canceled, rather than just rebooking a flight.

On the ground, A.I. software will be able to inform more human-made decisions, like how to most efficiently reposition baggage carts and staff in response to tight connections or flight delays.

Finally, A.I. systems trained on bigger and more up-to-date data sets will let airlines’ dynamic ticket-pricing algorithms better use data like weather predictions and customers’ searches to charge as much as they can while still filling planes. At the same time, companies like the online travel agency Hopper , which says it uses 70 trillion data points in its pricing prediction model, continue to work the problem from the other side, in a kind of A.I.-powered arms race between the airlines and customers.

— Julie Weed


Biometrics: Will They Replace My Passport?

In the year ahead, the use of biometrics — an individual’s unique physical identifiers, such as fingerprints and faces — will be expanded at airports in the United States and abroad, a shift to enhance security, replace physical identification such as passports and driver’s licenses, and reduce the amount of time required by travelers to pass through airports. Biometric technology will be seen everywhere from bag drops at the check-in counters to domestic security screening.

In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration is expanding its program allowing passengers to opt in for a security screening relying on a facial recognition match with their physical identification — a photo taken in real time is compared against a scan of a license or passport and assists the T.S.A. officer in verifying a traveler’s identity. This program is currently available at 30 airports nationwide, including Salt Lake City International Airport and Denver International Airport ; the T.S.A. said it will expand to more than 400 airports in the coming years.

T.S.A. PreCheck travelers who are flying on Delta Air Lines may not even need to show their identification at all during bag drop and security, if they opt in to Delta’s digital ID program.

The program, which compares a photo taken at the airport to one in a database of trusted travelers (compiled by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency), takes about 40 seconds, said Greg Forbes, Delta’s managing director of airport experience. The pilot program is now available at five airports, including La Guardia Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.

Internationally, Singapore’s Changi Airport plans to adopt facial recognition technology for departing passengers, no longer requiring them to show their passports .

Neville Pattinson, head of North America business development for biometrics for Thales, a global technology company, said travelers will start to get increasingly familiar with using biometrics.

“We see much less interaction needed by the traveler, making it less stressful and more seamless,” Mr. Pattinson said. “We’re seeing biometrics really help the travel industry cope with the volumes of travelers going up and the need to really process people quicker.”

Destinations: What’s Hot This Year?

online trends in travel

London, Rome, Tokyo, Cancún and Las Vegas, some of the most visited destinations in 2023, are still among the top places travelers are searching to go to this year, according to the travel sites Kayak and Hopper .

Beach destinations like the Cayman Islands and French Polynesia are also trending destinations for 2024.

“Americans are looking for fun in the sun,” said Laura Lindsay, a global travel trends expert at the travel search engine Skyscanner . “Our data shows that they are seeking out destinations with equal opportunities for relaxation and outdoor adventures.”

After the extreme weather events of 2023 and overcrowding at popular destinations, travelers are also looking for cooler, less crowded spots.

Those hoping to avoid the kind of crippling heat that struck southern Europe last summer are showing interest in Scandinavian countries like Norway and Denmark, say travel advisers, and airlines like Air Canada and American Airlines are adding new routes to meet the demand.

“Two of my favorite places in the region are Bergen and Flam in Norway, with some amazing food, markets and landscapes,” said Joshua Smith, the founder of Global Citizen Journeys , a travel company that caters to millennials.

While interest in Scandinavia is rising, Mr. Smith said the priority for most of his clients is to book major destinations like Italy and France while there are still accommodations. Once places are sold out, he expects rapid growth in Scandinavia bookings.

Mr. Smith is also recommending Malta. “From its history and architecture to the food, Malta maintains the comfort of Europe with solid tourism infrastructure, but without the crowds.”

Another alternative that travel advisers recommend is Slovenia. “Because it’s less known, it is much cheaper and less crowded,” said Laurel Brunvoll, the owner of Unforgettable Trips , a Maryland-based travel agency.

While Ms. Brunvoll’s clients are eyeing destinations off the beaten path, they are also booking popular places like Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Britain. More distant destinations, including Egypt and India, are also gaining traction as well as polar excursions and world cruises, she said.

In North America, one of the most anticipated events is the total solar eclipse on April 8. Popular places to view the path of totality include the Mazatlán coast of Mexico; Cape Girardeau, Mo., with its hiking trails, bike paths and nature center; and scenic Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Texas is also expected to be an epicenter for the event and, with its range of scenery, festivals and other activities in places like Burnet, Sulphur Springs and Lampasas, could draw up to 700,000 visitors, according to the eclipse cartographer Michael Zeiler , who has been keeping track of visitation probability in various areas.

Hotels: Will They Finally Beat Rentals?

In cities from New York to Vienna , new short-term-rental restrictions — designed to improve housing availability for residents — are poised to boost the bottom lines at hotels. In New York in November, shortly after Airbnb and the like were limited to stays of 30 days or longer, hotel occupancy was up 6 percent and rates were up 8 percent, according to the commercial real estate firm CoStar.

However, travelers working remotely continue to favor rentals, which remain strong in rural areas where there are more rentals than hotels .

“We’ve seen the strongest demand in small and midsize cities, coastal and mountain locations and areas outside of major urban centers,” said Jamie Lane, the senior vice president of analytics and chief economist at AirDNA , a market research firm that specializes in short-term rentals. “Hotel supply is primarily in larger urban centers or along interstates,” he added.

Though rentals are expected to account for just over 15 percent of lodging demand in 2024, compared to about 12 percent before the pandemic, they have profoundly challenged hotels. In response, hotels have adopted more residential features.

“Hotels have taken a page from the short-term-rental playbook and said, ‘We want our restaurants open to the public and we want rooms not to be beige boxes,’” said Jan Freitag, the national director for hospitality analytics at CoStar. “On the amenities side, the room that used to be a place to crash now has to serve as an office.”

With features such as kitchenettes and expanded living spaces, extended-stay hotels are booming. New brands expected to debut this year include MidX Studios from Marriott, LivSmart Studios by Hilton and Hyatt Studios .

“We’ve never seen ourselves as in competition with hotels,” said David Whiteside, the global chief operating officer at Onefinestay , which rents high-end homes and apartments with concierge service. It was acquired by Accor Hotels in 2016. “There will be times when a hotel is the perfect fit for a family or individual, and times when a home, villa or chalet would be the better option.”

Meanwhile, hotels are leaning into what distinguishes them most: the human element.

Makarand Mody, an associate professor of hospitality marketing at Boston University, noted that “certain travelers appreciate the service of hotels, which is where they outshine rentals.”

Points: Should I Use Them?

The question of whether to save or to spend miles takes on new urgency this year as lawmakers consider the Credit Card Competition Act . The legislation targets transaction fees — usually 2 to 3 percent of a sale — that retailers pay to credit card companies such as Visa and Mastercard. The fees are partially used by the companies to run loyalty programs that award points to cardholders that can be redeemed for things like flights and hotels.

The act proposes allowing retailers to choose a cheaper system that would reduce the fees. Critics, including banks and airlines , which make billions selling co-branded credit cards, maintain that a cheaper system, backed by retail giants like Walmart and Target, would upend rewards programs.

Whether the legislation will succeed is unknown.

“This has been one of the biggest lobbying battles of all time, pitting two huge industries, retail versus banking,” said Brian Kelly, the founder of the Points Guy , a travel site that helps users maximize reward points and opposes the act.

Does the legislation threaten your points? Not immediately, said Leigh Rowan of Savanti Travel , a personal travel management service. “Assuming it passes, we still have a long runway ahead between then and when the bill will be enacted,” he said. “There’s not a rush to do anything in 2024.”

Still, experts perennially advise spending over saving points.

“Never hoard,” said Mr. Kelly, explaining that airlines and hotels have the leeway to change their redemption values overnight, and to keep up with the growth of points, they tend to increase the total needed to get a flight or hotel room. “Over time, the points you have today generally lose value.”

Mr. Rowan suggests diversifying your credit cards by switching from one airline card, for example, where you can only redeem points with that airline, to a more robust card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that has redemption partnerships with multiple airlines, hotels and rental car companies.

“Diversification will help regardless, but especially if this act goes through,” Mr. Rowan said.

Trains: Should I Travel by Rail?

online trends in travel

Train lovers and travelers concerned about their carbon footprint have a lot to choose from this year — especially in Europe. While some European governments are mulling short-haul flight bans , many passengers are already opting for rail, where new connections are numerous.

Nightjet , part of the Austrian federal railway, ÖBB, started running a sleeper train between Berlin and Paris in December, while the French rail operator, S.N.C.F., started overnight service between Paris and Aurillac , in south-central France, the same month. Sleeper trains between Paris and Vienna and Paris and Nice are also already in service. And the Italian rail operator Trenitalia has recently started running a weekly high-speed connection between Rome and the station serving the Pompeii archaeological park.

Other new European connections include a sleeper service between Brussels and Prague , coming in late March, and an overnight train between Brussels and Bratislava, Slovakia , expected late this year or early next. Trenitalia is also working on high-speed service between Paris and Barcelona, with a possible connection to Madrid, as well as a direct link between Milan and Ljubljana, Slovenia; no start date has been set for either service.

Looking for a luxury experience? The Orient Express La Dolce Vita will offer itineraries through Italy beginning in November. Backed by the French conglomerate Accor, the service will emphasize design and fine dining, and will take visitors to places like Palermo, Portofino, Rome and Siena.

Asia-bound travelers also have luxury options with two new itineraries on the Eastern & Oriental Express . Each route starts and ends in Singapore and takes travelers on a three-night trip through Malaysia. In March, Japan will offer extended bullet train service from Tokyo to Fukui prefecture , home to a 13th-century Buddhist temple, coastal cliffs and a dinosaur museum.

In the United States, Amtrak’s new fleet of high-speed trains could soon enter service in the Northeast Corridor, although no start date has been set. The trains will reach 160 miles per hour, up from the current 150 m.p.h.

As of last month, Brightline — a privately owned intercity operator — has been running 16 round-trip trains every day between Orlando, Fla., and Miami. Looking ahead, Brightline is planning a high-speed route between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, a project that won $3 billion in federal support late last year. Organizers hope the service will begin in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

The Middle East: Are Tourists Returning?

Travelers appear to be slowly returning to some Middle East nations despite the continuation of the Israel-Hamas conflict that all but decimated the region’s tourism since it began on Oct. 7. Travel operators said that bookings to countries including Egypt, Jordan and Oman are growing, welcome news for an area that’s dependent on tourist dollars and one that had received a record number of visitors since the height of the pandemic.

“The Middle East was on track to be one of our biggest leaders in post-pandemic travel recovery, and with this momentum swinging back, it shows just how powerful its appeal is to travelers,” said James Thornton, the chief executive of Intrepid Travel, a global tour company.

Intrepid’s bookings for tours in Oman — and Tunisia in Northern Africa — have experienced explosive demand, more than doubling from last year, the company said.

Closer to the conflict, booking figures in Egypt are rising, travel operators said, with hopes pinned on Nile River tours, a tourist mainstay. Beach holidays in coastal destinations such as Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh are also picking up, said Khaled Ibrahim, a Cairo-based consultant for Amisol Travel Egypt and a member of the Middle East Travel Alliance .

And in Jordan, Intrepid’s bookings for family tours this year have increased 22 percent from last year.

In Israel, tourism has not yet rebounded, and its absence is hurting local businesses, said Harry Rubenstein, who runs Harry’s Baked, a tour company with excursions in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ramle. He said he had a few tours this month, but nothing scheduled beyond next week.

“There aren’t any conventional tourists visiting now,” Mr. Rubenstein said.

Eyal Carlin, Israel’s tourism commissioner to North America, said international visitors had recently begun trickling into Israel to volunteer. He added that he expected this type of travel, the majority of which is faith-based, to remain “steady” over the next several months.

Additionally, airline service to Israel has not returned to prewar levels: The number of available inbound flights from January through March is down about 31 percent compared with the same period last year, according to data from Cirium, an aviation analytics company. In the United States, Delta Air Lines has paused flights until March 29, and American Airlines has discontinued service through April 4. United Airlines has suspended its flights indefinitely, said Josh Freed, a United spokesman.

Luxury and Wellness: Is the Boom Real?

After the travel frenzy of 2023, all signs point to increasing interest in far-flung destinations, villa rentals, private jet bookings and personal pilgrimages in 2024.

“The lust for luxury is real,” said Jack Ezon, the founder of the high-end travel agency Embark Beyond . But, he added, mindfulness is poised to replace heedless indulgence. “Consumers today are focused on sustainability, investment value and craftsmanship when considering a luxury purchase,” he said.

“Travel provides the glue that pulls the family close together and unites it around a shared passion,” said Tom Marchant, a co-founder of Black Tomato , which plans pricey bespoke trips. Compared to 2019, 2023 bookings were up 64 percent, and demand remains strong heading into the new year.

This year, travelers are expected to choose faraway places and board small ships, according to Virtuoso , the consortium of luxury travel agencies. In June, the new 264-passenger Seabourn Pursuit from the luxury cruise line Seabourn will visit the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia (10-day voyages start around $10,000 per person). Black Tomato is planning private group treks to untrammeled destinations like the Mitre Peninsula in Argentina’s Patagonia region, priced at more than $60,000 per person.

Among luxury eco-conscious newcomers, Ki’ama Bahamas , slated to open in the fall, promises to be the first fully solar-powered residential club in the Bahamas. This month, Lepogo Lodges in South Africa will open the carbon-neutral Melote House , accommodating up to 16 guests and funneling profits back into the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, where it is situated (nightly rates from $12,000).

Wellness travel, a market valued at over $600 billion, is expected to grow to $1.1 trillion by 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit that tracks the industry.

“Medical wellness and longevity sciences have taken over the wellness market,” said Beth McGroarty, the director of research and communications at the Global Wellness Institute. Medical procedures like bone density testing, biometric screening and stem-cell therapies are cropping up at resorts alongside low-tech programs that focus on sleep, breathing and social connection.

Travelers will have no shortage of new destinations to feed their hunger for health. In the spring, the new Ranch Hudson Valley will open near Tuxedo Park, N.Y., a spinoff of the original in Malibu, Calif., offering three-night-minimum stays and featuring colonics, cryotherapy and guided hikes (from $3,280 per person). SHA Mexico opens near Cancún in late January, with programs that address sexual health, stress reduction and sleep (minimum four-day stays start at $5,770).

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

2024 travel trends: what the experts predict

A look at the travel trends and destinations set to drive the tourism industry

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The year of 'surprise travel'?

  • Lonely Planet's Best in Travel

Set-jetting continues to take off

Music tourism 'accelerates', palate-led holidays and uk getaways, cultural exploration and quaint cities, journeys with 'a sense of purpose'.

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Fodor's 2024 'No List'

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'More and more surprise trip companies have popped up' 

"Surprise travel" may become the big trend of 2024, said David Farley on the  BBC . A survey of 27,000 travellers in 33 countries by  found that 52% are "keen" to book a surprise trip where "everything down to the destination is unknown until arrival". In the last decade, "more and more surprise trip companies have popped up", Farley added, and the "element of mystery" is "tempting travellers to seek a new way to see the world".

Mongolia and Nairobi included in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel

Mongolia is tipped as one of the top countries to visit 

In its "Best in Travel" report for 2024, Lonely Planet has predicted the world's top 50 countries, regions, cities, best value and most sustainable destinations. Looking at the top places to "unwind, connect, eat, learn and journey", there's "plenty to pack in" over the next year. Destinations highlighted in the report include Mongolia (country), Western Balkans' Trans Dinarica Cycling Route (region), Nairobi in Kenya (city), Spain (sustainable) and The Midwest, USA (best value).

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The new season of 'Emily in Paris' will inspire travel to the French capital

Travellers turning to their TV sets and movie screens for inspiration "shows no signs of stopping in 2024", said Expedia Group . In its "Unpack '24: The Trends in Travel" survey, more than half of travellers have researched or booked a trip to a destination "after seeing it on a TV show or movie", and one in four admit that TV shows and films "are even more influential on their travel plans than they were before". In fact, travellers say TV shows influence their travel decisions more than Instagram, TikTok and podcasts. 

In its "set-jetting forecast", the group predicts the "entertainment-inspired destinations" tourists will be heading to in 2024. The top picks include Thailand, inspired by "The White Lotus" season three; Romania, inspired by "Wednesday" season two; Malta, inspired by the new "Gladiator 2" film; and Paris, inspired by "Emily in Paris" season four. 

Taylor Swift performs at Lumen Field, Seattle, on the Eras Tour

Travel technology company Amadeus has released its fourth travel trends report. Using the latest data and industry-leading insight, travel in 2024 will be dominated by five trends: music tourism, business class fares unbundled, influencers becoming agents, artificial intelligence matures, and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft prepare for take-off. 

Music tourism is a trend that's expected to "accelerate" in 2024, Amadeus said. After the social isolation of the pandemic, when bands and musical artists were "grounded for months", a "boom" in concerts and festivals in 2023 tapped into "a desire for connection". When Taylor Swift announced her Asia Pacific tour dates for 2024, Amadeus research suggested that Swift's concert dates in Australia, Singapore and Japan had a "significant impact on travel searches and booking volumes to the countries".  

Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa in Wiltshire is part of the PoB Hotels collection  

PoB Hotels ' "Cultivating Luxury" market trends report found that palate-led holidays and increased domestic getaways in the UK were among the key findings for 2024. Food and drink "undeniably take centre stage" in "capturing the attention" of domestic travellers, commanding an impressive 82% of their interests. A significant 54% of affluent high net worth individuals (HNWIs) plan to enjoy "three or more" leisure holidays within the UK in the upcoming year, reflecting a "notable increase on the previous 12 months". And a considerable 27% of affluent/HNW travellers anticipate taking UK trips "lasting three or more nights" in the coming year. 

Bydgoszcz in Poland is one of the 'quaint cities' attracting interest  

"Cultural exploration" will "more than ever" be a priority for travellers, Skyscanner said in its 2024 travel trends report. Expect "gig trippers" to jet off to see their favourite artists and "budget bougie foodies" to seek out the very best food experiences. When it comes to the destinations that are whetting would-be tourists' appetites, the metasearch engine and travel agency has seen an increase in searches for "quaint cities" such as Vigo in Spain (+1,235%) and Bydgoszcz in Poland (+313%). Meanwhile, the cost-of-living crisis remains "top of mind" with Skyscanner's "Everywhere" search tool being the "top search destination for travellers globally". 

'Off-grid' Peru is on Black Tomato's 2024 destination hotlist 

The founders of luxury travel company Black Tomato predict that travellers will be looking to journey with "a sense of purpose" in 2024. With ever increasing demands on time, and the desire to make travel truly count, travellers want to create "positive and lasting change" – not only in the destinations they visit, but in their own lives. 

"What we've uncovered," said Black Tomato, is that the feeling a trip ultimately evokes "greatly informs the destination booked". For groups "craving togetherness", journeys which "strengthen bonds and connection" are "prioritised". Black Tomato has picked out "off-grid" Peru, Morocco's Tangiers, the Mitre Peninsula in remotest Argentine Patagonia, and New Zealand's waterways on its 2024 destination hotlist.

The new Michelin Guide 'keys'

Which hotels will get a Michelin key? 

The Michelin Guide will award hotels with "keys" as part of a "new rating system" launching in 2024, said the Visit California PR Pulse Report. The system will be aimed at recognising hotels based on factors including "location, design, service, uniqueness and value". As it does for restaurants, the guide said it intends to independently recommend hotels that "constitute true destinations" and will propose a new selection of more than "5,000 remarkable hotels in 120 countries".

Venice is one of the destinations that has been impacted by overtourism

Most travel experts recommend places to go in their annual reports, but Fodor's has a "No List" of nine regions to "reconsider" in 2024. The travel guide company said it's not a "round-up of spots we revile", it's a "declaration of places we revere". However, the "frenzied admiration", and "incessant need to experience them", are "not sustainable". 

The 2024 No List focuses on three main areas of tourist impact: overtourism, rubbish production, and water quality and sufficiency. For overtourism, Venice in Italy, Athens in Greece, and Mount Fuji in Japan are highlighted. Rubbish production no-gos include San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in California, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, and the Atacama Desert in Chile. While water quality and sufficiency has impacted Lake Superior in North America, the Ganges River in India, and Koh Samui in Thailand.

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People are traveling to make memories in 2024. While everyone’s motivation for booking a trip is unique – whether it’s taking a solo getaway to recharge or embarking on an expedition cruise or safari – the trips that are trending are sure to be transformative, and our American Express Travel Consultants are here to build dream itineraries and help every step of the way.”

Nearly three-quarters of global respondents are into sports, with 71% considering themselves either a “huge” or casual fan. And as easy as it is to watch from your living room, 37% have plans to travel for sports this year. Of those, 38% will average trips of 6 hours or more

Why are these fans going the extra mile in 2024? The driving forces include: watching a favorite sports team in person (35%), witnessing a big sports or cultural event (34%), and seeing a favorite athlete (20%).

In the past few years, Las Vegas has become an even more sought-after destination due to the growing prevalence of professional sports – giving us an even greater opportunity to focus on luxury, experience-based travel. Iconic sports moments continue to come to life in Las Vegas, with no signs of slowing down. Wynn has maximized these city-wide events with complementary bespoke programming, which provide our guests with unique, one-of-a-kind moments only found at our resort. With more major events on the horizon, we have an opportunity to continue innovating our programming so that guests see Wynn and Las Vegas as a can’t-miss destination.”

For some respondents, the major trip they have in mind is an immersive adventure, often somewhere totally remote. For others, it simply means a longer trip that’s full of new and diverse experiences—visiting multiple countries, for example. 63% of respondents who plan to visit more than one country on a single trip in 2024 plan to do so in Europe.

The transformative potential of these trips makes them worth the cost and planning. 66% of respondents agree that they are saving up for a major trip this year, and most respondents (54%) like to plan these trips 3-6 months in advance. For inspiration, travelers turn to friends or family (52%), social media (39%), and travel websites (37%).

At Seabourn, travel is back in full swing, and we’ve seen guests show a thirst for knowledge on our voyages, while enjoying the ultra-luxury, once-in-a-lifetime travel experience that we offer. Not only are travelers hungry for adventure and exploration, but they are engaged and show a desire to immerse in the culture of a region. These trips allow travelers to experience ancient, otherworldly, hard-to-reach landscapes, and stunning wildlife, and inspiring local cultures, illustrating how luxury expedition cruising allows travelers to explore remote destinations and create memories to last a lifetime.”

The most popular new travel companions are me, myself, and I. Solo trips are easier to schedule and tailor exactly to your liking, which makes them great for resetting after a busy week: 57% of respondents agreed that they were more likely to travel solo for a quick weekend getaway than for a longer or more expensive trip.

Either way, solo travelers are becoming an important subset. The two types of destinations where they’re most likely to be found? In a new city (29%) or relaxing at a beach or island (22%).

Solo travel is a wonderful way to unwind and discover a new hobby. Traveling alone also allows you to take ownership of selecting the perfect destination and gives you the ability to curate the ideal itinerary, catered just for you.”

Although booking in advance can bring peace of mind and access to some of the most in-demand attractions, many travelers like to do at least some of their planning as they go: 44% of respondents said they prefer to take a spontaneous trip instead of having all the details planned.

Being open to serendipity and the unexpected is part of the excitement of travel; it allows you to act on tips from locals and discover out-of-the-way spots on your own. Granted, most travelers would rather improvise dining and shopping than, say, hotels. And they’re more likely to plan spontaneous travel this year with family (41%) or a significant other (35%) than alone (27%) or with friends (20%).

Travelers are looking to take spontaneous last-minute trips this year, prioritizing flexibility. For those wanting the ability to be spontaneous with their plans, our team of Travel Consultants can support with last minute, on-the-go travel requests.”

Where Travelers Like To Be Spontaneous

Download the 2024 Global Travel Trends report here.

online trends in travel


This poll was conducted between January 31 – February 8, 2024 among a sample of 2,005 US Adults, 1,007 Australia Adults, 1,002 Canada Adults, 1,002 UK Adults, 1,002 Japan Adults, 1,006 Mexico Adults and 1,005 India Adults who have at least a $50k+ income equivalent and typically travel at least once a year. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2-4 percentage points. Some geographies may be weighted with fewer variables depending on local census data availability.

2 Gen-Z and Millennials are defined as respondents as being born between 1981 - 2012.

3 GenX are defined as respondents as being born between 1965 - 1980.

4 Baby Boomers are defined as respondents as being born between 1946 - 1964.

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Statement credits may not be received or maybe reversed if the booking is cancelled or modified. To be eligible for this benefit, your Card account must not be cancelled or past due at the time of statement credit fulfillment. If American Express does not receive information that identifies your transaction as eligible, you will not receive the statement credits. For example, your transaction will not be eligible if it is a booking: (i)made with a property not included in the Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection programs, (ii) not made through American Express Travel, or (iii) not made with an eligible Card.

Participating properties and their availability are subject to change. If AmericanExpress, in its sole discretion, determines that you have engaged in or intend to engage in any manner of abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with this benefit, American Express will not have an obligation to provide and may reverse any statement credits provided to you. If a charge for an eligible purchase is included in a Pay Over Time balance on your Card Account, the statement credit associated with that charge may not be applied to that Pay Over Time balance. Instead, the statement credit may be applied to your Pay In Full balance. Please refer to and for more information about Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection, respectively.

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To be eligible for this benefit, the Card Account must not be cancelled. If American Express, in its sole discretion, determines that you have engaged in or intend to engage in any manner of abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with this benefit in any way American Express may remove access to this benefit from the Account. For additional information, call the number on the back of your Card or visit for more information about rewards.

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Top online travel marketing trends in 2022

By Breanna Lawlor

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2022 Tourism Marketing Trends

If there’s anything we can anticipate with the start of a new year, it’s an ever-changing landscape of online travel marketing trends. 

As a tour operator, do you need to know about all the emerging trends? 

Probably not. 

But can it help your tour business know which tactics to apply now and which trends to watch? 

Without a doubt.

The past few years have laid bare the need for experience providers to continue adapting their digital travel marketing efforts — and quickly. 

With new marketing strategies emerging each year, it can be tricky to keep up. Sure, it might be scary not to know what’s coming next, but change is inevitable. Thankfully, as experience providers, you’re poised to adapt — look at the past two years for proof — and continue to thrive. 

How can I use online travel marketing

After nearly two years of virus-related  impacts on the tourism industry , it’s apparent that the industry has changed. Travelers are demanding more transparency, and companies that fail to draw attention online will be left behind. 

How does this affect the tourism industry, considering international tourist numbers were  still down 67% in July – September 2021  (when compared to 2019)?

With people spending more time than ever on their mobile devices, online booking will continue to trend upward as people continue buying online. If you still haven’t set up an online booking system , it may be more challenging to book without the advantage and convenience travelers have grown to expect when researching trips and booking online.  

So, should operators continue to push digital travel marketing despite lower numbers?


And here’s why; more people than ever are keeping tabs on their phones to explore travel companies and research their next trip. As a result, virtual experiences and contactless travel are taking centre stage. 

Latest digital marketing tourism trends

1. virtual experiences .

man wearing VR headset with laptop in front of him

Despite 2021 leading to continued closures or limited running time, at least the past year offered a glimpse of how a tiered recovery might look. And some of these recoveries account for the inability to travel to popular destinations physically. Enter  virtual experiences . 

Virtual tours are now supported by a wealth of applications, including  Amazon Explore ,  Airbnb Experiences , Youtube and TikTok. And, short-form video content is a major draw for travelers.  

How the metaverse might impact travel

The Metaverse is a version of a reality where you can connect with people in a digital world. With the announcement of Facebook’s Metaverse in 2021, it’s clear that digital experiences are on the horizon. 

And while  Facebook Metaverse  might not impact tour operators in the immediate future, it’s a good idea to incorporate virtual elements along with in-person experiences, even if only to get eyes on your brand. WHY? 

And since Facebook’s set to transform reality by merging the Metaverse with real life, it’s worth investing a bit of energy into how this might impact travel brands in the year and years to come. 

And as more guests choose to book online, a web presence means you’re better positioned to attract buyers who also follow through. This is where having a  tourism marketing strategy  can benefit your tour business. 

Why virtual tourism  is growing in demand

  • Offers guests a multi-sensory experience
  • Allows travelers to explore a destination on their own schedule 
  • Includes people who are unable to travel
  • Creates memorable brand experiences 
  • Reduces the impact of in-person tourism in vulnerable locations
  • Helps to support sustainable tourism without the need for a physical footprint

The next wave of virtual experiences may be instrumental in helping people to plan trips and imagine themselves in a new place.

How to create virtual experiences guests want 

  • Make them short and engaging
  • Add personal flair and fun facts 
  • Focus on honest, in-the-moment storytelling
  • Adapt your pace to match audience requests 
  • Use a quality camera and internet live stream sync 
  • Market your virtual offer through your e-newsletter and social media posts 

With many people glued to their phones and global travel in an unpredictable state, some of the latest trends in tourism marketing centre on video content to help transport viewers to another place.

2. Video Content 

woman taking video on mobile phone

Full of alternate realities, entertaining personalities and vibrant visuals, tour operators are poised to deliver some of the most consumable videos out there. Short-form travel  videos  come in third on social media apps for trending topics.

Short-form  video content  has the capacity to catapult your online travel marketing efforts by immersing prospective customers into an experience in a way that’s more powerful than images alone.

Understandably, people are spending more time on their phones than ever before. And according to  this article , mobile phone usage is up to 2 hours and 25 minutes per day.

Videos can help to eliminate distance and time, offering a glimpse into another world — much like travel itself, which is why video marketing for tourism has grown in popularity.

And what better way to connect people online than to have people just like they highlight what makes a travel experience worthwhile? 

Consider the benefits of short, snappy videos that give your audience exactly what they’re looking for, which is where Tik Tok comes in. 

Hop aboard the TikTok train

TikTok — a video-sharing app from China — thrives on user-generated content , making it ideal for fun and entertaining short videos.

TikTok’s format makes it easy for guests to share user-generated content with travel brands to promote authenticity and build trust. Users can share unfiltered reviews, sneak peeks and highlight what makes a destination so attractive to future travellers. 

TikTok marketing tips for travel content:

  • Tell a story; it’s the key ingredient to a successful TikTok
  • Use relevant hashtags the same way you would on Instagram to show up for those using the search feature
  • Add your location to your profile because geo-location is a factor in the TikTok algorithm
  • Play around with the effects in the TikTok editing tool (as tricky as it is to use) to help your videos stand out
  • Jump on the Challenge trend by starting a unique challenge that’s related to your tours using a branded hashtag
  • Link another social media account on your profile to convert profile views into followers on a platform where you have more pull
  • Create TikTok tours that give a sneak peek of what the experience will be like

It does take time to consistently create videos to maintain traction. But the good news is you can repurpose the content for Instagram Reels (another video sharing hotspot that gets big results) and Instagram Stories to engage your current followers.

tik tok for online travel marketing

The rise of the micro-influencer

If you’re not keen on working with influencers, you may want to consider giving smaller-scale content creators or “micro-influencers” another look. 

Developing strategic partnerships with smaller-scale influencers can help forge a connection with your audience. They can deliver impressive engagement and improve conversions for your specific audience. 

In fact, some of the most engaging online travel marketing content is quite simple — answering common questions that help online visitors feel seen and heard. 

In the interest of communicating an exciting opportunity to adventure or experience a new part of the world, partnering with micro-influencers can be a powerful digital marketing asset for tour operators.

User-generated content 

If you can invoke an emotional reaction with the content you share, you’re in a good spot with your marketing efforts. 

What does this mean for tour operators? This is one of the most cost-effective online travel marketing opportunities that can deliver impressive ROI. 

Just imagine how much harder it is to describe something by phone or with a single photo. In 2022, we are spoiled by the access we have to attach ideas to people’s imaginations. 

3. Self-guided Tours 

Does anyone else imagine Jurassic Park when you think of self-driving vehicles? Especially the scene where the Jeeps get stuck en route? I guess you might picture it now. 

As part of current online travel marketing trends, self-guided tours will continue to intrigue independent travellers . And these flexible, self-paced audio tours can be immensely valuable for a solo traveller.

With an audio tour, guests can experience a new place without a tour guide physically leading them. Self-guided tours encourage guests to don earphones or a headset while exploring a new city.

When my husband and I travelled to Bordeaux, France, we visited the local wine museum during our trip. Upon arrival, we chose to purchase an audio-led tour that delves into more detail.

It was an interactive, modern and multi-sensory experience that capitalized on an immersive experience. On-demand audio guides can take learning to the next level, inviting guests to embark on a more vivid journey.

self-driving vehicle

Autonomous vehicles 

Travelers may want to have the option to experience a new place without the need for a physical guide. Audio tours invite them to have a contactless, guided experience. In a similar realm, “driverless vehicles are a logical next step,” according to Alex Bainbridge of Destination CTO .

Driverless vehicles will allow tour operators to offer experiences that invite physical exploration alongside shared digital travel experiences.  

AI Chatbot emoticon and woman holding phone out of focus

4. AI Chat Bots 

Want an edge over your competitors? Deliver a better online experience. 

As an automated response option, AI chatbots can reduce the time it takes for guests to get to a booking form or desired web page by providing quick, pre-set answers online. 

Think of the sort of questions you might receive from prospective customers — such as are you available, how much does it cost or what’s your cancellation policy?

According to Evan Tipton of TOMIS and Billy from Arkansas River Tours, the ultimate goal of adding a chatbot “is to enhance the customer’s experience.”   

As shared in their conversation on Tourpreneur , for this tour company, introducing a chatbot helped them earn over  $60k in bookings . As a result, customers could receive near-immediate responses to their questions. 

Adding a chatbot demonstrates instant assurance that you can take care of guests’ needs. Plus, quick responses to queries boost guest confidence in booking, heightening the chance that they’ll follow through.

blogging for tour operators for digital marketing

5. Blogging 

You might wonder whether it’s worth adding content to your website in the form of a blog post. 

In fact, as OTAs increase costs to operators, it highlights how important  branding in tourism  can lead to operators strengthening their website and doubling down on marketing. 

Investing in blogging is one of the best ways to help to drive direct bookings and take back control over profits, booking cancellations, and refunds. 

A blog is a perfect opportunity to speak directly to your audience, establish yourself as a destination expert and gain the attention of more visitors to your website — not to mention the added perk of boosting your SEO (search engine optimization). 

Here’s how blogging helps with your SEO

  • It keeps your website fresh and current — Google favours new content 
  • It increases the average time people spend on your website
  • Targets long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for, i.e. river rafting Denver Colorado
  • It helps you to create a powerful web of internal links
  • And presents an opportunity to gain more backlinks, AKA votes of confidence, which bumps up your  domain authority score , helping you rank for higher volume keywords on your conversion pages

We know that blogging works and that it can be a huge driver of traffic to your website. 

And even if only some of your audience reads blogs, it’s important to keep in mind that those that do, are expecting to walk away with something of value. According to Hubspot,  80% of online users interact with blogs  regularly.

Blogging is one of those tried-and-true tactics that work. Having been around for a while, you’d think this travel marketing trend would be obsolete, but if anything, it’s gained a stronger foothold in providing value for the tour companies who opt to populate fresh content. 

The best part of blogging is a low barrier to entry and high potential to connect with your audience. And, the ROI (return on investment) grows over time as more people discover your blog posts, and you give them the freedom to learn more and see the value of your tour business. 

Local SEO online mobile marketing

6. Local SEO

Being found online is vital. And as more tour operators look to focus on encouraging locals to stay-cations, domestic travel and trips closer to home, SEO is one way of targeting the audience you’re looking to attract. 

Think of how local tourism centers on community experiences and the value of exploring what’s in your backyard. Plus, another advantage of improving local SEO is an increase in direct bookings. 

Developing your SEO strategy involves a mix of keywords research, geography-specific search terms, niching on your activity and being consistent with fresh, relevant content. 

Give some thought to how you present digital marketing messaging if you’re hoping to attract a local audience. For some helpful tips on strategies for finding your footing in the local travel market, be sure to check out these Tourpreneur episodes:

  • How Tour Operators Can Tap Into Local Markets
  • 5 Tips on How to Pivot Into Local Marketing

Rather than exploring multiple new online marketing strategies at once, aim to focus on a couple at a time. Then, after a few months of experimenting, see where you’re getting the best ROI. From here, you can pour your energy into a strategy that’s measurable and worth the time investment. 

Having a digital presence is critical in the age of online bookings. With the majority of travelers scrolling, researching and booking online, you want to connect with your audience wherever they are.  

Need a little help deciding where to focus your digital marketing efforts this year? 

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31 Cutting-Edge Travel Trends To Expect For 2024

Embark on a journey into 2024 with an array of exciting trends that will redefine the travel experience. From Gen AI’s rise to the allure of Spanish landscapes, delve into sustainability, tech-infused experiences, and the beats of music tourism. Join us for a casual exploration of these trends, promising a fresh perspective on your upcoming adventures.

Discover the subtle whispers of the future in travel and get ready for a year of exciting changes with these trends encapsulating the fusion of technology, changing consumer values, and a profound desire for novel and sustainable adventures.

1. Sustainable Wanderlust

online trends in travel

Sustainability takes center stage as eco-conscious choices permeate every facet of travel. The momentum behind sustainable accommodations and transportation reflects a collective commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of globetrotting .

A paradigm shift towards conscious consumerism is reshaping the very foundations of the travel sector, ushering in an era where the footprint of each journey matters.

2. Tech-Infused Experiences

online trends in travel

The marriage of technology and travel reaches new heights. Augmented reality becomes a transformative force, offering immersive experiences at every destination. AI steps into the role of a personalized travel companion, shaping recommendations based on individual preferences.

Meanwhile, smart travel gadgets , from luggage innovations to wearable tech, weave a seamless tapestry of convenience, efficiency, and connectivity.

3. Local Immersion

online trends in travel

Travelers are veering away from the trodden path, seeking genuine, offbeat experiences that delve into the heart of local culture. Community-driven travel initiatives gain prominence, fostering a symbiotic relationship where locals actively shape the traveler’s narrative.

Beyond offering unique experiences, this trend becomes a catalyst for economic growth in local communities and the preservation of cultural authenticity.

Related read: Annapurna Community trek, Nepal

4. Health and Wellness Journeys

online trends in travel

The definition of travel broadens to encompass not just destinations but holistic well-being. Wellness-focused itineraries emerge, intertwining travel with mindfulness and fitness.

Travelers embark on journeys that rejuvenate both the body and mind , signaling a departure from conventional sightseeing to a more profound and enriching exploration of self and surroundings.

5. Virtual Travel and Meta-Tourism

online trends in travel

A revolutionary shift occurs as virtual reality becomes an integral part of travel exploration. Digital experiences act as a prelude to physical travel, enabling individuals to traverse the globe and exploring destinations like Italy , Southern India , or Thailand from the comfort of their homes.

The traditional travel narrative undergoes a metamorphosis, blurring the lines between real and virtual experiences, offering a taste of destinations before setting foot on foreign soil.

6. Music and Sports Tourism: A Cultural Phenomenon

online trends in travel

2024 marks a surge in sports and music tourism, fueled by once-in-a-lifetime events.

The Olympic Games return to Paris, the UEFA European Football Championship to Germany, and Super Bowl LVII to Las Vegas .

In this vibrant landscape, GO Sport Travel stands out as the premier destination for those seeking exclusive sporting experiences and matchday breaks across Europe. As a one-stop shop, GO Sport Travel provides unparalleled access to premier allocations at all major European football leagues, Formula One races, tennis majors, and Moto GP events.

On the other hand, Expedia predicts the rise of “tour tourism” after the success of major concert tours in 2023 and the sustained upward trajectory of music festivals .

online trends in travel

The Libertines’ tour and the connection with The Albion Rooms showcase the fusion of music and accommodation. Gen Z and travelers express a strong inclination toward concert attendance and overseas music experiences in 2024.

7. Culinary Adventures

online trends in travel

Culinary tourism keeps taking center stage, with a fusion of global flavors and a celebration of local gastronomy.

Social media’s influence on foodie culture propels travelers to embark on journeys where the culinary narrative is as rich and diverse as the destinations themselves.

Last but not least, unique dining experiences become a pivotal factor in shaping travel itineraries.

8. Retro Travel Revival

online trends in travel

A nostalgia-driven wave sweeps across travel experiences. Travelers revisit classic destinations and activities, drawn by the allure of vintage aesthetics in a modern context.

This trend taps into a longing for the timeless, infusing a sense of nostalgia into every journey and redefining what it means to explore the world.

Van life read: A journey through Northern Spain in our vintage motorhome

9. Adventure Tourism 2.0

online trends in travel

Adventure takes a futuristic turn, with extreme and unconventional travel activities rising. Technology intertwines with adventure tourism, offering experiences that push boundaries.

The very definition of adventure evolves, inviting modern travelers to embrace the thrill of the unknown and explore uncharted territories.

10. Wellness Retreats in Unconventional Settings

online trends in travel

The pursuit of well-being extends to unconventional locations as wellness retreats break free from traditional confines .

online trends in travel

Nature and the great outdoors become the backdrop for rejuvenation, marrying the serenity of untouched landscapes with curated well-being experiences.

online trends in travel

Offbeat destinations and unique glamping accommodations beckon those seeking solace and a holistic escape.

11. Mental Wellness Travel

online trends in travel

In response to the growing importance of mental health, travel experiences are crafted to enhance overall well-being .

Destinations promoting relaxation and stress relief gain prominence, catering to a traveler’s mental health needs.

Mindfulness practices are seamlessly integrated into travel itineraries, offering a holistic approach to self-care on the road .

12. Space Tourism

online trends in travel

A new frontier opens with the dawn of commercial space travel. Travelers venture beyond Earth’s boundaries, experiencing zero gravity and even contemplating orbital stays.

The emergence of space tourism heralds a transformative era in travel, as individuals prepare to explore the cosmos and redefine the very essence of a celestial journey.

13. Cultural Exchange Programs

online trends in travel

Immersive cultural exchange takes center stage, urging travelers to go beyond sightseeing. Living with local families, participating in daily life, and engaging in cultural traditions become integral to the travel experience.

This trend fosters cross-cultural understanding, transforming travel into a powerful tool for global connection.

14. Inclusive and Accessible Travel

online trends in travel

A commitment to inclusivity shapes travel experiences, with a rising tide of options catering to all abilities.

Accommodations, transportation, and attractions embrace accessibility , ensuring that travel becomes an enriching experience for everyone.

The importance of inclusivity reverberates throughout the travel industry , paving the way for a more diverse and welcoming landscape.

15. Educational Tourism

online trends in travel

Beyond traditional study abroad programs, educational tourism gains momentum. Travelers seek learning experiences beyond the classroom , participating in skill development retreats and educational vacations.

online trends in travel

The integration of learning into travel itineraries reflects a desire for intellectual growth and personal enrichment.

16. Customized Travel Experiences

online trends in travel

The era of hyper-personalized travel has arrived, offering bespoke itineraries tailored to individual preferences. Artificial Intelligence plays a pivotal role in creating highly personalized travel plans, ensuring every journey is a unique and tailored experience.

The traveler becomes the focal point, with customized experiences shaping the future of travel.

17. Spontaneity Rules: The Decline of Lengthy Planning

online trends in travel

A paradigm shift occurs as spontaneous trips gain popularity, challenging the tradition of long-term travel planning .

Last-minute bookings surge, with Spain emerging as a hotbed for spontaneous travel . Forbes and Hopper validate the trend, showcasing a shift toward impromptu getaways.

The connection between spontaneous travel and increased happiness is highlighted by Skyscanner. The evolving travel landscape embraces unpredictability, marking 2024 as the year where spontaneity rules.

18. Heritage Tourism

online trends in travel

In an era of rediscovery and cultural appreciation, heritage tourism takes center stage. Travelers are drawn to the rich tapestry of historical sites, aiming to understand their cultural roots better.

The intersection of heritage and sustainable tourism becomes evident as visitors explore and preserve cultural landmarks. This trend fosters a deeper connection between travelers and the historical narratives embedded in the places they visit.

19. Solo Travel for Connection

online trends in travel

Solo travel undergoes a transformation beyond individual exploration, evolving into a means of connecting with oneself and others.

Group activities and networking opportunities specifically designed for solo travelers gain prevalence , fostering a sense of community on the road.

Destinations actively work to create environments that cater to solo adventurers, promoting both self-discovery and social engagement.

20. Immersive Sustainability: Beyond Greenwashing

online trends in travel

Sustainability transcends trend status to become an essential element of the travel industry.’s survey underscores a growing demand for accommodations with innovative sustainability features. Properties worldwide actively embrace initiatives such as marine reserves and eco-friendly construction .

Exemplifying immersive sustainability are eviivo Collective’s Desert Harbor and Rachel’s Farm, committed to eco-friendly practices . The industry witnesses a surge in EV charger installations, reflecting a broader commitment to sustainable practices.

21. Digital Detox Travel

online trends in travel

As the digital age advances, the need for a break from technology becomes integral to travel experiences. Digital detox travel emerges as a trend where travelers consciously unplug from digital distractions.

Destinations promoting an escape from the constant connectivity of modern life offer serene environments conducive to relaxation, emphasizing the positive impact of disconnecting on mental well-being during travel.

22. Extreme Luxury Travel

online trends in travel

Beyond conventional notions of luxury, extreme luxury travel takes center stage, offering exclusive and high-end experiences.

Discerning travelers seek unparalleled services in exotic locations, pushing the boundaries of opulence. The pursuit of unique, extraordinary, and personalized travel encounters becomes a driving force, redefining the benchmarks for luxury in the travel industry.

In navigating this realm, a critical challenge surfaces: to determine whether luxury travel can be sustainable at all . As we embark on this journey, contemplating the seamless integration of opulence with environmental responsibility, the question arises: what steps and innovations are needed to harmonize these seemingly contrasting elements?

23. Civic Engagement Travel

online trends in travel

Travel becomes a transformative force for good as civic engagement – the active participation of individuals in the political, economic, and social life of their communities – travel gains prominence.

Travelers actively seek experiences with a focus on community service and volunteering, contributing to local projects and initiatives .

The impact of travel extends beyond personal enrichment to actively shaping and supporting the communities visited, emphasizing the role of travelers as agents of positive change.

24. Amenities: The New Booking Currency

online trends in travel

Unique and compelling amenities redefine the competitive landscape in 2024. 7744 Ranch sets a benchmark with its upscale glamping experience featuring celebrity-owned trailers. Kenny Hawskworth, owner of Barnston Group, elevates guest experiences with high-end fitness bars and festive embellishments.

Amenities play a pivotal role in capturing travelers’ imagination and placing destinations on the map.

HospitalityNet predicts a trend of developers investing in wow-factor concepts, further emphasizing the importance of unique offerings.

25. Gen AI: A Revolution Unleashed

online trends in travel

The travel technology landscape witnessed a revolutionary shift with the emergence of Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI).

Gen AI, the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI), reshapes user experiences in the travel sector. ChatGPT’s impact in 2023 acts as a catalyst, paving the way for the integration of Gen AI.

The transformative power of Generative AI goes beyond traditional AI boundaries, enabling personalized and adaptive interactions.

26. Spain: Beyond Tourism to Residency

online trends in travel

Spain takes the spotlight in 2024, not just as a tourist destination but as a sought-after location for permanent residence according to Forbes . Malaga, Alicante, and Valencia secure top spots in global city rankings, with Malaga leading the charge.

The tech boom positions Malaga as Spain’s tech capital, attracting industry giants like Google and Oracle. The allure of Spain extends beyond tourism, driven by remote work opportunities , stunning beaches, and a thriving cityscape.

Barcelona adds to Spain’s appeal, securing a spot in Resonance’s Best Cities of 2024.

27. Pet-Friendly Travel

online trends in travel

The bond between humans and their pets extends to travel, as the trend of pet-friendly travel continues to grow.

Accommodations and transportation services increasingly cater to the needs of traveling pet owners, recognizing the importance of including furry companions and ESAs ( Emotional Support Animals ) in the travel experience.

Destinations embracing pet-friendly initiatives become sought-after by a demographic seeking seamless travel with their beloved animals.

28. Dynamic Travel Subscription Services

online trends in travel

A new paradigm in travel emerges with the advent of dynamic travel subscription services. Subscription-based models for travel services have gained popularity, providing travelers with personalized subscription plans for regular getaways.

The convenience and flexibility offered by subscription-based travel services redefine the traditional approach to travel, allowing individuals to curate their travel experiences seamlessly.

29. Micro-Cations

online trends in travel

Recognizing the changing dynamics of travel, micro-cations gain traction as short, focused getaways become increasingly popular.

After the staycation boom , travelers are now looking to maximize experiences within a limited timeframe, opting for frequent shorter vacations over traditional lengthy trips. Their major attraction is the ability to refresh quickly.

30. Vacation Rentals: A New Era in Accommodation

online trends in travel

The vacation rental market witnesses unparalleled growth, projecting a market volume of $107.7 billion by 2027.

Pandemic-driven changes position vacation rentals as preferable alternatives. A balanced coexistence with traditional hospitality emerges, with full-service offerings regaining popularity.

The luxury of space, privacy, and unique amenities redefines the accommodation experience, further solidifying vacation rentals as a dominant force in the industry.

online trends in travel

And guess what? We added a touch of Galician charm to Airbnb last summer with our very own cottage . Curious? Check it out!

31. Borderless Work and Travel

online trends in travel

The concept of a traditional office dissolves as work and leisure intertwine. Digital nomads, armed with laptops and a thirst for exploration, redefine the work environment .

Remote work-friendly destinations witness a surge in popularity, reshaping not only office culture but also the very essence of workcations and business travel worldwide.

In conclusion, the landscape of travel in 2024 is shaped by an intricate interplay of cutting-edge trends. From sustainability and tech-infused experiences to immersive sustainability and dynamic travel subscription services, each trend contributes to a transformative journey for both travelers and the industry.

online trends in travel

As we navigate the year ahead, these trends underscore not only the evolving preferences of travelers but also the industry’s adaptability and commitment to shaping a more diverse, sustainable, and enriching travel experience.

Keep reading: 

  • Were 2023 travel trends accurate?
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  • Sailing vs RVing
  • Lessons learned sailing and driving around the world
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online trends in travel

More From Forbes

Elevated experiences: 2024 global trends in luxury travel and hospitality.

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An airplane approaches a tropical paradise island in the Maldives.

The global luxury travel market, worth an estimated $1.5 trillion , continues to accelerate as well as diversify after an initial post-pandemic lift. Travel demand and spending, fueled by a near-insatiable curiosity for novel experiences, is expected to increase in 2024 , reports Virtuoso , a global network of luxury and experiential travel agencies and advisors.

Wealthy travelers, however, are not all alike. Although some high-net-worth individuals might spring for a $10K champagne bubble bath at Florence’s Il Salviatino hotel , others might choose to soak in Esalen Institute’ s hot spring baths perched on California’s Big Sur coast.

Still, the moneyed traveler is usually discerning.

“Our traveler is very much the tastemaker, the trendsetter amongst their peers,” says Shannon Knapp , president and CEO of Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), a collection of more than 400 five-star independent luxury hotels in more than 80 countries. “They’re constantly looking for what’s next. They’re taking more trips than ever, they’re spending more than ever, and they’re staying in larger rooms.”

Emerging Destinations Lure the Luxury Traveler

After a post-pandemic return to such favored spots as Italy, France and Greece, wealthy travelers are putting new pins on the map and venturing to Japan, Croatia, Iceland, Portugal and Antarctica, according to Virtuoso .

Saudi Arabia is also a contender, given its $800-billion tourism moonshot , part of a Vision 2030 government program that aims to reimagine an economy historically dependent on oil. Among numerous projects in development: Sindalah , a luxury island for yacht enthusiasts with three prestige resorts, and the fantasy city of Qiddiya , with a focus on entertainment, sports and culture that’s rising from the sands much as Las Vegas did.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024.

Saudi Arabia has invested more than $800 billion to overhaul its tourism industry.

Iceland, far from the searing desert, also presents a significant opportunity for the luxury market, Knapp says. “The idea of luxury continues to evolve conceptually there. More and more luxury travelers are keen to experience the country’s raw natural beauty.”

Kyoto, a former imperial capital of Japan, is also attracting luxury travelers drawn to its culture and traditions. LHW’s collection includes Fauchon Hotel Kyoto , adjacent to the city’s vibrant Shijō Kawaramachi district, and it will soon add another.

Exclusive Access to Authentic Experiences

Eighty percent of the hotels in LHW’s portfolio are family led and more than 90% are independent. The world’s largest collection of such properties was founded by hoteliers for hoteliers in 1928.

Its storied hotels, many of which have been owned by multiple generations, point to another trend among elite travelers: the craving for unique experiences authentic to the destination.

“Destinations have evolved around these family-owned hotels,” Knapp says. “The owners have relationships with the artisans and shopkeepers that run deep.”

Knapp cites a recent trip to Italy with friends that began with a jaunt on vintage Vespa scooters arranged by the proprietor of Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi. They headed to the popular Concettina ai Tre Santi pizzeria in Naples, but it was closed for a holiday. The hotel’s proprietor, however, knew the chef, Ciro Oliva , whose family has run the pizzeria for more than 60 years .

“Ciro came down with his pizza chef, opened the restaurant, and prepared a tasting menu of five pizzas paired with champagne,” Knapp says. “It was an extraordinary experience.”

Having an authentic experience, such as a vintage Vespa ride around Italy, is a big part of today's ... [+] luxury travel mindset.

A hotel’s architecture and interior design are integral to authentic experiences. The tile work at LHW’s Le Sirenuse in Positano, Italy, for example, has a storied history. The father-and-son firm of Fornace De Martino creates the tiles; their family enterprise has been firing kilns for more than six centuries.

A venerable Florence property, the Place Firenze , has gone a step further, establishing the Place of Wonders Foundation to “protect, preserve, and promote the human heritage of Italian craft.” The foundation funds scholarships for Italian artisans and offers hotel guests curated visits to local workshops to view creations in glass, gold, porcelain, cashmere and scagliola, a decorative technique that mimics marble.

Brands Team Up to Deliver Singular Journeys

Cross-brand alliances are another luxury trend, what the professional services firm Deloitte describes as “ collaboration across the luxury brand ecosystem. ” Notably, Accor Hotels has teamed with the SNCF Group (France’s railway company), owner of the legendary Orient Express brand. Three Accor hotels are being developed under the brand, which will also offer private journeys in restored Orient Express cars as well as on a branded sailing ship.

When properties strike up partnerships with local charities, such cross-brand alliances can create truly transformational experiences for guests.

Outside the Hotel Royal Mansour in Marrakech, Morocco.

Jean-Claude Messant, managing director at Morocco’s Royal Mansour Marrakech , has partnered with the Fiers & Forts Center , a local refuge for orphaned, disadvantaged and abandoned children. If they wish, hotel guests can make a donation or volunteer with the organization.

Leaving a destination better than they found it is “a big, big trend among luxury travelers,” Knapp says. “People want to come back home feeling better than when they left.” Unlike other packaged charity experiences, guests’ involvement with Fiers & Forts feels authentic, Knapp adds. “You can be a part of changing the lives of these kids.”

The Hallmarks of Slow Travel

Along with transformational experiences, slower, more focused travel is having a moment. That includes unhurried transportation, reports Deloitte , on trains, luxury yachts and smaller vessels, all paired with longer vacations. The global yacht charter market is expected to surge at a compound annual growth rate of 22.8% through 2027, reaching a value of $25.5 billion, according to Deloitte .

“People are traveling both slower and deeper,” Knapp says. African safaris excel at shifting perceptions about time and how it's spent, whether it’s a meerkat immersion experience at the edge of the Kalahari or encounters with decidedly chill Angolan colobus monkeys in western Rwanda.

Slower travel options such as traveling by train allows for a more immersive experience.

Wellness is a part of slower travel, and vacationers are willing to pay extra for high-class amenities. Although destination spas and retreats such as Canyon Ranch and Six Senses are popular, “it’s no longer exclusively about how big your spa is and how many massages you can offer,” Knapp says. “It’s about how you’re enabling guests to personalize their wellness experience. It’s about the programming and how deep and intense you want to go.”

Offerings that go beyond aromatherapy and hot stone massages include art therapy, Knapp says, and “wellness butlers” who can recommend tailored cuisine and spa treatments based on a full-body assessment.

Sustainability Includes Local Values

Sustainability continues to be a buzzword luxury travelers search for when choosing properties. LHW includes a Sustainability Leaders Collection of 78 certified properties that range from sleek urban towers to tented rainforest retreats.

Hotels that incorporate sustainability into building design and operations attract more eco-conscious luxury travelers— 74% of whom are willing to pay extra to travel more responsibly. And sustainability increasingly means safeguarding a destination’s cultural heritage, traditions and values.

Hyper-Personalized Luxury Travel

The ability to hyper-personalize luxury travel has reached new levels because technology can track and manage guest preferences. “In the past, you had a world-class GM with a great Rolodex filled with everything about guests,” Knapp says. “Now, the depth of personalization is far greater.”

The trend includes luxury travel advisors who, like traditional travel agents, shoulder the time-consuming task of assembling and booking itineraries. The advisors are favored by 85% of luxury travelers, according to Deloitte .

Demand for luxury travel advisors offering white glove service is on the rise among global ... [+] travelers.

Velocity Black , described by the Wall Street Journal as a “turbocharged concierge service,” offers “bespoke bucket-list itineraries” using an exclusive membership app. Virtuoso, in contrast, touts its advisors who possess in-depth knowledge of such diverse places as Afghanistan and Tonga.

The ability to choose a cutting-edge app or an actual human advisor is the hallmark of luxury travel, Knapp says.

“Luxury is truly personal,” she says. “What’s luxury to me is not necessarily luxury for you. You can’t paint the luxury traveler with a single brush. But they are often intellectually curious, and they want to be challenged. And they’re out exploring, contributing and experiencing.”

This interview is part of PERSPECTIVES, a comprehensive look into the world of prime residential real estate. Access the full report here to discover the latest trends and dynamics shaping the market.


R. Daniel Foster

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TikTok Shop joins the social commerce boom but Meta is still on top

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The merging of shopping and social media is more than a trend; it’s a response to evolving consumer behavior. Social commerce is fueled by the significant amount of time that consumers spend on social media —US adults will spend 11.4% of their total daily media time and 17.9% of their digital media time with social platforms in 2024, per EMARKETER’s June 2023 forecast. 

With social commerce, every interaction on social platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram is a revenue-driving opportunity without the friction of leaving that digital environment. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the state of social commerce , examining the most popular platforms so retailers and advertisers can make the most of this dynamic digital shopping journey.

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Overview of social commerce

Social commerce fuses social media with ecommerce, allowing purchases to be made directly within a social platform. Social commerce enables consumers to not only discover products and engage with a brand’s greater community, but also to shop from brands without switching platforms and disrupting the customer experience. 

For marketers, the ability to advertise and sell in the same space streamlines the buying journey and gives them access to a host of benefits, including direct access to customers, more transparent return on ad spend, and new opportunities to take advantage of peer recommendations and the creator economy .

Social commerce thrives on inspiration, trends, and generating demand for products users may not have considered. Unlike ecommerce, where people often shop with specific products in mind, social commerce excels in promoting discretionary items like fashion and beauty products.

Who engages in social commerce?

Although early social commerce adopters have included younger generations who are more comfortable with navigating digital spaces, older generations are also embracing it as social media platforms become more user-friendly. 

  • Nearly a quarter (23.1%) of US social buyers are between the ages of 25 and 34, per a September 2023 EMARKETER forecast, and more than two-thirds (66.5%) are under 44.
  • US digital buyers ages 18 to 34 have made purchases on Instagram (28%), Facebook (26%), and TikTok (22%), per an October 2023 EMARKETER survey conducted by Bizrate Insights. 
  • More than half (53%) of US shoppers ages 18 to 29 planned to use TikTok for holiday shopping in 2023, compared with just 36% of adults overall, according to September 2023 ESW data. 

Swayed by endorsements, peer reviews, and social connections, shoppers who follow influencers also make up a large social commerce audience. 

  • A third (33%) of Gen Zers have purchased a product from an influencer-founded brand in the last year, per a November 2023 Morning Consult survey. 
  • Gen Z is more likely than any other generation to purchase a product after watching a review from an influencer they follow, per November 2022 data from Deloitte. 

US social buyer share by age

Top social commerce platforms

Major social media platforms have evolved, seamlessly integrating commerce into their core experience. These platforms have not only redefined manners of social interaction—they’ve also established themselves as modern digital storefronts. 

social networks where us adults likely to make a purchase

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook leads with the largest number of social commerce buyers, expected to reach 64.6 million in 2024, according to a September 2023 EMARKETER forecast. Its massive user base allows brands to reach a diverse, global audience, while extensive storefront features and insights-collecting capabilities add to a competitive ecosystem for online shopping. 

Facebook Marketplace is a dedicated platform for buying and selling secondhand items. Although the platform allows businesses to sell products and place ads, its roots are in local, community-based listings. Marketplace is a major reason why Facebook has such a strong lead in social commerce. In fact, Instagram would take the top spot with the biggest social buyer audience among platforms if Marketplace was excluded from social commerce data, according to third-party research cited in EMARKETER’s Social Commerce Forecast 2023 report. 

Facebook Shops

Unlike the peer-to-peer nature of Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Shops enables businesses to set up digital storefronts, where customers can explore and purchase products without leaving the platform. 

The storefront functionality allows richer product catalogs, visuals, and descriptions. For immersive, customizable experiences, businesses can also showcase featured products, seasonal collections and launches, promotions, and bundles.

Instagram Shopping

In 2024, Instagram will see 46.8 million US social buyers, per EMARKETER’s September 2023 forecast.

At its core is Instagram Shopping, which allows businesses to tag products in their posts and stories. When users click on a tagged item, they can view product details, prices, and a direct link to make a purchase.

Instagram and Facebook parent Meta is mandating all Meta Shops in the US to use Checkout on Facebook and Instagram in 2024. While frustrations have arisen regarding the in-app checkout tool’s effectiveness among both sellers and buyers, Meta is pushing forward as a way to compensate for the losses incurred due to iOS 14.5 changes, which reduced access to tracking data for advertisers and publishers. By making Checkout mandatory, Meta aims to boost adoption, particularly on Instagram, which plays a vital role in social commerce strategies. This move will also limit consumers’ options, as they won’t have the choice to complete their purchases on a retailer’s website.

TikTok Shop

With its Gen Z stronghold, the TikTok user base alone—which passed 100 million in the US in 2023 (102.3 million), according to EMARKETER’s May 2023 forecast—is enough to make it a competitive social commerce platform. We predict TikTok will reach 107.8 million users in 2024. In 2023, 35.3 million of those users were social buyers; during that time, TikTok gained more shoppers (11.6 million) than the net increase of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest combined (6.4 million), per a September 2023 EMARKETER forecast. We predict TikTok will continue adding social buyers in 2024, reaching 40.7 million. 

However, uncertainty looms over the viability of the platform’s integrated commerce solution, TikTok Shop , given the slow adoption by US merchants, lukewarm reception to live shopping, and a potential nationwide ban.

TikTok Shop enables brands and creators to offer products directly to their viewers. Starting from short videos or livestreams, TikTok Shop aims to own the full buyer journey. A standout feature is the ability for users to consolidate products from various brands into a single cart and finalize their purchase without navigating away from the app.

The shopping service’s US journey seems to have encountered early turbulence:

  • TikTok Shop was projected to lose more than $500 million in the US in 2023, per The Information, due to major investments—in its staff, building out a fulfillment network, and seller incentivizations—that hadn’t paid off. 
  • In the summer of 2023, US consumers were spending around $3 million to $4 million per day on TikTok. The platform expected that figure to exceed $10 million by the end of 2023.

Social commerce stats and growth 

Continued growth for social shopping is on the horizon, with sales growing well into the double digits through the end of EMARKETER’s forecast period in 2027. Although converting non-buyer social media users into buyers is becoming more challenging, the overall landscape remains robust. One significant trend is the increasing spending per buyer, which is expected to nearly double between 2023 and 2027, per an October 2023 EMARKETER forecast. This is expected to drive most of the sales growth, rather than the acquisition of new buyers.

Shoppers worldwide select channels vs buying

Consumers aren’t sold yet on social commerce.

  • Almost 4 in 10 shoppers hold back from shopping on social media over concerns about how platforms manage personal data, per a May 2023 survey.
  • Younger consumers don’t want to use a social platform’s in-app checkout tools. In fact, about three-quarters of US social shoppers ages 16 to 24 prefer purchasing through established retailers that handle transactions, shipping, and delivery, per an October 2022 SimplicityDX survey.
  • UK shoppers have reported counterfeit goods and poor shipping experiences on TikTok Shop, according to the Financial Times, which could trigger more apprehension in other markets. 

social commerce sales

Still, social commerce is on an upward trajectory. 

  • US retail social commerce sales will pass the $100 billion milestone in 2025, representing a 22.4% growth from the year prior, per EMARKETER’s September 2023 forecast. 
  • In 2024, there will be 110.4 million US social buyers, accounting for 42.0% of all internet users and nearly half (50.3%) of all social media users.  
  • US social commerce sales will claim 6.6% of total ecommerce sales in 2024.
  • For now, most social commerce transactions take place off platform, by clicking links to retailer product pages. 

The rise in new buyers is only marginally ahead of the growth in the total social media user population, resulting in a relatively consistent percentage of users engaging in purchasing activities, holding steady at around 50% through 2027, per a September 2023 forecast.

Marketing strategies for social commerce 

User-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing are two effective strategies that brands can harness to connect with consumers authentically.

UGC is generally created by consumers, showcasing their experiences without direct brand involvement, whereas influencer marketing involves brand collaboration and incentives to ensure the content aligns with the correct messaging and goals.  

User-generated content 

UGC is a powerful tool that taps into authenticity and trust. Forty-six percent of US consumers are more likely to trust a brand if an online content creator they trust has reviewed it, according to a November 2022 Deloitte survey. Encouraging users to create and share content featuring their experiences with products or services cultivates a sense of community and credibility. 

Brands can initiate UGC campaigns, prompting customers to share testimonials, unboxing videos, or creative uses of their purchases. By showcasing real-life experiences, UGC bolsters brand authenticity, fosters engagement, and influences potential buyers’ perceptions positively. Additionally, reposting and engaging with UGC amplifies brand reach while nurturing a loyal and involved customer base.

Influencer marketing

From large, well-known influencers with massive followings to micro-influencers with niche communities, choosing the right person to vouch for your brand can bolster your social commerce investments. 

Collaborating with influencers allows brands to tap into their audience and leverage their credibility. Influencers create engaging content, seamlessly integrating product endorsements or reviews into their posts, stories, or videos. These endorsements often resonate deeply with their audience, establishing trust and driving purchasing decisions. 

Social commerce trends in 2024 and beyond 

Tech innovations, immersive experiences, and retailer collaborations will present new opportunities in the social commerce space.

AI integration 

Social platforms are taking advantage of AI to enhance the user experience and streamline product discovery. TikTok’s product identification feature, now in its testing phase, uses AI to suggest similar or relevant items available on its ecommerce marketplace. This new shoppable feature to non-shopping content is TikTok’s attempt at fully embedding commerce into the in-app experience.

In-person events 

Events help bridge the gap between the real world and social media, and can help drive user engagement and sales. The Pinterest Predicts pop-up event held in New York City in December 2023 brought to life its anticipated trends, allowing users to draw inspiration for the year ahead and, more importantly, shop. 

Retailer partnerships 

Retailers are also getting behind social commerce, partnering with streaming platforms to have their products in front of new audiences. Walmart’s holiday-themed romantic comedy “Add to Heart” is its first shoppable video series. Available on Roku, TikTok, and YouTube, the 23-part series integrates 330 shoppable products throughout its plot, creating a new avenue for Walmart to connect with consumers through content. 

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10 new travel trends that will shape your vacations in 2024

W hile classic family vacations like theme parks and all-inclusive family resorts never go out of style, embracing the newest travel trends for 2024 might expand your idea of what a family trip can look like. That's especially true if you've stayed close to home the past few years, because 2024's emerging vacation trends are all about finding brand-new experiences to enjoy together as a family.

Here are the newest travel trends that could help you make this year's family vacation the best yet.

FIND A GREAT DEAL: 12 best hotel booking sites for cheap prices in 2024  

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1. Set jet (yes, you read that right)

Jet-setting might feel like the exclusive domain of the rich and famous, but set-jetting is for everyday travelers who are fans of media made "on location." From vacationing in the City of Light a la "Emily in Paris" to journeying to Sicily to see the sights of "The White Lotus" Season 2, visiting the spot where your favorite movie or television show was filmed is an emerging trend for 2024 vacations. In the U.S., Los Angeles is the epicenter of family set-jetting. Fans of "Barbie" can rollerblade in Venice Beach, just as Barbie and Ken did in Greta Gerwig's hit. 

For set-jetting with multigenerational appeal, channel Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" at the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, where much of the iconic movie is set. Dine like Eddie Murphy in "Beverly Hills Cop" overlooking Rodeo Drive at The Blvd (the large kids menu should please even finicky eaters). Or stay at The Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles and imagine yourself in the presence of the "Ghostbusters" (scenes from the original movie were filmed there) or Molly Ringwald from "Pretty in Pink."

More 2024 vacation ideas:

  • 14 most anticipated new family resorts and hotels of 2024
  • What's coming to Disney’s theme parks and cruises in 2024
  • 50 fun family vacation ideas for all ages in 2024

2. Bring more, it's merrier

The popularity of multigenerational family vacations shows no sign of slowing in 2024. When you travel with extended family, booking an accommodation with room to spread out offers privacy and togetherness in the right proportion. Some families opt to rent a big house , maybe even hire a cook or organize meals together, while others relish having it all included. Either way, making memories in person has rarely felt quite as important as it does these days.

My family and I recently took a multigenerational vacation to Beaches Negril in Jamaica. We stayed in a new Eventide Villa with a kitchen, living room, four bedrooms, and 4½ bathrooms that sleeps 18 people comfortably. While it was far from a cheap family vacatio n, the per-person cost fit into our budget and hit the sweet spot straddling independence and family time. You could also purposefully choose a combination of rooms and suites across a Caribbean family resort like Beaches so meet-ups for activities are all the more special.

More multigenerational vacation ideas:

  • How to plan a multigenerational Disney World vacation
  • 19 best family resorts and hotels in the U.S.

3. Renew your passport the easy way

With post-pandemic travel demand still soaring and so many possible travel trends to pursue in 2024, the process of applying for or renewing your passport through traditional methods continues to be unpredictable and, at times, downright frustrating. I recently used It’s Easy, a passport and visa expediting company that has been in business since 1976 but is experiencing renewed interest in today's travel environment. 

I downloaded the app, which allowed me to take my passport photo in my living room, then filled out a few forms and mailed it all to their office. My new passport arrived straight to my mailbox in a jiffy. The process was efficient and well worth the reasonable fee. Children under 16 must apply for a passport in person, but It’s Easy can facilitate the process, holding your hand throughout. 

More vacation ideas with (or without) a passport:

  • 10 tropical destinations you can visit without a U.S. passport
  • 6 ultra-affordable all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean

4. Learn indigenous history and culture

After a strong year in 2023, tourism that allows us to learn about the culture, traditions and homes of our nation’s first inhabitants will continue to gain in popularity in 2024. This kind of travel can guide you to some of North America's most beautiful natural settings while helping you learn history you may not have been taught in school. 

Seek out Navajo-led tours through Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly to learn not only about the area's cultural history but also about geologic time. In Monument Valley, you can do both by hiring a local guide to take you beyond the prescribed 17-mile loop. In Canyon de Chelly, there's no other way to see the valley from its floor than with a local guide which adds power to the stories of the generations. Both the The View Hotel in Monument Valley and Thunderbird Lodge at Canyon de Chelly are Indigenous-owned and -operated, so your visit serves you and channels important resources to local communities. 

Similarly, purchasing crafts made by Native American artisans is welcome at a variety of Native Art Festivals all year long around the U.S., and you can learn about the creative process of some of the most prized crafts from Acoma potters with a visit to Acoma Sky City in New Mexico, the longest continually inhabited community in the United States.

Near the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Glen Canyon and Lake Powell, stay at Shash Dine EcoResort in a traditional off-grid Native hogan near Page, Arizona. Or, for a more curated experience, consider joining Trafalgar’s National Parks and Native Trails of the Dakotas guided group tour. On this nine-day trip, you'll gain a deeper knowledge of Indigenous history and current issues, including the value of respectful tribal tourism as a source of income.

More indigenous tourism ideas:

  • Tour review: Trafalgar’s national parks and native trails of the Dakotas
  • 5 family-friendly luaus in Hawaii that celebrate Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures

5. Engage with outdoor art 

Even a few years on from social distancing, Americans continue to want to incorporate open spaces into their travels, and the many outdoor sculpture gardens around the U.S. are a perfect and low-key way to do it. Liberated from the constraints of an indoor museum, sculpture parks hold special appeal for families. Kids can run and play while absorbing color, form and the ever-changing dialogue between art and the environment. 

This past summer, my family and I visited the Olympic Sculpture Park in the heart of Seattle. The kids ran circles around Alexander Calder's immense The Eagle while the adults took a seat on Eye Benches, surrealist eyeballs that double as surprisingly comfortable benches. It was free, easy and fun. Of course, sculptures abound in the form of monuments, statuary, and fountains around the National Mall in Washington, D.C., most notably at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden and the easy-to-miss Vietnam Women's Memorial .

For one of the best sculpture treasure hunts in the country, build a visit to the Storm King Art Center into a New York family vacation . Stretch your legs while you walk among marvels by Calder, Maya Lin and Andy Goldsworthy, among others, or rent bikes to travel further afield. The 500-acre outdoor museum just 90 minutes from New York City is worth a whole day's visit, and if you run out of steam or simply prefer to see more with less energy, there's a regular tram tour throughout the day. 

More nature and outdoors vacations:

  • 10 best campgrounds and RV parks for family vacations
  • 10 incredible family glamping resorts in the U.S.

6. Discover the joys of low-season vacations

For the family who sees art in all of nature and loves an outdoor adventure, ski resorts make great summer playgrounds , providing ample opportunities for mountain biking and hiking in particular. Though vacationing in swanky, snowy wonderlands in places like Aspen and Jackson Hole is expensive in winter, prices tumble as temperature rises. At the exclusive St. Regis Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, ski trails are transformed into a patchwork of mountain biking and hiking trails. Out-of-the-box activities like falconry and candle-dipping are also part of the summer experience, and the giant swimming pool is a magnet for kids. 

Similarly, Limelight Ketchum 's central location in Ketchum, Idaho, makes for an ideal home base for mountain adventures. A fly-fishing mecca, Ketchum offers the thrill of the river, an extensive trail along the valley riverbed, and downhill mountain biking with handlebars pointed toward the water. Bikes are available at Limelight, and it's a gentle jaunt to the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens or deeper into town for any of Ketchum's awesome dining spots. 

More Affordable Family Vacation Ideas:

  • 8 cheap spring break trips that don’t skimp on the fun
  • 7 cheap California vacations for the whole family

7. Savor a new kind of culinary travel

Travel tends to be best enjoyed with delicious dining options , and everyone can enjoy a special setting. After all, why have dinner at an ordinary restaurant when your family can feast in a novel setting with plenty of panache? Pair your Colorado vacation with a stop at The Airplane Restaurant and dine inside a real Boeing KC-97. Then, take a quick trip to Denver to dine at Casa Bonita, where waterfalls, all-you-can-eat Mexican food and seating for 1,000 create a true dining experience. 

Other special dining experiences worth building a 2024 vacation around include Tellers , an Italian eatery inside The National Hotel in Oklahoma City. Once the First National Bank, today it's a place to enjoy luscious pasta while sitting in restored original teller booths. Similarly, you can dine in a renovated train factory in Montreal's Hoogan et Beaufort , where architects preserved the history of the building while creating an inviting space for meals. And in Rhode Island, dine inside a Hobbit house straight out of "The Lord of the Rings."

More food-themed vacation ideas:

  • Skip the buffet: 7 all-inclusive resorts with the best food offerings
  • 11 one-of-a-kind Disney foods you need to try at Disney World

8. Enjoy wine instead of whining kids

Though you have to be at least 21 to drink, wineries are opening their doors to kids with fun activities from cider tastings to cornhole toss. The relaxed atmosphere that tends to come with wine tasting can be ideal for visitors of all ages as long as the kiddos have something to do.

All of the wineries in Traverse City, Michigan, welcome children. Black Star Farms in Sutton Bay has a herd of goats, horses, hiking trails, an outdoor patio and organic apple cider. Seasonal sleigh rides and brunch with Santa are a hit with families. Washington State’s Walla Walla Valley is another respected viticulture region, and at family-owned Woodward Canyon Winery , kids can play lawn games while parents taste.

In Northern California, your whole family can enjoy the Napa Valley Wine Train . If staying on terra firma is more your style, nearby Sonoma's Cline Cellars offers not only delicious wines but also opportunities for kids to feed the koi, birds and goats; it's also home to a California Mission Museum with scaled models of the California missions, so kids can have a learning opportunity while you enjoy your wine. Further south in Paso Robles on the Central California Coast, Sculpterra Winery’s sculpture garden, giant kaleidoscope and table tennis will keep kids occupied while parents sip and savor. 

More Wine-Themed Vacation Ideas:

  • How to plan the perfect wine tasting trip to Napa and Sonoma
  • 9 Napa Valley hotels that actually welcome kids

9. Avoid the crowds at state parks 

There are nearly 4,000 state parks scattered across the United States, many of them offering excellent recreational facilities and pristine beauty. The two things state parks often lack? Big crowds and big prices. State parks are often extremely affordable hidden gems. I've learned that not all of North America's beauty resides in the bigger and busier national parks , and you can usually find a great state park within an hour of most urban centers.

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a family favorite with 60,000 acres of old-growth forest, waterfalls and miles of trails. Camping, fishing, disc golf, mountain biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are recreational possibilities.

New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park sit on the shores of Echo Lake and is just an hour's drive from Concord. With boating, fishing, swimming and views of Cannon Mountain, this state park is a scenic delight.

At Florida’s Cayo Costa State Park , you cam make like Robinson Crusoe. This secluded island state park is accessible only by boat, but once you're there and pay a $2 entry fee, you'll find an undeveloped shoreline and a rich array of marine life and shorebirds.

More state park vacation ideas:

  • 10 best Florida state parks for families
  • 12 super fun Midwest family vacations

10. Finally get a good night's sleep on vacation

Parents know the saying "sleep like a baby" can be misleading. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to your family’s well-being, but it can be tough to achieve when you’re in a new environment. In 2024, many hotels will be prioritizing the intersection of sleep and hospitality. 

At the hip Hotel Figueroa in Los Angeles, the Rest and Recovery Suite aims to induce slumber with a pillow menu, mattress with an adjustable thermostat, and eco-friendly earplugs. In New York, buck the "City That Never Sleeps" label with a restorative sleep bed by Bryte at the Park Hyatt . At Lake Nona Wave Hotel in Orlando, there’s a resident sleep expert to guide you toward better rest after a day spent enjoying any of the many Orlando theme parks .

10 new travel trends that will shape your vacations in 2024 originally appeared on .

More from FamilyVacationist:

  • 25 best family vacation spots in the U.S. for all ages
  • 15 best all-inclusive family resorts around the world
  • 8 all-inclusive family resorts for a tropical winter escape and are owned and operated by Vacationist Media LLC. Using the FamilyVacationist travel recommendation methodology , we review and select family vacation ideas , family vacation spots , all-inclusive family resorts , and classic family vacations for all ages. TourScoop covers guided group tours and tour operators , tour operator reviews , tour itinerary reviews and travel gear recommendations . The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 10 new travel trends that will shape your vacations in 2024

Hobbit House

The Top Trends Inspiring Travel in 2024

The Top Trends Inspiring Travel in 2024

This is shaping up to be another monumental year for travel, and already some significant trends are emerging.

American Express Travel recently released its 2024 Global Travel Trends Report, revealing that 84 percent of respondents are planning to spend more or the same amount of money on travel in 2024 compared to last year.

What’s more, 77 percent care more about having the right travel experience than about the cost of the trip.

Traveling for Sporting Events

Three-quarters of respondents who plan to travel to a sporting event in 2024 will spend at least three hours getting there and most (58 percent) will be traveling for soccer, basketball or Formula 1 racing.

What Gen Z and Millennial Travelers Are Seeking in 2024

Making Travel a Priority

Traveling solo, traveling on a whim.

The study found that millennials and Gen-Z travelers are more likely to book a last-minute trip, with 77 percent having done so before compared to 65 percent of Gen-X and 52 percent of baby boomers.

“People are traveling to make memories in 2024. While everyone’s motivation for booking a trip is unique—whether it’s taking a solo getaway to recharge or embarking on an expedition cruise or safari—the trips that are trending are sure to be transformative, and our American Express Travel Consultants are here to build dream itineraries and help every step of the way,” said American Express Travel President Audrey Hendley.

5 US Cities Perfect for a European Vacation

5 US Cities Perfect for a European Vacation

Peace and Quiet Called My Name. I Found It at a Turks and Caicos Resort

Peace and Quiet Called My Name. I Found It at a Turks and Caicos Resort

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Mophie made one of the cutest iPhone accessories I’ve ever used

Christine Romero-Chan

Out with the old and in with the new. Spring is finally here, kicking out old man winter and breathing some color back into nature. Plus, the National Cherry Blossom Festival has started in Washington, DC, so if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, take advantage of those gorgeous cherry blossoms!

Adding spring flair to your tech travel accessories

Convenient, fast charging.

For those of us who aren’t around for one of the biggest spring celebrations in the U.S., there are other ways to commemorate the season. For example, Mophie recently released a limited edition Cherry Blossom color for its 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe .

I’m a lover of all things pink, so I had to have this when I first saw it. While it’s just a new color for the standard 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe, it’s become one of my new favorite travel accessories.

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The biggest highlight of the Cherry Blossom 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe is the travel case that it all comes in.

The original version of this product has a soft, heather gray microsuede fabric case with an elastic cord and button closure. In 2023, Mophie updated it to use a zippered carrying pouch, and that’s the same kind used for the cherry blossom version.

With the Cherry Blossom 3-in-1 Travel Charger, the carrying case has a zipper enclosure, which is much more secure. It’s made with a soft sakura-pink felt material, and it features a branch of pink and white cherry blossoms on the front. There is a little Mophie logo leather badge in the bottom right corner of the front, and the black zipper is a great contrasting accent. Plus, pulling the zipper is smooth without any snags.

On the inside of the travel case, you’ll find the same felt material, though there is some nylon reinforcement along the seams. There is a divider in the middle, also made with felt but with elastic along the ends for some stretch when you need it. The middle compartments are made for holding the travel charger itself and its power adapter, and the two compartments on the sides are great for cables and other small accessories.

The charger uses black microsuede fabric like the original but features pink accents. It has a pink leather “Mophie” logo badge on the closure flap, and all charging bases are pink instead of white.

Overall, I love the look of this new Cherry Blossom color for the 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe. It’s simply beautiful and an easy standout among other tech accessories. It’s perfect for spring, and honestly, I think I’ll just use it all year round.

One of the things I love about the 3-in-1 Travel Charger is that I don’t need to bring separate chargers with me when traveling. I have everything I need in this little carrying case: a MagSafe charger for my iPhone 15 Pro , an Apple Watch charging puck, and a spot to charge my AirPods Pro . Mophie also provides a power adapter and a USB-C cable (though I wish these were also pink, but they’re black).

Since the Cherry Blossom version uses the newer style instead of the original, the charger has the capability to fast charge your Apple Watch, like the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 . And since it’s MagSafe charging, it reaches 15W wireless speeds for my iPhone 15 Pro.

Despite this being marketed as an Apple charger, you could technically use the MagSafe wireless charger to charge Android phones , too; just don’t expect the MagSafe element to work. The AirPods slot can also work for non-Apple wireless earbuds if they support wireless charging.

I’ve used the Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger for family vacations and other travel I’ve done, and it’s a fantastic accessory for your travel kit. The Cherry Blossom version is my new favorite, and I’ll be taking this one along whenever I’m traveling — whether it’s for work or personal trips.

Mophie’s Cherry Blossom 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe is sold exclusively on Mophie’s website and Apple retail stores in Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Singapore for $150.

The bad news? It’s currently sold out on Mophie’s website, but you can try to sign up for email notifications if it comes back in stock. If you don’t mind not having the Cherry Blossom edition, you can still grab the regular version from Mophie or Apple .

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Christine Romero-Chan

No, you didn't read the headline incorrectly. Although we expect Apple to release the iPhone 16 series later this year, there's already a new rumor about the 2025 iPhone 17 — and it's a potentially big one.

Instant Digital, who is known for leaking iPhone information, recently posted a new iPhone 17 rumor on the Chinese social network Weibo claiming that Apple has developed a new display technology for the iPhone 17. Specifically, it's one that could greatly reduce reflections and scratches.

By default, the Safari web browser is available on every iPhone, including the iPhone 15 series. Nevertheless, several other web-browsing options can be found on the App Store, each with at least one unique feature that distinguishes it from the others. While some web browser apps like Google Chrome, DuckDuckGo, and Microsoft Edge might already be familiar to you, others such as Aloha and Arc Search may not be.

If you're looking for a Safari alternative, here are our favorite iPhone browser apps you should consider using instead. Google Chrome

One of the most interesting iPhone accessories to debut this year is one that wouldn’t have been possible without Apple sneaking a new feature into iOS 17 last fall. While there’s no shortage of iPhone stands and mounts on the market, Belkin’s Stand Pro is something entirely different from the rest.

That’s thanks to Apple’s DockKit. It's a framework for accessory makers to create motorized stands that can follow you around the room. While the concept itself isn’t new, DockKit means that such stands can be significantly more affordable as they don’t need to pack in complex sensors. With DockKit, the iPhone does all the heavy lifting of figuring out where to point itself.


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