Europe/Amsterdam reveals ‘Top Travel Trends for 2020’

From Slo-Mo is the new #FOMO, to pets in the priority lane - here is a look at what will be big in travel in the year ahead

As we enter not just a new year but a new decade, our travel needs, behaviors and wants continue to evolve. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world,, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay - predicts that 2020 will be a year of travel exploration like never before, fueled by technology as well as a growing sense of responsibility and deeper connection with the people and places we visit; and reveals the travel trends we can expect to see in the year ahead - and beyond.

Commenting on the study, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, said, “As we proceed towards a new decade, we will see travel becoming more and more sustainable and technologically-advanced, further aided by enhanced services and offerings that enable the modern day inquisitive traveller to experience the world. From catering to their peaked interest in second cities to counter over-tourism, to customised travel recommendations, we want to ensure that the travellers have the most diverse selection of places to stay at as we help them prepare and plan their travel in 2020 and beyond.”

1. The rise of the ‘second city’ traveller

Second-city travel, meaning the exploration of lesser known destinations in a bid to reduce over-tourism and protect the environment, will take a leap forward in the year ahead.

  • 62% of Indian travellers want to play a part in reducing over-tourism vs. the global average of 54%
  • Two in three agree that they would swap their original destination for a lesser known but similar alternative if they knew it would leave less of an environmental impact (66%) vs. the global average of 51%
  • And to pique their interest, over three in four Indian travellers are keen to have access to an app or website that recommends destinations where an increase in tourism would have a positive impact on the local community (78%) vs. the global average of 60%.

Expect to see companies respond to this demand by introducing functions that make it easier for travellers to identify second-city/neighborhood destinations through understanding traveller’s trip preferences and matching these with alternative or lesser known destinations in their chosen country or region. Likewise increasing collaboration across the travel eco-system will see more awareness campaigns and infrastructure improvement drives to entice visitors to take the road less travelled.

2. Tech-spect the unexpected

2020 will see travellers put key aspects of their decision-making process even more firmly in the hands of technology. Smart, trusted tech-led recommendations will connect us to a myriad of new experiences that might not otherwise have crossed our path, while also saving time (as well as screen-time) and enabling us to max out every minute of ‘now’ while on vacation.

  • 77% of Indian travellers want tech to offer them ‘wildcard’ and surprise options that would introduce them to something entirely new in the coming year vs. the global average of 59%
  • Additionally, over two thirds state they will use an app that makes it fast and easy to explore and book activities in real time while traveling (69%) vs. the global average of 46%
  • A similar number (67%) plan to use an app that allows them to pre-plan activities, so they always have the answers in one place, vs. the global average of 44%

Meeting that demand, 2020 will see even more applications of Artificial Intelligence offering tailored suggestions of destinations to visit, places to stay and things to do based on your current preferences, previous trips and key contextual factors such as weather and popularity.

3. Slo-Mo is the new #FOMO

Instead of experiencing the constant fear of missing out (FOMO) and trying to speed through as much as possible, travel in 2020 will be all about taking it slow.

  • In 2020, 66% of Indian travellers plan to take slower modes of transport to reduce their environmental impact, vs. the global average of 48%.
  • Over three in four agree they would prefer to take a longer route to experience more of the journey itself (76%), vs. the global average of 61%
  • Types of transport that play into our desire to take the pace down a notch will also come into their own - from peddle bikes to trams, sleds and boats, as well as our own two feet.
  • 72% (vs. the global average of 57%) of travellers already don't mind spending more time traveling to reach their destination if they’re taking a unique mode of transport – with a similar amount (77%) being interested in feeling as if they are going back in time by taking a historical train journey (vs. the global average of 64%). (e.g. Flying Scotsman, Orient Express).

Look forward to a year of slow and special travel.

4. Discovering the all-amusive escape

A fast-paced world means that most of us are often time poor – a notion that doesn’t start or stop with vacations. Travellers will want to be as time-efficient as possible on vacation, so instead of settling into one theme for the entire vacation, 2020 will see a rise in travellers exploring the ‘all-amusive’, by visiting destinations that offer an array of enriching experiences and attractions.

  • 72% of Indian travellers say they want to go on one long trip to a place that has all of their favorite activities and sights close together, vs. the global average of 54%
  • Over three in four (77%) agree that they would choose a destination that offers all of their favorite activities and sights near each other to save travel time, vs. the global average of 62%

Recognizing this, expect to see the industry continue to make it even easier for travellers by curating itineraries full of variety, deals and routes to allow them to get the most out of these all-amusive destinations.

5. Pets in the priority lane

75% of Indian pet owners (vs. the global average of 55%) agree that their pet is as important to them as their children, it’s no surprise that 2020 looks set to herald a new era in pet-centric vacations. We’ll see travellers putting the needs of their beloved pets well before their own when it comes to selecting where to go, where to stay and what to do.

  • 66% of pet owners agree that in the coming year they would choose holiday destinations based on whether they can take their pets, vs. the global average of 42%
  • 71% would be willing to pay more to stay at an accommodation that's pet-friendly, higher than the global average of 49%

Reflecting this trend, the number of pet-friendly properties continues to rise on while savvy to this appetite, accommodations around the world will continue to look for innovative ways to up the ante when it comes to pet-tailored offerings and amenities, such as complementary dog day beds, pet spas, dedicated room service menus and even specially designed pet restaurants.

6. Making great memories with ‘grand’ getaways

2020 will be the year of the ‘grand’ as more grandparents will take epic vacations with just their grandkids, leaving the middle generation behind.

  • The vast majority of grandparents agree that spending time with their grandkids keeps them feeling young (90%) (vs. the global average of 72%)
  • 67% (vs. the global average of 71%) of travellers agree that parents need alone time without their children

Pair that with the fact that today’s older generation is healthier, more adventurous and more keen to stay young and active than ever before, we’ll see ‘grand’ vacations that offer an array of active experiences for both generations.

7. Race to the reservation

The coming year will see travellers put culinary ambitions at the forefront of their travel decision making, with the race to snag that all important restaurant reservation truly on. For many, where and when they travel will start with - and depend on - whether they can reserve a table to enjoy highly coveted cuisine, in many cases at places whose waiting lists stretch months long.

And with appetites whetted by an abundance of social media content and recommendations, it won’t just be the big name restaurants at which travellers are desperate to nab a seat. Hidden gems - those places which have long been favorites amongst the locals and offer sought-after homegrown flavours, sometimes well off the beaten track - are the ones most likely to tickle the taste buds of travellers looking for a local gastronomic experiences, especially the 78% of Indian travellers (vs. the global average of 71%) who say that eating locally sourced produce is important to them when on vacation

8. Fast track to long-term travel

As retirement looks set to become less about reaching a certain age and leaving the workforce, and with increasing numbers actively planning to retire earlier, we’ll see this moment become surprisingly synonymous with ‘adventure travel planning’.

  • Over one in three of those aged 18 to 25 (38%) are planning to retire before they turn 55, vs. the global average of 23%, and what they plan to do is also changing.
  • 2020 will see travellers shift their mindset and start to plan big for their future golden years, with nearly three quarters of Indian travellers (75% vs. the global average of 65%) seeing travel as the perfect way to spend that free time.
  • 68% of travellers plan to be more adventurous in their travel choices once they’ve retired, against the global average of 47%.
  • Almost a third of those who are already retired are planning a gap year - making time to travel for several months without interruption (31% vs. the global average of 19%). This is something that 67% of Indian travellers agree that you can do at any age against the global average of 52%.

With retirement and traveling going hand in hand for so many different age groups, expect to see products that help travellers kick-start the planning process through ‘retirement travel’ saving pots, allowing travellers to put money aside that will go towards the longest vacation of their lives.

To delve deeper into’s travel trends for 2020, visit


Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 22,000 respondents were polled (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Respondents completed an online survey between 9th August to 28th August 2019.


Founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, has grown from a small Dutch startup to one of the world’s leading digital travel companies. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG),’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, seamlessly connects millions of travellers with memorable experiences, a range of transportation options and incredible places to stay - from homes to hotels and much more. As one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for both established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes, enables properties all over the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses. is available in 43 languages and offers more than 29 million total reported accommodation listings, including more than 6.2 million listings alone of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.

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