Booking.com reveals 8 Travel Predictions for 2019
From cultural exchanges and eco activism, to virtual agents and a ‘less is more’ mentality – here are the biggest travel trends for next year
Combining data from more than 163 million verified guest reviews and research from 21,500 travellers across 29 countries, including 500 Kiwis, Booking.com has revealed eight travel predictions for 2019. From the eco-conscious to the out of this world, the trends give an exclusive peek into the crystal ball of what travelers can expect in the year ahead.
1. The Appren-trip
Representing a new type of currency and means of personal fulfilment, 2019 will see a focus on travelers making choices with extra significance as they look to add more purpose to their trips. Over half (56%) of global travelers agree traveling has taught them invaluable life skills, and 2019 will see a rise in people’s desire to learn something new whilst away, as well as an increase in volunteering and skills-based vacations across generations.
In particular, Generation Z will increasingly scrutinize the value of expensive university degrees over and against the life skills and practical learning that can be gained from travel, especially as experiences beyond the classroom and office cubicle continue to make for attractive potential employees in many companies’ eyes.
2. Easy does it
In 2019, "ease" will be the gold standard by which tech travel innovations will be judged. In past years, travelers have heard a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and speech recognition; in the coming year, the winning innovations will be those that can seamlessly offer these technologies as a practical solution to travelers. Think keyless room-access with your phone, personalized travel tips or a robotic concierge who can communicate with guests in their mother tongue.
3. Watch this space – uncharted territories
NASA will start construction of its Lunar Space Station in 2019 (launching in 2022) and we’ll continue to see considerable investment in orbital spaceflight. In 2019 and beyond, we will continue to push the extreme limits of where travel will take us and as space technology advances, even the prospect of space tourism won’t seem such a giant leap anymore. Travel and other consumer goods companies will be investing in tests on earth to prepare for a future in space and meet consumer appetite for braving the new frontier. Four in ten travelers (40%) confirm they are excited about the prospect of space travel in the future and are open to considering the experience themselves (38%).
Until space travel becomes a reality, this brave new mentality will also translate to travel slightly closer to home with a desire to explore uncharted territories here on Earth.
4. Up close and personal
2019 looks set to see rapid developments in the way travel information is consumed and used. Generic, comprehensive travel guides of the past will make way for increasingly short-form, hyper relevant and individualized content, which can be neatly integrated in travelers’ feeds. A third of travelers (34%) want someone or something to do the hard work and make travel recommendations for them and around two fifths (41%) want travel brands to use technologies such as AI to make travel suggestions based on past travel experience. In fact, over half (52%) would be excited about tech travel innovations such as a digital tour guide, bringing them a truly bespoke experience.
5. Conscious travel
Reflecting increased global interest in social issues such as human rights, equality and working conditions, 2019 will see a more conscious traveler become evident, with even more questions being asked around social, political and environmental issues in potential travel destinations before making a decision on where to visit. Currently almost half (49%) feel social issues in possible travel destinations are of real importance when choosing where to go and over half (58%) choose not to go to a destination if they feel it will negatively impact the people who live there.
And as travelers increasingly seek new and authentic experiences, they also want to ensure that they can travel in safety, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Platforms such as Destination Pride are harnessing the power of multiple data sources to provide travelers with a ranking of how LGBT+ friendly their chosen travel destination is, while destinations and organizations will increasingly step up their support for women traveling alone.
6. Plastic not-so fantastic
The issue of single-use plastic will continue to be a hot topic, but in 2019 environmental concerns will turn into greater environmental action. Millennials and Gen Z travelers will look for sustainable experiences in their destination, while accommodation providers will look to reduce their plastic usage and increase their sustainable credentials. An overwhelming majority of global travelers (86%) say they would be willing to spend some time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay, with over a third (37%) willing to clear plastic and litter from a beach or other tourist attraction.
Expect to see a number of new travel start-ups and individual enterprises committed to shaping a new future for our planet’s destinations emerge in the coming year, with intriguing technology at the core of their solutions.
7. The experience curator
Travel with experiences at its core was one of 2018’s major travel trends but 2019 will take it even further. ‘Doing’ will weigh equally with ‘going’, if not more, when it comes to travel reflection, and for almost two thirds of travelers (60%) experiences are now valued higher than material possessions, 2019 will see travelers packing in many different and authentic experiences, from where they eat and sleep to how they shop or watch their favorite sports game with an emphasis on creating moments that will bring us joy and comfort long after the fact.
8. Maximizing the micro
Over half of global travelers (53%) report they plan to take more weekend trips in 2019. It’s a year that’s predicted to be all about made-to-measure, bite sized travel with more curated travel itineraries squeezed into shorter time frames. Less is most definitely more as travelers are offered a more bespoke experience.
With continued innovations in transport, from more flight routes, keenly priced airlines to sharable and easy, on-demand car rentals, as well as real-time public transport insights served up to visitors seamlessly in situ, the micro trip will become more varied and tailored, making shorter trips more personal and rewarding.
For further information, contact the Booking.com New Zealand Press Office;
firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 414 30668
NOTES TO EDITORS
Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 21,500 respondents were polled (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Respondents completed an online survey between 10th August to 30th August 2018.