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The past decade saw the rise of major travel game-changers, with flight and accommodation booking apps, ridesharing and the ever increasingly competitive posting of wanderlust aesthetics on social media. As 2020 drew nearer, the world at large saw a shift in interest from frantically crossing off “bucket list” metropolises, to finding and exploring much more rural and secluded destinations. The competition has moved from the digital age, to the age of conservation – who can backpack or cycle through the most sprawling jungles or desolate beaches? It’s this trend that we predict will see the future of travel as something of a renaissance of the Age of Discovery.
The hospitality industry has been one of the most criticised in the fight for ecology with the amount of wastage and single use items that are discarded every day by masses of guests. The Marriott chain, as well as all airports in Dubai, have already vowed to eliminate single use plastics from their establishments. Hotels across the world are also turning to renewable energy sources and zero-waste policies to not only reduce their carbon footprints, but to appeal to a more ecologically aware customer base.
The conscious shift to sustainable lifestyles has also extended to the travel industry. Airlines are being forced to reconsider their environmental impact as consumers look to sustainable alternatives. Trains and bicycles have become much more popular for internal travel, while boats similar to the emission free vessel Greta Thunberg boarded from England to the United States, have become a holiday destination of themselves. While much slower than air or road travel, it seems that tourists don’t mind the change of gear, choosing to make a quaint mode of transport part of the holiday thrill.
Over-tourism has become a major problem in some of the world’s top tourist hotspots. Lengthy queues, packed public transport and overwhelmed locals are prompting travellers to seek out more remote destinations, especially where there are quieter countryside towns that offer similarly breathtaking views, cultural interactions and more budget friendly amenities than their capital counterparts. The trend has become known as second-city travel, and encourages responsible tourism by boosting the economies of local communities. We’re sure that it won’t be too long before apps start becoming available that recommend cheaper and less crowded alternatives to the past decade’s top holiday destinations.
Hotel and travel clubs may seem a tad passé, but they are making a huge comeback as a sophisticated and affordable option for frequent travellers. Some subscriptions function as an “eat as much as you like” for accommodation, a flat fee covering unlimited stays in selected establishments; while others offer exclusive stays and experiences, such as homesharing mansions across the world, members-only access to amenities, or exclusive cultural gatherings like an invitation from the Maharaja to celebrate Holi in Jaipur. It seems that the lean towards communal resources will continue to expand in the coming years.
2020 promises an implementation of the advent of resource pooling and conservation efforts that sprung in the 2010s, and this will apply to all areas of modern life. Instead of fearing the imminent changes, we’re sure that it will make holidaying even more fresh and exciting. How are you making your 2020 travels more off-grid, interactive and sustainable?
Sources: https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/international/how-travel-will-change-in-2020-39668113, https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandratalty/2020/12/31/the-four-biggest-travel-trends-for-2020/#16f8d63b1ced, https://globalnews.booking.com/bookingcom-predicts-the-top-travel-trends-for-2020/
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