Every year there are shifts and changes in travel trends in the U.S. and around the world. Paying attention to these trends is, of course, important for businesses, but also travelers. You may want to know what the most crowded areas will be, what roadway and airline travel could look like, whether events will cause delays or obstacles in traveling, or simply where the hottest destinations are right now.
With that in mind, the following are some travel trends and general things to know about traveling this summer.
Visits to the U.S. Are Declining, But Some States See Increases
Overall, there has been a slowdown in the number of visitors to the United States from international visitors. However, there is still some growth. The growth level was around 2 percent in 2018.
Some states, like Florida and in particular areas like Fort Lauderdale and South Florida continue to see growth in the number of visitors. In 2018, Florida set a tourism record of 126 million visitors for the year, which was a 6.2% increase from the previous year. More of these travelers were domestic than international, however.
An interesting trend emerging right now is what’s dubbed“genealogy travel”. Travelers are going to the places where their ancestors originated, and this kind of travel is made easier by the popularity of DNA test kits and Ancestry.com services. In fact,Ancestry.com even now offers group tours.
Volunteer and Sustainability-Based Travel
More travelers are embracing trips with meaning. Volunteer travel is a big favorite of many travelers who want to see new places and experience new cultures while also giving back. Travelers want to give more than they take on their adventures seems to be the overall mantra of this trend.
Along with volunteering in local communities and with populations, volunteering on sustainability efforts is a big trend. People learn how to give back to the planet and make a difference while they’re traveling.
Something that can go hand-in-hand with volunteering is immersion travel. People are no longer satisfied by staying in an all-inclusive for a week and never leaving the property. Instead, they want to get out and see the real, authentic elements of a destination.
The desire for more sustainability in travel is significantly impacting the cruise industry in particular. The International Maritime Organization is putting pressure on cruise lines to reduce their footprint, and as a result, more people are seeking cruise travel because of the emphasis on being more environmentally-friendly.
Less Crowded Destinations
Many of the world’s most popular travel destinations are becoming so crowded, especially during summer months, that travelers are looking for more unique places that are off the beaten path. For example, Madagascar, Northern Kenya and places like Norway are all becoming more popular.
Instead of the Caribbean, island-lovers are going to the islands in the Indian Ocean.
Even so, some of the old standbys still top people’s summer travel destination lists. These include Orlando, London, Rome, Dublin, and Paris.
The Middle East May Bounce Back
The Middle East’s tourism has taken a major hit with several high-profile terrorist attacks in recent years. Some are forecasting that the region will see an increase in tourism this year. To try and be part of the trend, major companies like Hilton Worldwide are focusing their efforts in the Middle East. For example, Hilton has seven new Egyptian hotels in the works.
Intrepid Travel introduced seven new tours of the Middle East in 2018 as well, including tours in Iran and Jordan.
Solo and Single Parent Travel
The concept of the traditional family taking a vacation is not what it used to be. Not only are more people taking solo trips, but more single parents are taking their children on vacations as well. A lot of travel programs are working to cater to the single parent audience. An example is Virgin Holidays, which last year introduced a new pricing program for single parents traveling.
Finally, Canada is setting trends as far as being one of the world’s favorite new travel destinations. In 2016, Canadian tourism reached a 14-year high and people continue to flock to the country. There are big cities of Canada such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. There are the Canadian Rockies Jasper National Park and Banff.
Banff has become an Instagram-worth travel destination that’s a favorite among celebrities who enjoy hiking or skiing. Canada is a perfect destination for travelers who want experiences, thrills, and adventure while they’re away.