8 good tourism trends for 2024

Discover our 8 key good tourism trends for 2024 and find out what to tap into for a sustainable and successful year as a travel business.
Good tourism trends 2024

The future of tourism in 2024

The start of a new year is a great time to look towards the future. What’s happening and what’s changing? What are the most relevant trends and which ones are worth following?

The travel industry is thriving after the pandemic and exciting trends and developments are on the way. In this article you’ll find a selection of 8 trends that we believe are here to stay and are worth tapping into as a travel business.

8 key good tourism trends in 2024

To help you achieve a successful year, we listed 8 key good tourism trends that we find worth following. Be inspired and informed on how to respond and benefit.

Trend 1: Cool weather summer vacations

The most popular destinations for the summer holiday were mainly those where the sun was shining brightest. In Europe, travellers would usually travel south to visit Spain, France, Greece and Italy and enjoy the Mediterranean climate. However, with the rising temperatures caused by climate change, we’ve seen extreme hot weather with temperatures rising over 40 degrees (104 °F). Resulting in a boiling hot summer in Europe but also in North America and China.

Travellers now think twice about visiting the same areas and are looking for summer destinations with moderate weather. In Europe, Northern destinations such as Norway, Finland and Iceland are gaining popularity. Also, in other parts of the world travellers are looking for cool weather summer vacations. In the US, they are promoting summer destinations with an average temperature of 80 °F (26 degrees).

How to respond to this trend

If you have the opportunity to expand to more destinations, focus on those that have cooler weather in the summer season and promote the benefits to your customers. This is also your chance to explore new destinations. Make sure to not simply follow the competition but to look closely at what fits your business and ideal customer best.

Trend 1: Cool weather summer vacations

Travelling in shoulder seasons has many advantages for travellers.

Trend 2: Increased growth for shoulder seasons

Very much linked to the rising temperatures worldwide, there is an increased growth for travelling in the shoulder seasons, off-peak season. Instead of visiting destinations in their high seasons, travellers are looking to travel off-season more and more. Destinations that are usually in high demand in the high season are now gaining momentum for the shoulder seasons. The months before and after the peak.

Travelling in shoulder seasons has many advantages for travellers. Besides avoiding the extreme heat that some destinations experience in high season, they’ll also escape the crowds of tourists flooding every city, beach and landmark. And on top of this, the shoulder seasons are cheaper to travel in.

How to respond to this trend

To follow this development and encourage your travellers to travel in shoulder and low season, you need to start adapting your itineraries. Develop brand new itineraries specifically for these shoulder seasons and excite your travellers for travelling off-season.

Read our article: “How to develop low-season travel experiences”

Trend 3: Low-carbon adventure travel

Now that more travellers opt for cooler summer destinations there is a growing increase in low-carbon adventure travel. These destinations are perfect for spending more time outdoors and enjoying nature. The global adventure tourism market size is projected to reach $2 trillion by 2032 and is expected to continue to grow steadily!

With the increase of awareness of climate change, there is also a growing focus to reduce emissions while travelling. Travellers seek more immersive travel experiences that don’t produce emissions while being outdoors. Low carbon adventure travel experiences are the answer, where travellers engage in outdoor adventure experiences, but without the emissions.

Great examples of low-carbon adventures are:

  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Trekking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Rock climbing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling

How to respond to this trend

Adventure travel experiences have always been popular, and they are in high demand from travellers in varied travel segments. Focus on adding more low-carbon adventure experiences to your itineraries. Thereby, reduce emissions in existing travel products to respond to this trend and also look into develop new low-carbon adventure experiences.

Read our article “Benefits of carbon-free travel experiences”

Trend 3: Low-carbon adventure travel

70% of travellers are craving a sense of calm and relaxation on their trips in 2024.

Trend 4: Calmcation

According to a study by Campspot, 70% of travellers are craving a sense of calm and relaxation on their trips in 2024. Travellers are feeling stressed in the post-pandemic phase and with the unpredictable global economic landscape, people are looking for a way to truly unwind. Calmcations have emerged as the ideal solution, offering a break away from complexities and uncertainties of daily life.

Travellers are looking for experiences closer to home, more affordable and immersed in nature. This means that in 2024, we’re back to nature driven travel but with a comfortable twist. Not only the committed camper is interested, so are many other travellers. They’re looking for beautiful destinations with facilities for a comfortable outdoor experience. Camping trips in nature where they can breath in fresh air, enjoy amazing views, and water-themed.

How to respond to this trend

Travellers are looking for nature driven travel, but with a comfortable twist. Depending on your ideal target group, offer (luxurious) camping adventures combined with low-carbon travel experiences. Besides tents, cabins and ecolodges also fit well into this trend. Focus on developing experiences or complete holidays that allow travellers to take a break from their own life and reconnect and enjoy nature.

Trend 5: Long distance train travel

Rail travel is predicted to be one of the fastest growing travel categories worldwide in 2024. With a new wave of rail lines, itineraries and new train travel booking platforms, there is a growing demand for long distance and luxury train travel. According to the Euromonitor’s travel survey, one third (33%) of travellers prefer alternatives to air travel such as rail for their trips. There is a growing climate consciousness of both travellers as travel businesses, looking to travel more responsibly.

In Europe, new connections are being announced and it’s more attractive than ever to hop on a nightjet train to comfortably explore European cities such as Berlin and Prague or to Alpine ski resorts for a winter holiday. In Asia, the Eastern & Oriental Express is making a comeback in February and let’s not forget about the extensive rail network in Japan, India and Canada. With more and more rail lines (re)opening, train travel is the solution for those that want to traveller slower, travel off the beaten path and reduce their emissions.

How to respond to this trend

Train travel is more popular than ever among travellers so make sure to follow this trend. You can offer train travel as main transport mode to replace flights and reduce emissions or include train travel as a local mode of transport in the destination. You can also offer complete railway itineraries where the experience is the train ride, and not just the mode of transport.

Trend 5: Long distance train travel

Trend 6: Culinary tourism

For many people, food is one of the main reasons for travelling somewhere. Travellers are eager to explore a destination through its restaurants, farms, traditional ingredients and local dishes. Trends observed for next year are travelling with chefs, unpretentious wine-tasting and dining with locals. Travellers not only want to eat locally during their trip, but they also want to cook and eat with locals.

According to Food & Wine, there is also an increase in Foodie Field trips, where travellers have the opportunity to participate in classes such as bread baking and coffee roasting.

Social media also has a large influence on this trend, especially on younger travellers. Influencers are highlighting certain destinations and restaurants with special food that people will want to taste, sometimes even resulting in the so-called TikTok queues.

How to respond to this trend

As we mentioned, food is one of the main reasons for travelling somewhere. Review your existing (or new) destinations and highlight the food experiences. What’s the destination known culinarily and what’s there to explore? Include local food experiences such as cooking classes and ensure the traveller actively participates in the food scene.

Looking to have your travellers explore the local cuisine? Social enterprise Resirest connects local families and travellers in food experiences. They empower local families long-term, while providing travellers with a unique, cultural and local food experience.

Trend 7: Passion focused niche travel

Culinary tourism is a very specific trend, based on the travellers passion for culinary experiences. In 2024, passion focused niche travel is booming. We’ve already seen that travellers are choosing experiences over specific destinations, and this year they’re more passion-led than ever. Passion focused travel is all about customisiation and personalisation based on your ideal customers.

The better you know your customer, the more insights you have in their passions and travel wishes. The thing with passion focused travel is that it’s very niche specific. It’s about being hyper-focused on what desires travellers have in experiencing and developing new itineraries around it.

Examples of passion focused niche travel:

  • Passion for horses: spending a week in the African bush on horse-back
  • Passion for dinosaurs: visiting dinosaur museums and learning about their history
  • Passion for wine: touring a wine area, tasting and learning about the process
  • Passion for birds: visiting designated areas to go bird spotting with experts

How to respond to this trend

To actively follow this trend, you need to have in-depth insights in your ideal customer. Tailoring your travel experiences to their passions or even creating entirely new products for them, requires you to know their passions. Dig deep into your buyer-persona and determine the best combination of passion, destination and experience and turn this into a passion focused niche experience.

Read our article “How to identify your buyer persona”

Trend 7: Passion focused niche travel

This year, we’re looking at responsible revenge travel.

Trend 8: Responsible revenge travel

Revenge travel is a trend from last year and it’s the type of travel where people make up for missed adventures due to the pandemic. These trips are often fast-paced, bucket-list-ticking trips and focused on travelling as much as possible. It’s leaving travellers exhausted, they’re not truly connecting to a destination and are not taking sustainability into account that much.

This year, we’re looking at responsible revenge travel. Travellers are still looking to explore the world and make up for the time it was impossible to travel. But they’re doing it more consciously. They’re looking to travel to cool(er) weather destinations, travel in the shoulder seasons, go on low-carbon adventures, spend time outdoors calmcationing, travel by train, enjoy the local cuisine and simply love travel!

How to respond to this trend

Travellers are looking for ‘the experience of a lifetime’ trip and grand adventures, but in a responsible way. Make sure to develop and promote travel itineraries that maximise positive impact and have travellers use their money as a force for good. Lead them off the beaten path, support the locals, celebrate local culture, ensure animal welfare, protect nature and reduce emissions.

Read our practical Good Tourism guide

What does your future look like?

We’re excited for the coming year and looking at the trends, there are great sustainable developments taking place. When responding to the good tourism trends, make sure to always apply the principles of people, planet and profit. Follow trends, improve your travel experiences and grow your business; but focus on creating positive impact.

Don’t forget that trends can also be combined. Think about low-carbon adventures or culinary tourism in shoulder season or calmcations in cool weather destinations. Be creative and use these developments to stand out from the competition, distinguish your travel experiences and be on your way towards travel success. Travel is a force for good, maximise its impact!

Good tourism trends in 2023

2023 was our second year we published an article with trends for the future of tourism. Are you interested to see if our predictions came true? Read our 8 key good tourism trends for 2023 below.

Trend 1: Good tourism

Travellers are looking for experiences that benefit the destination they’re travelling to. Good tourism is the concept of creating positive impact on people and planet, while offering great travel experiences.

This has always been a movement, but travel behaviour has shown it’s becoming more important. Travellers are looking to:

  • Reduce their negative environmental impact
  • Support local economies
  • Support local cultures and communities
  • Visit lesser-known destinations
  • Contribute to nature and wildlife protection
  • Reduce their carbon footprint

“90% of consumers look for sustainable options when travelling” – Expedia Group

Good tourism trends 2023: Good tourism

Trend 2: Excellent customer experience

Travellers expect a personal and efficient customer experience (CX) at all times. They judge every interaction they have with your business and each of these interactions are evaluated. From the first up until the last contact moment, businesses and employees need to be on their best behaviour. Both offline and online.

The expectations of excellent customer experiences (CX) are changing, and loyalty and speed are more important than ever. So, it’s key you know what you stand for, and who you want to attract and to offer fast and personalised services.

“Being able to serve relevant information at the right moment in the customer journey often determines success” – Evolv Al

Trend 3: Strong online visibility

Travellers spend a significant time online searching for travel inspiration and tips. They’re absolutely doing so again in 2023. The importance of being visible online is still growing every year. We’re expecting for video to take over even more (look at the rise of TikTok).

With these travellers going online to find their next dream destination you need to be prepared. Make sure to have a fast and user-friendly website, your Google Business profile up to date, focus on content marketing, be active on social media channels where your target group is active and don’t underestimate influencer marketing.

Good tourism trends 2023: Outdoor nature experiences

Trend 4: Outdoor nature experiences

Travellers are looking to experience and explore the outdoors more often. The pandemic has made a lot of people realise how much they love the outdoors and how much they appreciate it. Travellers want to go out, breathe in fresh air and go back to basic. Think about multi-day trekking or camping trips.

Important to remember when looking at this growth in outdoor nature experiences, is to always develop travel experiences that are good for the planet too. Therefore, focus on carbon-free travel experiences where possible to truly connect travellers with nature.

Trend 5: Travelling off-season

Travellers are looking to travel without too many people around and will opt for more low

  • season bookings. The last decade, we’ve watched destinations become overcrowded and experience overtourism. Most destinations had a relatively short high-season and longer off-seasons. This is now changing.

    Travellers are looking to avoid crowds and overtourism and go for a different experience instead. Travelling off-season is cheaper due to less demand, there are less people around so no crowds, and travellers are able to experience a completely different side and feeling of the destination.

    Good tourism trends 2023: Remote working

    Trend 6: Remote working

    Travellers realised they can make the world their office and work remotely. The ‘work from anywhere’ trend has changed the tourism industry. The number of remote workers is growing rapidly and opening a new market for long-stays. Remote workers are usually very flexible, travelling to new destinations to work while exploring new surroundings.

    The interesting factor here is that remote workers don’t need 24/7 entertainment while travelling. They’re working after all. What they are looking for, is a structure or plan of how to travel, where to stay and where to (co-)work.

    Trend 7: Local travel market

    Travellers have the desire to stay closer to home for ease, comfort, and local connection. Again, pandemic times have shown them there is a lot to explore close to home. They’ll be exploring lesser-known cities, going to the highlights they ignored before or rewinding in their own unexplored nature.

    Be aware that people staying in their own country are looking for different experiences. This means they won’t be triggered by the same marketing messages you’re sharing to attract inbound travellers. Adapt your marketing efforts to their needs to ensure interest and bookings from locals.

    Good tourism trends 2023: Spontaneous travel

    Trend 8: Spontaneous travel

    Travellers want to turn their ideas into travel plans quickly, easily, and last-minute. Planning proved to be difficult and unpredictable during pandemic times. People got used to not making plans at all or making them very last-minute.

    They’ll most likely continue this behaviour and decide when and where to travel only shortly before departure. As a tour operator, you can expect more last-minute bookings and also less time between travel request and booking.

    Good tourism trends in 2022

    2022 was the first year we published an article with trends for the future of tourism. Are you interested to see if our predictions came true? Read our 6 key good tourism trends for 2022 below.

    Trend 1: Online preparation

    According to Google research, travellers who took a large trip in 2021 spent over 70% of their time researching their trip online. It’s expected this will grow in 2022 as well. When travellers are spending this much time online, they’re searching for inspiration, tips, and companies to book their trips with.

    How to respond

    You can respond this trend by being visible online. Invest time in your online marketing strategy. Make sure your website is found by those researching their next trip. You can achieve this through content marketing. This strategy helps you give potential customers what they are looking for, while they are actively searching for it. This means creating content, such as blogs, photos and videos about your business and everything you offer.

    Also make sure to be active on social media for online brand visibility but also to convert followers to clients.

    Trend 2: Loyal customers

    It’s predicted that in the coming years, travellers will look to remain loyal to brands and businesses that align with their values. Brands that care for the planet and who contribute to a better world. If travellers found a brand they love, they’ll choose to come back again instead of searching for something else.

    How to respond

    Earning customer loyalty is not something you can do overnight. Key is to make sure to know and communicate your own value. How can travellers align if you are not certain about yours? Also focus on increasing your customer value. There are no real shortcuts or easy ways to stimulate loyalty. You have to work hard and earn it, as creating loyal customers requires care and devotion.

    Lastly, also (re)connect with your customers via email marketing to keep on top of their mind. You’ll benefit from this as soon as they’ll start travelling again.

    Trend 3. Philantourism

    Philantourism is a trend that originated in COVID-19 times and is a natural evolution of volunteer tourism. It’s tourism where travellers choose off the beaten track destinations to spend their free time and their money. Specifically in those destinations that need it the most. They don’t commit to projects locally, but simply spend their money to benefit the local economy.

    How to respond

    Both you as a tour operator and your customers are important for this trend. For tour operators, it’s important to offer trips and travel experiences to lesser-known destinations and create itineraries that support the local economy. You can also increase your impact by developing community-based tourism.

    For travellers, it’s important they know where to go and how they can best support the local economy. Do this by adding tips for local restaurants and shops to your itineraries and traveller communication. This stimulates travellers to go out and spend locally!

    Trend 4. Minimum carbon footprint

    This is already a very familiar trend to most tour operators, but now it’s also a growing factor for travellers. According to research by Ipsos, 50% of travellers claim that carbon emissions and offset options are worth considering when booking a new trip.

    How to respond

    First, it’s important to take the goal of a low(er) carbon footprint seriously. Sign the Glasgow declaration and start reducing your emissions. In your office but also in the trips and experiences you develop. Offer destinations closer to home and include train travel. Also focus on slow travel and add carbon-free travel experiences. Hiking, biking, sailing, and kayaking are popular and allow travellers to experience the destination to the fullest.

    Thereby, also provide your customers with the option to compensate their trip. Be transparent in your calculations and offsetting program or partner.

    Tourism trend: Minimum carbon footprint

    Trend 5. Continued care for health and safety

    Not surprisingly, research continues to show that health and safety measures regarding COVID-19 make travellers feel safer. Travellers search online for the specific regulations and measures companies take to provide a safe experience. They expect their well-being to be top priority throughout their trip.

    How to respond

    COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for now. Most importantly is that you take responsibility for the health and safety of your customers. Update your company health and safety protocol where relevant. And clearly communicate the safety regulations to your customers. Be clear and positive about what’s possible in the destinations you offer. But also manage expectations and prepare customers for changes.

    Additionally, also make sure to have fair and flexible cancellation policy available. (Potential) customers require transparency and honesty.

    Trend 6. Experience of a lifetime

    Flowing from two years of COVID-19, lockdowns and travel restrictions all over the world, travellers are looking for “the experience of a lifetime” trips. They realised they don’t want to postpone their bucket list trips and are looking for grand adventures for when they can finally travel again.

    How to respond

    Offer travellers the experience of a lifetime by creating new (and longer) itineraries with the highlights of the destination. Create trips that make travellers travel slower and experience the destination to the fullest. Don’t forget that a highlights trip does not necessarily mean including the most famous tourist attractions. Surprise your customers by going off the beaten track and to offer them something special.

    For the best tailored experience, make it easy for travellers to add smaller packages to extend their trip. For example, a few days relaxing on the beach or a mountain trekking.

    Tourism trend: Experience of a lifetime

    What does your future look like?

    Keep in mind that not all trends (in this article and overall) are fully relevant for every tour operator. Select those trends that support you in your journey towards the future of tourism. Keep close to your mission and USPs and focus on the trends that make you better in business.

    Your business development is subject to the (local) circumstances, niche market, target group and your preferences. Be in charge of your own future but remain open for outside inspiration and influences.

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