“Trend-Jetting”: Unveiling the Travel Trends Shaping Today’s Adventures and Beyond
June 13, 2023
My passion for travel knows no bounds. When I’m not talking to clients and media about travel, I am constantly researching the places I want to see and the cultures I want to immerse myself in. While working with the tourism and hospitality clients within the Consumer Lifestyle and Sports group, I am consistently inspired by our team’s globetrotters who are committed to learning, loving, and talking about all things travel 24/7. As a self-proclaimed “Trend-Jetter”, it’s my pleasure to share some of the trends that not only guide our team’s day-to-day strategy but also ignite my personal sense of wanderlust.
Enrichment is the New Currency in Travel Experiences
While the days of capturing selfies in front of the world’s most iconic sites may not be entirely behind us, there has been a growing desire to derive more meaning and personal growth from vacations. Today’s travelers strive for more than just superficial encounters with destinations; they yearn for deeper and more meaningful experiences that allow them to delve beneath the surface and acquire new knowledge along the way. Therefore, travelers are looking to create a more educational itinerary when exploring a destination.
More and more destinations are responding to this trend by creating educational and authentic experiences to cater to this new wave of discerning travelers. Our client St. Kitts Tourism Authority has jumped on this trend with the creation of the Kittitian RumMaster program. Led by two of St. Kitts’ prestigious rum experts, the Kittitian RumMaster program invites travelers to deep-dive into the history of rum, explore the art of distilling, gain hands-on experience in crafting spiced rum, and the methodology of creating rum-based cocktails, combining the expertise of local rum proprietors in an immersive experience tailored for both rum aficionados and those wanting to learn more about the spirit.
Additionally, the province of Alberta in Canada is committed to integrating Indigenous communities into its tourism product and experiences. The destination has been a leader on this front and continues to pave the way for this deeper cultural experience and education for travelers.
Set-Jetting Takes Flight as the Ultimate Travel Trend for TV Fans
After spending most of the pandemic binge-watching our favorite TV shows, it’s unsurprising that our infatuation with TV has seamlessly intertwined with our travel aspirations. Sicily summons fans of The White Lotus, Paris entices enthusiasts of Emily in Paris, and even Alberta allures followers of The Last of Us. As travelers seek to recreate the magic of their beloved shows, destinations have seized the opportunity, crafting specialty tours and unique experiences tailored to these mega fans.
Another client, Colonial Williamsburg, recognized the parallels between the TV show Bridgerton and its own historical setting, prompting a curation of a Regency era itinerary. Utilizing the existing array of 18th-century activities – getting fitted at a modiste, firing an authentic musket, enjoying a historically accurate meal at a tavern, and staying in a historic colonial home – the itinerary allows travelers to live out their Bridgerton daydreams. Embarking on a journey that blurs the lines between fiction and reality, these TV-inspired adventures continue to captivate travelers in pursuit of their small-screen passions.
Plus, TV is taking over social media as the newest travel influencer. According to Expedia data, films and series are currently more influential than social media when it comes to booking trips. More consumers find themselves engrossed by the subtly showcased scenery in their favorite shows, rather than the flashy content produced by social influencers. We will continue to see more TV shows seeding wanderlust for travelers, and ultimately paving the way for vacation inspiration.
Wellness Travel Centered Around the Healing Benefits of Nature
During the pandemic, travelers sought rest and relaxation in the great outdoors or nearby parks, embracing socially distanced settings. Simultaneously, this period sparked a newfound recognition of the profound impact nature has on our physical and mental well-being. A larger spotlight is being shined on the connection between wellness and the natural environment, with more travelers looking to dedicate trips centered on this.
The tourism industry has been embracing this current movement as seen with destination wellness experiences and even hotel designs that allow travelers to be naturally more immersed in the outdoors. Activities like forest bathing, meditative walks in nature, and sound healing are more available as destinations and hotels aim to transform the mind, body, and spirit of their guests. Even in urban settings, where access to natural surroundings isn’t as readily available, destinations and hotels are making strides to address the healing benefits of mental well-being while on the road. For example, our client The Leela Palaces & Resorts recently introduced Aujasya by The Leela – ‘Renew – Mindfulness’, the newest pillar of their signature wellness program, which features an on-demand program that offers guided meditation, sound healing, and yoga. It also includes a dedicated section for children called Aujasya Junior, encouraging them to embrace mindfulness.
Embracing Independence: The Soaring Popularity of Solo Women Travelers
Solo women travel continues to gain popularity, empowering women to embark on thrilling adventures and explore the world on their terms. In fact, according to Google, searches for “solo travel for women” among American travelers have more than doubled in 2023, and searches for “solo travel destinations” have spiked by over 120 percent in the U.S.
However, one question often lingers in the minds of women contemplating a solo journey: “Is this destination safe to travel to alone?” As the popularity of solo women travel continues to rise, so does the determination from destinations to foster a safer and more inclusive environment for all female adventurers. More tour companies are also catering to the needs of female travelers by offering women’s only adventures, which creates opportunities for solo female travelers to join like-minded individuals on their worldwide journeys.
With a finger on the pulse of the latest trends shaping the industry, our team is full of trend-spotters and trend-setters within the realm of travel, and we can’t wait to continue to explore these latest trends this summer.