In 2018, even with my super-busy time at the Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris where I was doing an internship, I managed to travel to places in and outside of France, including the UK, the Netherlands and Russia.
I kicked off 2019 with a 6-day getaway to Istanbul at the beginning of January. Every trip I go on, I see some peculiar habits shaping tourists’ behaviour – from sharing their impressions via Instagram photos and stories, reading and leaving reviews on TripAdvisor to searching on Google for some authentic, “local” experiences.
So, looking ahead, I wanted to speculate on some forthcoming trends for the tourism industry.
SHORTER AND MORE ORIGINAL TRIPS
To set out on a long journey, one certainly needs to have quite a bit of spare cash and a job that allows you such a getaway. That’s the reason many more people will opt for 3-to-4 day breaks from the city, which is a perfect solution for those on a tight budget or those with long working hours.
Experts say that these kinds of journeys have been having a positive impact on the economy in small cities, as people are keener to see some off the beaten track spots, where they wouldn’t necessarily go for a 2-week vacation.
(Editor’s note: You can see Dispatches’ Quick Trips series and other expat travel posts here.)
Concerning destinations and travel experiences, one can notice a trend for personalised treats as well as for once-in-a-lifetime impressions. AirBnb Experiences, a service recently launched on the popular accommodation website, has shown an impressive rise in interest from its clients who choose to go hiking, discover gastronomic and wine specialties of a region, go on excursions organised by locals or even try something even more radically different than seeing the popular attractions or going on a package tour.
This changes the overall economic situation for travel firms who have to adapt to the changing needs of a tourist craving to see something fresh and be a part of the experience offered.
E-TOX AND MINDFULNESS
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is going to fade, making way for JOMO – the joy of missing out. I feel being disconnected from virtual reality and “always being in the know” mode can really help to ease the fatigue we may experience daily. Leaving the virtual world behind, travellers will also seek inner peace via meditations, yoga and spiritual sessions. Thus, eco-villages and other retreat spots will keep on gaining in popularity.
Over the past few years, sales statisticians have claimed that brands wearing an “eco” or “organic” tag on them have seen a much steadier growth than those without one. Such consumer behaviour reflects the trend for people trying to live more consciously, which equally impacts the way we travel, concerning the destinations themselves, the transport to get there and to get around as well as their daily actions during the trip.
INSTAGRAMMABLE LOCATIONS AND TECH
Instagram has surely turned upside down our daily routine – and I admit I have been personally affected by its influence. Checking the feed as I wake up, following new profiles while taking the metro and drawing inspiration from other chefs’ creations, I cannot deny that this tool of communication has become deeply rooted in my schedule.
When travelling, most people try to find the best spot possible to capture on their phone some special moment or location, then share it with their virtual audience. With the new features yet to be revealed, Instagram will continue influencing what kind of places will attract travellers who are keen to see and explore them simply because it might be of interest for their subscribers.
Also, according to trends in travel start-ups for 2018, the new year might bring artificial intelligence features in browsers or mobile apps, including your trips planned based on your previous travel endeavours, and offering a customised experience of a region or city.
As to what the most visited country in the world may be for 2019, I leave it to you to guess.
It’s located in Europe and it had some colonies overseas – any guesses?
Leave them in the comments below!
About the author:
Elena Kalmykova is a pastry student in Paris from Moscow, Russia.
With a course at Ferrandi and an internship at Cafe Pouchkine behind her, she is looking forward to exploring more of Paris gastronomy scene and sharing her experiences with Dispatches.
Follow her around Paris on Instagram: @elena__kalmykova