As we enter a new decade, changes in society have led to changes in the travel industry in all shapes and forms. Here are five travel trends that could have an impact on future travel and tourism that you should watch out for.
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It may sound ironic, but one travel trend of the future actually involves looking back. The Globe and Mail reports an increasing number of companies that offer what’s called “genealogy tourism”. Genealogy tourism is a form of tourism that doesn’t look at new experiences, but instead focuses on bringing travelers back to their roots. With the proliferation of cheap DNA-testing sites like Ancestry.com and 23andMe, there’s a burgeoning interest in tracing lineage in tourism that looks like it’ll be gaining speed in the next few years.
Changes in Pilot Demographics
It would be impossible for travel bloggers and Instagrammers to go on their world tours if it weren’t for the aviation industry, and pilots make up one of its most important aspects. However, a post by Aviation JobNet predicts that there will soon be changes in the industry, with the global demand for commercial pilots soon exceeding the amount of qualified pilots available to fill job vacancies. The aviation industry is taking steps to address this predicted shortage, but as more and more pilots near retirement age, there might be a few bumps and small airline closures along the way.
The climate crisis has been at the forefront of global discussions in recent years, and it’s only natural that those concerns translate into the travel and tourism industry. As more and more consumers begin to focus on sustainability, the hospitality and travel industry has been meeting demands by setting up eco-friendly hotels. According to the New York Times, hotels and resorts have been increasing efforts to become more sustainable. Many hotel chains have focused on initiatives to save coral reefs, reduce waste, and reduce energy consumption, among others.
On a related note, the conversation on sustainability and ethical consumption isn’t just centered on the side of the hospitality industry. Condé Nast Traveller writes about the growing popularity of meat-free travel, as veganism increases in popularity worldwide. Companies such as VeganTravel and VegVoyages have risen up to cater to travelers who want to prioritize ethical consumption on their holidays. Websites that collate information about vegan or vegetarian-friendly restaurants are gaining popularity. There’s also been a growing clamor for the travel industry to talk about sustainability not just in where tourists go, but what tourists eat.
Concerns about the climate are a powerful force in the travel industry, and these are shaking up the standards of travel in more ways than one. TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019 Greta Thunberg has popularized the Swedish term “flygskam”, or flight shame, which is a climate change movement that urges people to reduce or stop travel by plane. Reports by the BBC are showing an increasing concern in the effects of air travel on the environment, with travelers in wealthier parts of the world preferring train or bus travel over airplanes.