With 2023 approaching its final months and the dawn of 2024 on the horizon, a world grappling with the enduring crisis, rising living costs, and environmental concerns has seen a collective need to unplug and recharge. People are seeking a break from the relentless news cycle and daily routine, setting their sights on something more enriching. To gain insights into how travel will inspire people to break free from monotony and lead their best lives, Booking.com conducted extensive research, surveying over 27,000 travelers across 33 countries and territories. As a result, the platform unveiled seven predictions for travel in 2024.
In a surprising shift from the past, travel isn’t just an escape but a way of life in 2024, with 78% of individuals stating they feel more alive during vacations. Remarkably, 68% aspire to be their vacation selves in their everyday lives. It’s not surprising considering that 68% believe they’re the best version of themselves while traveling. Additionally, the upcoming year will be heavily influenced by artificial intelligence (AI), allowing travelers to delegate tedious tasks to technology and free up mental space for creativity, intuition, and deeper experiences.
(Alter) Ego Enthusiasts: Travelers will embrace their alter egos, with 37% creating elaborate stories about their real lives while on vacation. They seek the thrill of becoming an upgraded version of themselves, with 62% reveling in the anonymity of travel. These travelers are willing to pay for a nicer car than their own (42%) and feel like the protagonists of their own stories (57%).
Cool-cationers: The scorching heat and climate change concerns will drive 51% of travelers to opt for cooler destinations in 2024. The rise of water-centric travel will bring activities like floating yoga, water sound baths, and ice therapy retreats into the spotlight, making water the main attraction.
Surrender Seekers: Travelers are seeking surprise and adventure, with 52% open to booking surprise trips. Over 56% prefer unconventional travel experiences, while 34% are open to traveling with strangers. With flexible services and AI-driven trip planning, travelers will embrace spontaneity more than ever.
Culinary Excavators: Food enthusiasts will dig deep into a destination’s culinary heritage, with 61% wanting to learn about the origins of local delicacies. Indigenous flavors will take center stage, with 81% eager to try traditional cuisine. Travelers will look for immersive ‘phygital’ food experiences enhanced by VR and AR.
Reboot Retreaters: Travelers will embark on self-improvement journeys, with 58% seeking sleep-focused trips and 39% open to matchmaking or heartbreak holidays. A quarter (24%) aim to strengthen their relationships, while 58% will travel alone to prioritize their vitality.
A La Carte Affluencers: Travelers will find ways to cut costs and enjoy luxurious experiences with the help of AI (56%). They plan to travel to destinations with a lower cost of living (50%) and pick budget-friendly vacations closer to home (43%). Day passes to five-star hotels and flexible travel schedules will be common (51%).
Mindful Aesthetes: According to the predictions Travelers will make more conscious and responsible choices in 2024, focusing on eco-friendly and stylish accommodations. More than half (53%) seek places with innovative sustainability features. Sustainable travel apps, rewarding travelers with unique experiences, will gain popularity.
Mr. Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com, said, “Our 2024 travel predictions reflect the idea that travel is not a means to escape life, but instead a catalyst to live our best lives.” Booking.com is committed to making travel easier and inspiring experiences that align with travelers’ unique aspirations in 2024 and beyond.
Booking.com’s Travel Predictions 2024 research surveyed over 27,000 respondents across 33 countries and territories, focusing on adults planning leisure or business travel in the next 12-24 months. The survey was conducted in July 2023.
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