Top 3 Travel Trends for 2024 That Just May Surprise You

It’s been a slow return, but we’re once again putting travel at the top of our to-do lists. In fact, the global travel and tourism sector is forecast to fully rebound from the impact of Covid-19 by next year.  And as travel surges forward, we’ve spotted the top 3 travel trends for 2024.

Locally Curated Experiences

According to American Express Travel’s 2023 Global Travel Trends Report, 89% of travelers are ready to explore local hidden gems rather than the better-known tourist destinations.  Gen Z and Millennial travelers especially are looking for more unique spots with authentic adventures, small-town shopping, and local cuisine.

top 3 travel trends for 2024

Personalized experiences in local destinations allow travelers to distance themselves from mainstream tourists and immerse themselves in the cultures and customs of a place.

Relying on local guides, booking private accommodations rather than larger hotel brands, and planning individual activities like cooking classes are just a few ways travelers are going granular at a local level.

Travel Tech

As in practically every industry, technology plays an increasingly pivotal role in how we travel.  We expect fast and efficient service that is easily accessible via our phones and devices.

As many as 70% of travelers use smartphones to book trips. And 72% of mobile bookings happen within two days of a Google search.

The industry is responding by using the latest tech to meet travelers’ demands.

travel tech

For example…

  • Hotels may rely on mobile technology to book rooms, open doors, or even offer room service.
  • Chatbots keep us connected with help from the time we start planning until the minute we return from our trips.
  • Many airlines and airports are using facial technology to fast-track our travels.
  • Group tour operators and independent travel agents are using customer-friendly, online platforms like Group Travel Odyssey and Group Experience to take registrations and payments.

Evolving technology makes travel more convenient and efficient than ever before – a trend that will continue well beyond 2024.

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Sustainable Travel

As we continue to study the impact travel has on the environment, it’s not surprising that sustainable travel options are on the rise.

Practice Responsible Tourism

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Group recently reported that 69% of travelers are actively seeking sustainable travel options in 2023 – and there’s no sign of that trend slowing down.

Searches for “sustainable travel” are up 226% over the last 5 years. And many sectors of the travel industry are responding with more sustainable options.

For example, California has become the first state to ban plastic single-use hotel toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, and lotion bottles. Many of the larger brand hotels are also swapping single-use bottles for shareable shower options.

sustainable travel

The guided tour sector of the travel industry has taken steps to adapt its core products to make them more sustainable by steering tourists off the beaten path and into attractions owned and operated by local communities.

Moving tour operations online also minimizes environmental impacts by reducing the amount of paper that is used.

Sparking Carbon Removal in Travel

Travelers are also looking for ways to give back to the communities they visit and reduce their carbon footprint.  This past year saw an uptick in environmentally friendly activities like planting trees in destinations and reducing waste.

Pro Tip!  Skip the plastic water bottles and pack your own refillable bottles.

top 3 travel trends support local economy

Travelers are also prioritizing the welfare of local people by staying where they play and supporting the local economy.  They’re reducing carbon emissions by making the most of EVs or finding alternate modes of transportation.

Practice Responsible Tourism

In short, sustainable travel emphasizes experiences that don’t wreck the environment or the quality of life in the places we visit – a trend that we can only hope will continue long into the future!

3 Surprising Top Travel Trends for 2024

As travel comes surging back like a tidal wave, we’re thinking differently about what it looks like.  Exploring locally, making the most of travel tech, and sustainability are the top 3 travel trends to keep an eye on for 2024!

top 3 travel trends for 2024


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