Travel Trends 2024

Cape Cod’s Chatham Bars Inn

Carbon-neutral is the new gold standard. The must-have amenity on everyone’s lips: zero emissions. More and more hotels, tour operators, and cruise lines are racing to reduce their carbon footprint. While the journey to becoming emission-free can take decades, expect to start seeing more cruise ships plugging in at port, hotels sporting solar panels, and tour operators offsetting emissions.
Privacy is hot. At the height of the pandemic, travelers turned to villa rentals and yacht sailings for vacations with built-in social distancing – and found more to love than just the isolation. Exclusive-use travel offers flexibility, privacy, and security. It is also a great option for multi-gen families. Villa Rockstar at Eden Rock – St Barths, the cottages at Cape Cod’s Chatham Bars Inn, and Les Bateaux Belmond for a chartered barge sailing on a river in France are several options.
Sports-centered travel is on the rise. Travel for big-ticket sporting events is booming. In Austin, TX everyone’s excited about the Formula 1 Grand Prix in October 2024. F1-centric travel can be as high-touch (a private race-car-driving experience) or as high-roller (Paddock Club Access) as you’d like. Likewise, upcoming Olympics in particularly appealing destinations – the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris and Italy’s 2026 Winter Games – have travelers planning ahead. And participatory sports travel is also a hot ticket, with more companies offering not just hiking, biking, or golf vacations, but experiences such as cycling a stage of the Tour de France or skiing with former Olympians.
Indigenous tourism takes center stage. To really get to know a place, look (and listen) to its Indigenous peoples. That’s the message from countries such as Canada, where First Nations business owners and guides are partnering with tourism boards and travel advisors to direct visitors to a wealth of diverse cultural experiences. Throughout ten Canadian provinces and three territories, visitors can tour national parks and cultural sites with added perspective from Native artists, naturalists, and spiritual guides. Around Australia, more than 160 tours focused on Aboriginal culture take travelers deeper into the urban centers of Sydney and Melbourne and farther afield to the natural temples of Uluru and the Pilbara.   
Cruising enters a new era. For many, cruising is the only viable way to see the world – it’s an accessible way to travel, not only for those with mobility issues, but also cognitive and sensory limitations. As well, cruise lines are seeing an increase in solo travelers, with many ships now offering cabins specifically designed for single passengers and waived or reduced surcharges. Overall, cruisers are getting younger: 86 percent of Gen Xers and 88 percent of millennials who have cruised before say they plan to cruise again. These sustainability-conscious travelers are partially responsible for driving the industry toward more eco-friendly operations, with wide-ranging initiatives for everything from propulsion and alternative fuels to water conservation and working with destinations to manage tourism flows.
Set-jetting is all the rage. As-seen-on-TV and movie locations continue to be a big draw for travelers. On the heels of its star turn as the White Lotus Sicily, Four Seasons’ San Domenico Palace in Taormina took home Virtuoso’s coveted Hotel of the Year award. Other options for set-jetting include Emily in Paris tours and packages in Paris aimed at teen fans of the Darren Star show, and customized itineraries with stops at settings from the James Bond and Harry Potter franchises, the series Outlander, and more.
Angie Lynch, Travel Advisor
Luxury-Adventure-Exotic Travel