What are the big developments for travel in 2019?

RECAPTURING YOUTH: Two-fifths of travellers plan to visit a destination that makes them feel like a kid again, with properties looking to add more childlike and playful touches such as ball pits and bouncy castles for adults to cater for a Millennial and Gen Z audience (the biggest groups who travel to feel like a child again).
RECAPTURING YOUTH: Two-fifths of travellers plan to visit a destination that makes them feel like a kid again, with properties looking to add more childlike and playful touches such as ball pits and bouncy castles for adults to cater for a Millennial and Gen Z audience (the biggest groups who travel to feel like a child again).

From cultural exchanges and eco activism, to virtual agents and a “less is more” mentality – here are the biggest travel trends for 2019, according to Booking.com.

“It is set to be an exciting year for travel,” chief marketing officer at Booking.com Pepijn Rijvers said.

“With technological advancements, an ever more connected world and a continuously growing consumer appetite for the best travel experiences, we’re poised for groundbreaking developments.”

The Appren-trip

2019 will see a focus on travellers making choices with extra significance as they look to add more purpose to their trips.

Over half (56 per cent) of global travellers agree traveling has taught them invaluable life skills and 68 per cent would consider participating in cultural exchanges to learn a new skill.

Easy does it

Travellers want technology to seamlessly offer practical solutions. Think keyless room access with a phone, personalised travel tips or a “concierge” that can communicate with guests in their mother tongue.

Innovations that will have travellers most excited include real-time luggage tracking (57 per cent) and a single app for travel planning, booking and other needs (57 per cent). 

There will be more tech for use at the research stage.

Watch this space

In 2019 and beyond, we will continue to push the extreme limits of travel. The prospect of space tourism has 40 per cent of travellers confirming they are excited about the prospect of space travel and are open to experiencing it (38 per cent).

Until then, many travellers will continue to seek out seemingly impossible holidays with accommodation under the sea being of most interest (60 per cent) to potential travellers.

Up close and personal

A third of travellers want someone or something to do the hard work and make travel recommendations for them and 41 per cent want travel brands to use technology to make suggestions based on past travel experience. Over half would be excited about tech travel innovations such as a digital personal tour guide.

Conscious travel

2019 will see more questions being asked around social, political and environmental issues in potential destinations before making a decision to visit. Almost half feel social issues in possible travel destinations is important when choosing where to go and 58 per cent choose not to go to a destination if they feel it will negatively impact the people who live there.

However, they also want to travel in safety. 

Plastic not-so fantastic

Millennials and Gen Z travellers will look for sustainable experiences, while accommodation providers will look to reduce their plastic usage and increase their sustainable credentials. A majority (86 per cent) say they would be willing to spend some time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay – over a third would clear plastic and litter from a beach or other tourist attraction.

The experience curator

2019 will take travel with experiences even further than 2018. “Doing” will weigh equally with “going”. For almost two thirds of travellers, experiences are now valued higher than material possessions.

Maximising the micro

Over half of global travellers report they plan to take more weekend trips in 2019. It’s a year that’s predicted to be all about made-to-measure, bite-sized travel with more curated itineraries.

There will also be a continued desire to stay in unique and remarkable types of accommodation.