With more millennials and a younger middle class joining the world of international travel, it’s hardly surprising that their tastes are creating a demand for new and exciting travel options. Especially hot on the agenda this year are destinations that might look very different in the near future due to climate change, exotic and off-the-beaten-track destinations that lend themselves to some truly unique selfies and Instagram shots, ‘music tourism’ and lots more. Let’s take a look at some of the exiting travel trends 2018 has in store!
Parts of the world which are showing the greatest effects of climate change are at the top of many young tourist’s lists this year, driven by a desire to see them in their original glory before it’s too late. Travel agencies are seeing a rise in interest in destinations like the Arctic, the ice fields of Canada, and parts of New Zealand in particular.
Return of the African Safari:
Whether it’s the influence of a certain royal couple and their love for the stunning landscapes and wildlife of Botswana, the African Safari is set for a big comeback this year! In the minds of today’s travelers, Africa still offers that chance to escape the frenetic pace of modern life and experience the stillness and quiet that only the mother continent can offer. Couple that with all the real-life drama of the wildebeest migration, stumbling across a pride of lions on a game drive, or simply the opportunity to see all the unique creatures of this land, and it’s not hard to see why the African safari is back big time in 2018.
The really great thing about attending a music festival in a destination you’ve never been to before is combining an activity you know you’ll love with the chance to explore a brand-new city or country, learn about their heritage and culture, and broaden your horizons all at the same time! Top of the list this year is India’s Rajasthan festival, a desert camping festival in the dunes of the Thar Desert, where more than 50 artists are set to perform in 2018.
California’s Coachella festival, Belgium’s Tomorrowland, Byron Bay, Australia’s Splendor in the Grass and Japan’s Fuji Rock are just a few of the festivals that will act as a great excuse to visit a dream location this year!
Responsible tourism and experiential travel:
One of the most noted trends among millennials is that they’d rather spend their disposable income on unique and memorable experiences than goods and items, and travel is top of the list. Experiences that offer you the opportunity to learn or develop a skill, be it wine tasting, touring the workshops of local artisans, or brushing up on a half-forgotten language are increasingly popular.
2018 is also set to showcase an increasing awareness of and demand for responsible tourist activities that create employment for local people, protect an area’s natural resources, and don’t exploit people or animals for the sake of that cheesy selfie.
As with experiential travel, we’re seeing an increased demand for unique experiences that leave you with a story to tell. This means big hotels and well-known accommodation options are out, and small boutique hotels, Airbnb rentals and lesser known family-run bed and breakfast options are in. (And heck, they’re certainly cheaper too!)
Unusual accommodation options like Hobbit houses, treehouses, glamping sites and even underground bunkers are increasingly popular too, and river cruises such as those in Burma, Vietnam and Cambodia which offer less crowded boats than your typical ocean liner are set to explode in popularity this year.
The road less traveled:
With many of the world’s most popular cities experiencing a ‘capacity crunch’, there’s a drive both from tourists and from travel agents and stakeholders to offer options in more far flung, or simply less well known locations. This trend is particularly noticeable in Europe, where the big cities can get really overcrowded during peak season. In answer to this demand, Belarus now offers five-day visa-free travel, and Air Moldova already launched new routes in November last year.
So what countries are this year’s travelers most excited to see? Let’s take a look at some of 2018’s most hotly anticipated destinations:
Africa: Rwanda, St Helena, Botswana, Zimbabwe
Europe: Turkey, Italy, Spain, Moscow, Austria
Island retreats: the Andaman Islands, the Galapagos Islands, Cuba
North America: Nashville, Colorado and Jacksonville
Asia: Hong Kong, South Korea, Bhutan
Australia: The Gold Coast
South America: Bolivia and Nicaragua