The year is almost drawing to an end and we look forward to the 2024 travel period. With a new season, there are also trends for our Globe Aware volunteers to look out for.
Four travel trends to look out for in 2024
The year is almost drawing to an end and we look forward to the 2024 travel period. With a new season, there are also trends to look out for, whether you’re booking a blissful vacation in far-reaching destinations or holidaying in Mzansi’s very own spectrum of staycation locations.
Here are 4 travel trends that might just inspire you to book that getaway, according to Kruger Gate Hotel’s CEO, Anton Gillis.
One big happy family holiday
According to the CEO, multi-generational family trips cropped up as a major travel trend nine years ago when boomers started bringing their families along on their post-retirement adventures.
However, as travel took a back seat globally due to the pandemic, this style of holiday fell out of fashion but multi-generational holidays are on the rise again.
“As travel rebounds from the pandemic, families are particularly eager to reconnect and make lasting memories with one another again. Multi-generational trips have become one of the bigger travel trends of the year and are set to be even more favoured in 2024,” said Gillis.
He said that with this kind of trip, it’s important to consider that the holiday will need to appeal to at least three generations of people.
“Locally, one of the best multi-generational holidays families can book is a safari. Parents, little ones, elders and teens should find that a chance to unwind in nature, disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and marvel at breathtaking wildlife (particularly the Big Five) is enjoyed by all,” advised Gillis.
Picture perfect set-jetting locations
Gillis also revealed that TV shows and movies can have a great influence on society’s culture, from what people wear to the food they eat and even their travel decisions.
He said that while the concept of set-jetting, travelling to places that we’ve seen on our screens, isn’t new, it’s pegged to become even more popular in the next year.
In the early 2000s, New Zealand’s tourism campaigns featured picturesque imagery transporting “Lord of the Rings” fans to fictional Middle-Earth, which resulted in a 50% increase in tourist arrivals and generated NZD$33 million (currently R369,304,320) a year at the time.
Similarly, the International Journal of Tourism Research found that Thronees, the fanbase of HBO’s widely beloved “Game of Thrones” series, visited Dubrovnik, Croatia, with upwards of 240,000 arrivals between 2012 and 2015.
“Recently, the South Korean series ‘Crash Landing on You’ has brought an influx of fans to the tiny Swiss village of Iseltwald, highlighting the rise in the set-jetting trend even in remote regions.
“With only a population of 400, the upcoming tourist hotspot has seen 1,000 visitors for every local villager since last year,” said Gillis.
A taste of culture
Aside from museums, historical monuments and cultural events, Gillis highlighted that travellers are increasingly feeling that trying the culinary offerings of another country is a wonderful way to get to know a new destination.
“Travel motivated by trying specific foods has even become its own kind of travel show, with hosts like actor Philip Rosenthal taking viewers to destinations specifically to savour local gastronomic specialities,” said the Kruger Gate’s CEO.
He said that in 2019, the international food tourism industry was valued at US $1,116.7 billion, which is projected to grow to over $1,796.5 billion by 2027.
“This booming interest in food tourism was recently seen on TikTok when a viral video detailing a Roman gelato food tour amassed 19.1 million views.
“The video, which was a food tour operator explaining expert tips on how to find the best gelato in Italy, demonstrates the interest that people have in the intricate details of a particular food - it was liked 2.8M times after all,” said Gillis.
Find serenity in slow travel
And finally, Gillis revealed that whirlwind, jam-packed vacations may become a thing of the past as the slow travel trend emerges as a rising trend in tourism.
“Slow travel sees tourists relishing longer leisurely trips, where they become immersed in local culture, taking in the beauty of the community through authentic experiences instead of hopping from one swamped tourist hotspot to the other.
“Travellers are thus electing to take tranquil routes and stay in accommodation that nurtures their quest for mindfulness and serenity,” said Gillis.
A survey conducted by Hidden Scotland found that the majority of respondents, 83% to be exact, prefer slow travel.
It further noted that 74% of people actually like the idea of living like a local when they’re in a new destination and that 78% enjoy the journey just as much as the destination when holidaying.
“South Africa is a perfect destination for slow travellers to visit. With mesmerising, slower-paced locations like the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape, the Drakensberg mountains or our very own World Wonder, the Kruger National Park, our international visitors, or even local holidaymakers, can experience a culturally enriched journey in an unhurried, rejuvenating manner,” said Gillis.