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Calico Jagger

Consumer Travel Trends 2020

There are going to be some big changes to travel in 2020 and it begins and ends with consumer behaviour. The way people book, consume and experience their travel is altering the market and the destinations being visited. Everything will revolve around technology, enrichment and purpose.

From a technological viewpoint, accessibility and curation is key. With our connected world and increasing technological advancements appeasing the growing consumer appetite for experience, we are poised for groundbreaking developments that will take travel to new heights. Customer curation is vital. Ease, accessibility and immediacy will be the number one deciding factor when it comes to whom and where they book. According to a recent survey I ran with a core group of travellers in the 25-45 demographic, 64% of consumers still want curated information, admitting that they would prefer someone or something to do the hard work for them. Another 41% of travellers noted they would like technologies such as AI to make suggestions based on past experiences.I am working with a hotel at the moment to dive into these trends and adapt a new brand-refresh and go-to-market strategy for them!

Purpose is also more relevant than ever. Travellers are becoming savvier, craving authenticity in the destinations they visit. They want to immerse themselves in the communities surrounding them, not just as a spectator, but as one of them. They want to feel something before, when and after they travel. 2020 will see a rise in people’s (particularly Gen Z) desire to learn something new, which may include volunteer based work, cultural exchange or work placement mixed in with a holiday.

Sustainability and environmental enrichment is also more prevalent than ever going into this new decade. Travellers want to give back to the destinations they visit, leaving positive footprints for the future generations to come. We will see large investments in sustainable travel, with accommodation providers looking to further reduce their plastic usage. Kill the straws people (it still blows my mind at how many businesses use unnecessary plastic) – the time is now! Over tourism is also a very serious and well known issue for these travellers, so there will be a change in the destinations being visited and how they are being explored.

My AU/NZ outbound destination tips and trends for 2020 include:
  • Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka for a beach break
  • Pakistan, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon for authenticity
  • Thailand, Fiji, New Zealand, USA/Canada and Europe will still see enormous growth. However travellers will be looking to see these destinations in greater depth. They will be travelling to new “undiscovered” places within these destinations in a more authentic manner. Road trips are once again on the rise.