“Slow travel” will top the pile of 2020 travel trends, claims a new report compiled by leading trade association ABTA based on data collated from its members throughout the year. So will insights into 2020 did 2019 provide? Savoir Flair tells all.
A reaction against the whistle-stop box-ticking employed by Instagram-obsessed hostel-hoppers, slow travel means soaking in your environment rather than rushing through it. The phrase hakuna matata springs to mind. Keep your nose out of your guidebook, let the sights come to you – not the other way around – and remember that life is about the journey as much as the destination. Longtime market leaders Responsible Travel are at the head of the pack here once again, offering new packages specifically designed to let the senses settle, and the mind wander.
Doubling Down on Digital
You can’t stop progress, and technology is gradually redefining the travel experience – whatever the speed. From live chat services simplifying the booking process to constantly updating online timetables and digital platforms providing travel advice 24/7, travel tech is no longer just a gimmick. We await the arrival of teleportation with bated breath.
Electric aviation is one of those growth areas which, like driverless cars and household AI, is set to arrive much sooner than you think. Budget airline EasyJet is leading the way, targeting low-noise electric flights of more than 300 miles by 2030, while the 2019 Paris Air Show revealed a prototype for a nine-seater nicknamed Alice that could comfortably travel more than twice that. Where there is demand, you will usually find supply, and the calls for more sustainable air travel are getting louder by the day.
All hail the bespoke itinerary. Flexi-travel, as it is sometimes known, aims to provide “self-guided” tours that construct a framework for holidaymakers without subsuming them within a tour group. The client can explore a destination at their own pace and in their time, safe in the knowledge that logistics, hotels, and major sites have been expertly taken care of.
A hot-button issue for not just travel, but also literally everything else, ABTA figures suggest that 50 percent of consumers now say that green credentials are important or essential when choosing a holiday – a record number. Plastics, animal rights, and the climate crisis have all placed pressure on holidays and holidaymakers to demonstrate that tourism can be a positive force in a eco-conscious world. Expect carbon offsetting, sustainability initiatives, recyclable straws – and that this trend will grow for many years to come.