2020 is set to see sustainable travel continue to go mainstream with the rise of “slow travel” and conscious travellers, according to ABTA, the association for travel agents and tour operators.
The rise of “slow travel”, a shift towards electric aviation, and an increased focus by travellers on the environmental and social impacts of travel are among five key travel trends for 2020 highlighted in an ABTA research report.
Holidaymakers are choosing to slow down the tempo and make more genuine connections with local people and cultures on their travels, according to The Travel Trends 2020 report, based on market information and consumer insights collated by ABTA.
“Slow travel” is as much about enjoying the journey as it is the destination, and a less packed itinerary takes the pressure off having to visit all the usual tourist hotspots. With more time in one destination, it can potentially reduce the journey footprint and provide travellers with the chance to support more locally run businesses – resulting in a positive impact on the local economy and community.
Another trend for 2020 forecast by ABTA is a shift towards electric powered aircraft, as advancements in technology and increasing demands for more sustainable modes of travel have made the concept of commercial electric flights a very real prospect for short haul travel. With aviation under increasing pressure to improve its carbon footprint, “the future for electric aircraft looks bright, both for leisure and business travel” the ABTA report states.
With sustainability on the rise and climate change in the spotlight throughout 2019, industry experts are predicting 2020 will be the year of conscious travel.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “Sustainability issues are now firmly in the minds of holidaymakers and are a continued thread throughout the report – from cruise industry initiatives to influencing three of our five trends. The travel industry continues to develop plans and initiatives which support local communities, their economies and the environment, so that tourism is a benefit to everyone.”
Other key trends expected to shape holiday choices in 2020, identified by ABTA research, include adopting digital customer service methods and personalised touring.
ABTA also revealed its “12 destinations to watch” which include Basilicata, Chicago and Lake Michigan, Georgia, Grenada, Madrid and its surrounding cities, Morocco, Namibia, South Korea, Singapore, The Netherlands, Uruguay and Vienna.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com