Travel industry consultancy ForwardKeys has shared its top 2024 travel trends with luxury, family trips and sustainability topping the list.
The trends are taken from the analyst’s 2023 Global Travel Trends Report, which is available from its website now.
Insights were gleaned from evolving traveller patterns and behaviour seen throughout the last year.
2023 has been a “milestone” for travel and travel stakeholders, ForwardKeys said. Recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic has been central, although the pace of the rebound varies by market.
Recovery is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, it notes. This means issues front-of-mind pre-pandemic have returned to focus.
Geopolitical events, technological advances and sustainability concerns underpin trends across the board.
2024 travel trends from ForwardKeys
Climate change is a major concern for travellers, with sustainability a key trend going into 2024.
ForwardKeys expects this to have a longer-term effect on consumers. For example, ticket sales for Rhodes, which experienced severe wildfires this summer, rebounded within a month.
This is expected to be reflected in greater interest in cooler destinations as hotter conditions appeal less.
The rise of luxury travel is also expected to continue. In part, ForwardKeys attributes this to the ‘revenge spend’ phenomenon.
However, even in markets like the Americas, Middle East and Africa where the wave has passed, premium class cabins are showing a greater recovery than economy seats.
Despite cost-of-living concerns, consumers are willing to pay more for high-end travel, ForwardKeys said.
Family travel is another major theme. Compared to 2019, this segment has shown the fastest recovery across all regions with the Americas strongest, ForwardKeys noted.
Although recovery has been slower for couple travel, it is the second most-resilient segment in every region.
Urban tourism is on the rise with a year-on-year growth rate of 52% compared to 26% for ‘sun and beach’ destinations. ForwardKeys said it expects this to continue into 2024.
Finally, ForwardKeys has noted ‘variety’ as a trend for 2024. From Q4 forward-ticket analysis, ForwardKeys predicts more diverse travel patterns for the coming 12 months.
Destinations of interest include the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Greece – historically strong performers – with the Middle East and Africa increasingly represented. Colombia also ranks highly as it becomes safer.
Earlier this year, ForwardKeys presented an upbeat assessment for tourism arrivals in the Middle East following the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.