It’s a new year, and that means there’s all these new travel trends to wrap your head around. So how many have you heard of, or perhaps even experienced already – you trendsetter you!
We’ve heard about Agoda’s 2018 bucket list, as well as the hit list of Tripadvisor for the year ahead, and now Wego.co.ae, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa region.
These insights, curated by Wego’s travel experts, are based on careful analysis of data collated from the 10 million visitors per month across its websites and app.
Mamoun Hmedan, Wego Managing Director of MENA and India, said, “In the last few years, people from the MENA region have been jet-setting like never before, and the year 2018 will likely see no exception to this positive trend.
“We witnessed a lot of new trends in all our markets last year as people travel more frequently and to new destinations and adventures and away from traditionally popular destinations.”
1. Responsible Tourism
Today’s travellers prefer travel and hospitality service providers who embed green or eco-friendly practices into their operations. Best ethical destinations include: Panama, Dominica, Tonga, Mongolia, and Uruguay.
And of course we’re all well versed in 2017’s big mover and shaker – overtourism.
2. Short Leisure Trips
Weekends are the perfect opportunity to take a three- to four-hour flight out to nearby destinations such as Goa, India or Tbilisi, Georgia. Globally, an estimated 60 per cent of Wego users look for one-night or two-night stays.
3. Culinary Holidays
Increasing numbers of travellers are following their stomach, combining the attractions of a new destination with experiential and culinary delights.
Whether your tastes run to trying out a Michelin-starred restaurant or a celebrity chef or singular dining experience or simply sampling ethnic food traditions or street food at its source, you’re in good company.
According to the World Food Travel Association, 75 per cent of leisure travellers visit destinations because of local food-based activities.
4. Cold Locales
The thought of escaping to a cosy log-house or to watch the stunning Northern Lights in Iceland, Alaska or Antarctica continues to surge in popularity.
This preference for freezing-cold locales is primarily because travellers are looking to dive into new, exotic cultures and adventures.
5. Luxury backpacking or ‘glamping’
For those who wish to go backpacking, but do not want to give up on the luxurious amenities of a five-star hotel – try ‘glamping’. It’s the most comfortable way to experience the adventures of an Indian desert or an African jungle.
6. Solo trips
Young travellers could pick a solo-trip to a peaceful Indonesian island or the culture-soaked streets of Cuba: to see the world on their own terms, or even find like-minded people.
7. Cultural hunt
There is no better way to experience and understand new cultures than by visiting museums. Some of the recent big draws in the museum circuit have been: Louvre Abu Dhabi, Oman Opera House & Museum MACAN in Jakarta.
Mix work and play on every business trip as more city hotels offer full leisure facilities such as swimming pool and spa services. This works best for employees who travel for work on long weekends, and even take their families with them.
9. Off-the-beaten-track Destinations
Forget the traditional locations of Paris, Vienna, and New York; and say hello to lesser-known and exotic destinations. Think: bird watching in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, or camping out by the gorgeous lakes of Slovenia.