We live in a world where we are becoming more interconnected via technology and the tourism industry is changing as a result.
It wasn’t that long ago that people were purchasing tickets to watch artists perform online in virtual shows. This was the only way for people to see their favorite artists perform for a time. While the experience was not quite the same as in-person performances, it led to other developments in travel and tourism.
There are now virtual museums for places that people once traveled to see. Online casinos are more commonplace now compared to physical casinos as people prefer the convenience that they offer.
The tourism industry is set to evolve in 2024, so let’s take a look at the trends that you should keep an eye out for.
The tourism industry came to a sudden halt during the lockdowns of 2020. People weren’t traveling in their own countries, let alone abroad to other countries.
We saw live events, such as concerts, moved online where people could pay for tickets and watch their favorite artists perform on their devices. There’s no doubt that the experience wasn’t quite the same, but it was still better than nothing.
The pandemic revealed easier and more convenient ways to perform many of our tasks, including touring the world.
According to statistics, the online travel market has grown exponentially since March 2020. Virtual cooking classes, digital museum visits, live-streamed concerts, and more generated over $1 billion in sales. Websites such as Airbnb Online Experiences profited from the increased demand. Between early 2020 and early 2021, virtual bookings on Airbnb increased by 55%.
Not just the entertainment sector and cultural institutions made their services available online—another change that has occurred globally is the transition from live games to virtual gaming. Casinos have played a significant role in the tourism industry for a long time, but not anymore, after the rise of online casino platforms which can be played from anywhere. Numerous people come from near and far to visit well-known casinos. This is not absurd since, in addition to games, many gambling locations provide entertainment in the form of performances and concerts. Nowadays, many casino enthusiasts and players don’t visit real casinos to watch or participate in their favorite games.
Recently, there has been more introspection around tourism’s social and environmental effects. A 2021 survey found that 68% of travelers want more sustainable trip options. Experts expect eco-consciousness to permeate 2024 tourism.
Destinations, hotels, and airlines now tout sustainability credentials to attract conscientious travelers. Thailand recently banned single-use plastics on major tourist islands. Over 700 hospitality brands signed Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, pledging carbon neutrality goals and responsible practices. This trend promises to continue come 2024.
The city expects a major tourism boom as Paris gears up to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games from July 26 to August 11. Paris could draw more than a million international visitors thanks to the Olympics in 2024. Paris saw tourism plummet after 2015’s terrorist attacks but has since rebounded, enjoying consecutive years of record visitation pre-pandemic. 2024 may deliver its best year ever.
Alongside showcasing iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Paris unveiled a $300 million makeover of sites connected to the 2024 Olympics. The city reimagined an industrial zone into beach volleyball facilities and transformed the River Seine into a water sports arena.
Travelers will also find new parks, trails, bridges, artworks, and museums. Early hotel data shows massive demand, with July 2024 bookings up 124% year-over-year. Beyond the games, Paris’ Olympic overhaul should provide lasting visitor delights.
Since the pandemic, the demand for therapeutic wellness retreats and detoxes in international destinations has been over the roof. According to the Global Wellness Institute, health and wellness travel generated $819 billion in 2019, and 64% of travelers now want to vacation specifically for wellness. This trend is expected to continue in 2024
Destinations like Finland, known for forest therapy trends, will likely see more demand from travelers desiring solace in nature. Unique lodgings also contribute to the wellness tourism trend, making more people visit these destinations to unwind from their stressful lives. For example, Iceland’s Bubble Hotel, popularly known for transparent 43-square-foot pods amidst stunning scenery, is a popular tourist destination.
Adult summer camps focused on mental health, like Camp No Counselors, also speak to the rise of self-care vacationing. Travelers can expect more wellness options at resorts, from meditation spaces to spa treatments using local ingredients.
While pandemic aftershocks still create travel uncertainties, data, and booking trends indicate a vibrant tourism rebound by 2024. Travelers have evolving priorities as the world adjusts to new normalcies around health, safety, technology use, and climate consciousness.
Sustainable travel options will expand in response, alongside creative online experiences and more meaningful, restorative getaways. With pent-up demand for adventures, cultural delights, far-flung journeys, and more, the global travel industry appears poised for a welcomed comeback.