It’s not just fashion that moves with the times. Travel trends change too. Destinations fall in and out of favour as does how far we travel, how we get there, and how long we stay for. Here is a round-up of just a few of the trends forecasted by industry insiders, set to define the top travel trends for 2014.
The lure of luxury
It seems many of us long for that Robinson Crusoe feeling of being castaway on a beautiful island, complete with pristine white sand, just as long as there’s a plane waiting to take us home at the end of our stay and there’s a luxury resort there to take care of our every whim. In their 2014 travel trends report, tour operator Kuoni says the Maldives continues to be its most popular long-haul destination for the ninth year in a row, predicting that Kandolhu Island, which has just 30 villas, will be popular with honeymooners when it opens later this year.
Dining with locals
Pop-up dining in hosts own homes has long been a popular underground trend. But, it’s set to go more mainstream this year, according to trend forecasters at the Travel & Leisure website. New sites, such as the private dinner-party finder EatWith, will allow users to connect to destinations on a much more local level than ever before. It means you can enjoy a more authentic eating experience while travelling. Dinner deals currently advertised, for example, include eating shrimp-stuffed pumpkin in Rio de Janeiro and feasting on slow-cooked lamb with beetroot in Moscow.
Helping local economies
There’s something deeply satisfying about knowing your tourist dollars are being ploughed directly into the economy of the place you are visiting. That could be through staying in a B&B in one of Cape Town’s townships, rather than opting for a big international hotel chain, or visiting craftspeople in their studios. And, it appears young people are more likely to provide a financial benefit for the destinations they visit. According to David Chapman, director general of the World, Youth, Student and Education Travel Confederation: “Older people tend to stay in internationally-owned hotels so the profits are exported. However, young people stay in locally-owned accommodation, so their money tends to stay in the destination.”
According to VisitEngland, food is becoming an increasingly important part of our travels. A survey by the English tourism organisation found 13 million day visits last year involved a trip to a food festival or farmers’ market, with 26.2 million people saying they want to go to a food festival on their next holiday. You could pick up goodies at North Devon’s Foodfest event, an annual celebration of the finest local produce the area has to offer, before packing a picnic basket and heading to the golden sweep of sand at Croyde Bay.
All roads lead to Rio
Naturally, with the World Cup this year and the build up to the Olympics in 2016, the eyes of the world are firmly turned to Rio. Glamorous and grimy in equal measure, the city is one of the most exhilarating places to visit on the planet. You could pack your tiniest bikini and head to the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema or take the narrow gauge railway up to the Corcovado where the famous Cristo Redentor statue gazes out over Rio.
But, while travel companies, organisations and leading lights in the industry may have their own predictions about our travel habits in 2014, really it’s up to you to make up your very own travel trend.
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