Each January, as a whole new world of travel opportunities opens up for those with savings and an exploratory inclination, the global travel and tourism industry has its work cut out for it preparing to cater to these whims, desires and burgeoning trends. Here’s what’s hot and happening in the travel industry for 2024.
Settle abroad for longer
Home swapping, say the experts at Condé Nast Traveller, is becoming an increasingly popular activity among those who prefer to remain away from home for several weeks, months, or more – once they’ve forked out for their international flights. In such a case, swapping your abode back at home with a similarly minded individual from your chosen destination can prove significantly more cost-effective than booking any other kind of accommodation. Astute travel industry members are coining it via initiatives such as HomeExchange.com, LoveHomeSwap.com, HomeLink.org and others, where virtual nomads and those pursuing remote forms of work pay a membership fee and benefit from a global community of people all offering up their bachelor pads, townhouses, or more stately residences for a cabin or flat situated elsewhere in the world.
Save the planet as you go
Following the decisive conclusion to last year’s COP28 to move away from fossil fuel usage as steadily and rapidly as is humanly possible, governments, business leaders and civil society the world over are on a massive drive to help transition industries in line with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In the travel niche, airlines are pulling out all the stops to reduce the C02 emissions of their aircraft, and consumers in turn are choosing to pursue the most eco-friendly life experiences that they can on landing. Lonely Planet, among other clued-up tourism organisations, makes the work of someone newly in a travel job that much easier as a result of the sustainable global experiences it bookmarks among its online travel stories. Make your selection from a list that supports vulnerable communities and preserves the natural environment at all costs, such as:
• support hiking and horseback safaris in Kenya;
• grasp the art of sustainable living in Costa Rica;
• watch whales on a conservation-inspired boat tour in New Zealand or South Africa;
• go eco-diving from a sustainable scuba centre in the Caribbean;
• visit historic temples and yak meadows in peaceful Bhutan.
Health and Fitness Focussed
According to FutureFit.Co.Uk, the global fitness industry was worth a whopping US$96.7 billion (R1.8 trillion) in 2022, and should grow to be worth US$131.9 (R2.5 trillion) by 2028. It’s no surprise, then, that health- and fitness-savvy travellers aspire to incorporate health- and fitness-related activities into their travel plans. In South Africa, Pentravel is a well-known sports travel packages agency, facilitating the booking of any manner of playing and/or watching experiences. Examples include a Mauritian golf challenge, the German Moto GP in Chemnitz, Germany, or a package that allows you to both run the London Marathon and explore its many sights – if you can still walk comfortably thereafter.
Other travel agencies with a similar agenda are busily putting together packages for the year ahead that include a combination of watching and taking part in sports or other fitness activities – such as the 2024 Olympics in Paris, where the Seine is currently being deep cleaned for public swimming; and the Tour de France, where new cycling routes are being opened up for keen enthusiasts who never leave home without their road or mountain bike. Or how about following one of a range of pro bodybuilding competitions to be held this year in the likes of California, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, Kazakhstan and Russia? We know you’ll hit the gym daily, and eat clean and lean throughout your trip!
Best of all, these are just a few of the many travel experiences on offer from those based in travel jobs this 2024.