#ConsumerCorner: Jet-setting into 2024 - what does the travel industry have in store?
After the turbulent pandemic years, many in the travel industry thought the sector would never fully recover.
However, 2023 is set to be one of the best years on record, with travellers desperate to get away again and the need for escapism during a cost of living crisis pushing people into making their time and experiences count.
Last week, travel giant TUI showed just how far the industry has come, revealing sales more than doubling and bookings on the rise.
And although higher holiday prices and air fares are expected next year, TUI said bookings for the winter season were up 11%, with average prices up 5%.
Early indicators point to a strong summer season next year, with bookings up 13% and prices 4% higher, it added.
So, with 2024 just around the corner, let’s take a look at what trends are expected to hit the travel industry in the coming year.
Gen T are ready for take off
According to recent research from ABTA, 18-24-year-olds, otherwise known as Generation T, are set to be the most prolific travellers in 2024, with almost three-quarters planning to take a trip overseas in the next 12 months.
While the cost of living crisis is set to continue into 2024, only 4% say they won’t go away at all, and will instead be creative when it comes to keeping costs down. For example, a third are planning to book cheaper accommodation and 24% will choose cheaper transport options during their travels.
A rise in 'set-jetting'
While this trend was first introduced earlier this year, set-jetting is likely to continue into 2024. For those of you who haven’t heard of the term, set-jetting is a travel phenomenon involving planning a holiday destination around the filming locations of famous TV shows or films.
HBO’s hit TV series, White Lotus, is a prime example. Following the second season, which was set in beautiful Sicily, searches for travel to the southern Italian island were up by a staggering 50%.
But what locations will holidaymakers be inspired to visit in 2024? According to Expedia, tourists will be flocking to places including Thailand (thanks again to White Lotus), Paris (Emily in Paris) and Malta (Gladiator 2).
A new trend to know about in 2024 is ‘cool-cationing’. This involves ditching sitting on a beach somewhere hot and instead opting for a refreshing break to cooler climates (not a trend I would personally like to jump on to be honest!).
The reason behind this trend is mainly down to the fact that climate change is causing major heatwaves worldwide, which for some, is too uncomfortable.
In fact, according to Booking.com, nearly a half of Brits stated that climate change will impact their travel plans for 2024, while more than two out of five saying they will use their holidays as a chance to escape to cooler destinations as temperatures rise close to home.
Imagine going on holiday, but not having a clue where you’re travelling to. Well, in 2024, travellers are looking for a bit of mystery, with over a half of wanting to book trips where the destination remains completely unknown until they arrive, according to Booking.com.
Looking to get away from the monotony of everyday life, 67% opt to venture off the beaten path, with over a half wanting to travel alongside complete strangers. Planning is not a top priority for travellers in 2024, with 66% preferring to have no set plans and 76% set to embrace loose itineraries.
Despite the financial pressures as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, it looks like the travel industry is set for an exciting, positive year ahead. In fact, according to a recent survey from American Express, 13.6m UK holidaymakers have already booked elements of their travel plans for 2024. So, what are your travel plans for next year?