Travel Trends Soon to Fill Your Instagram Feed

Posted June 11, 2024 in Travel by Eileen Lopez

From sports tourism to a brand-new river-cruise route and the rise of Indigenous-led experiences, these are the latest travel trends to know.

The Big Picture

Carbon-neutral is the new gold standard.
More than 50 hotels, tour operators, and cruise lines in Virtuoso’s network are racing to reduce their carbon footprint. Expect to start seeing more cruise ships plugging in at port, hotels sporting solar panels, and tour operators offsetting emissions.

Privacy is hot.
At the height of the pandemic, travelers turned to villa rentals and yacht sailings for vacations with built-in social distancing – and found more to love than just the isolation.

Sports-centered travel is on the rise.
Travelers are looking forward to sporting events in appealing locations, like the 2024 and 2026 Olympics, and are seeking novel experiences, like glitzy celebrity-chef-prepared dinners around F1 races or participatory travel companies looking beyond golf vacations to unique experiences like cycling a stage of the Tour de France.

Indigenous tourism takes center stage.
First Nations business owners and guides are partnering with tourism boards and travel advisors to direct visitors to diverse cultural experiences, like in Canada, where visitors can tour national parks and cultural sites with added perspective from Native artists, naturalists, and spiritual guides, or in Australia, where there are more than 160 tours focused on Aboriginal culture.

Cruising enters a new era.
Cruising is not only an accessible way to travel for those with mobility issues but also for those with cognitive and sensory limitations as well. Cruisers in general are both skewing younger and traveling solo, and these sustainability-conscious travelers are partially responsible for driving the industry toward more eco-friendly operations

Set-jetting is all the rage.
As-seen-on-TV and movie locations continue to be a big draw for travelers. For instance, the White Lotus Sicily, Four Seasons’ San Domenico Palace in Taormina took home Virtuoso’s coveted Hotel of the Year, and tour operator Family Twist launched an Emily in Paris tour aimed at teen fans of the Darren Star show.

Destinations to Watch

The Nordics
“We’ve started to see a large increase in summer demand for destinations such as Norway and Copenhagen,” notes Virtuoso advisor Rebecca Masri. “With Europe getting so hot, people are looking for cooler places to visit, which is a big opportunity for the Nordic countries.”

The Red Sea
A 124-mile stretch of Red Sea coastline in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia opened to visitors for the first time, offering a carbon-neutral way to explore the Al-Wajh lagoon’s reef system and some of the Red Sea archipelago’s islands. Their sustainability initiatives include limits on annual visitors, reliance on solar- and battery-powered energy sources, and a goal to establish a protected marine zone around the reef.

The Azores
People are talking about the Azores, remote Portuguese islands just four hours by air from the U.S. East Coast. The lush and temperate islands, still relatively untrammeled, draw outdoorsy travelers with volcanic hot springs, dramatic waterfalls, surfing, diving, and whale-watching. Octant Hotels’ Ponta Delgada on São Miguel Island provides a sophisticated perch for Azorean adventures.

Los Cabos
The popular Baja California destination is welcoming a spate of new hotels in the near future and drawing travelers to Cabo Pulmo, a coastal area where a once-threatened reef is experiencing a real restoration, thanks to the efforts of local regulations that strictly limit the number of divers and snorkelers per month.

Riviera Nayarit
Riviera Nayarit is making a name for itself as one of Mexico’s most prestigious stretches of coastline. After resorts from Four Season, St. Regis and more first attracted upscale travelers, One&Only staked its beachfront claim on the coast. Next, expect sister properties from Montage and Pendry on the last undeveloped plots in Punta Mita and a Belmond resort in Sayulita.

The country’s wilder side is beckoning nature lovers with a string of boutique eco-lodges popping up as an alternative to rustic farm stays. The big news: AmaWaterways’ debut on the Magdalena River. The river-cruising line will launch seven-night sailings between Cartagena and Barranquilla – an industry first – with excursions focused on music and culture, history, and the region’s impressive biodiversity.

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