As the new year approaches, preparations for 2024 travel are well underway. Expedia, the leading online travel booking platform, has recently released its 2024 travel trends report. This report is the result of blending extensive first-party data with insights from a global survey of 20,000 travelers, providing an early glimpse into what will shape the travel scene in the upcoming year.
“What’s happening in culture often shapes consumer behavior, and we’ve definitely seen that in travel,” said Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands, in an interview with Travel + Leisure.
Although generative AI tools such as ChatGPT have gained importance in 2023, Gieselman reports that only a small proportion of travelers, namely only 6 percent, use these tools to organize their trips. Nevertheless, Expedia expects wider acceptance in 2024. Half of the respondents expressed an inclination to use generative AI for their upcoming travel arrangements.
Destination “Dupes” and “Set-jetting”
Expedia conducted a study on the “dupe” trend spreading on TikTok and applied it to the 2024 Destinations project.
In numerous instances, these “dupes” represent budget-friendly substitutes for traditionally pricier locations. Leading the list is Taipei, Taiwan, which experienced a remarkable 2,786 percent surge in flight searches for 2024, as Expedia identifies it as a counterpart to Seoul. Some other noteworthy “dupes” encompass Pattaya, Thailand (an alternative to Bangkok); Paros, Greece (resembling Santorini); Curacao in the Caribbean (akin to St. Martin); and Perth, Australia (comparable to Sydney).
A travel trend for 2024 that is a reliable choice and a continuation of 2023 is “set-jetting” This trend is expected to remain popular in the new year. More than 50 percent of travelers surveyed said they have considered or booked a trip to a location they encountered in a TV show or movie.
Sober Travel and More
Expedia anticipates that travelers will enthusiastically “dry tripping” once they arrive at their destination, i.e., going beyond the typical “dry January” or “sober October” to enjoy low-alcohol or alcohol-free vacations throughout the year. The travel industry has responded by providing minibars with alcohol-free products and experience in making mocktails.
According to Giselman, the dry-tripping trend is being primarily influenced by Gen Z travelers. “Sober-curious lifestyles are becoming more commonplace, and many Gen Zers are practicing alcohol-free lifestyles,” he notes.