Travellers will favour face-to-face recommendations instead of online reviews – this is one of the top 10 predictions for the future of world travel revealed today.
Holidaymakers are also set to demand more ‘unplugged travel’ and secret escapes as the pace of modern life continues to get faster, according to the forecast by Lonely Planet in conjuction with Iata to celebrate the 100th anniversary of commercial air travel.
Top of Lonely Planet’s list of predictions is that travel will soon become fully integrated into our lives as opposed to a special event.
Data from the Air Transport Action Group forecasts that 6.6 billion passengers will fly worldwide by 2032, growing an average of 4.4% a year from 2014.
The increasing volume of commercial flights has brought a large shift in travellers’ mind-sets and Lonely Planet argues the concept of travel as a rare treat is disappearing, replaced by travel as a lifestyle choice.
Lonely Planet also predicts that green travel is on the rise as a new generation of travellers builds sustainability into every step of their journeys.
Sourcing online reviews remains second-nature for travellers, but hunger for local secrets is emboldening them to embrace face-to-face or local recommendations.
Lonely Planet experts suggest online reviews will remain part of a traveller’s toolkit, but a local recommendation – whether from a taxi driver, in-the-know café owner or Airbnb host – has never been more highly prized.
The pressures of modern life are also recognised, as Lonely Planet expects an increase in ‘unplugged travel’. With no emails or mobile signal, guests can immerse themselves in their destination and truly forget about work and everyday life.
The predictions also bode well for economy fliers, as increased competition on popular routes is encouraging airlines to improve the experience for everyone.
As true comparison shopping for air travel increases choice and competition, the future looks bright for economy flights – perhaps lie-flat seats, high quality food and more luxurious touches are not too far away.
Technology is also expected to play an increasingly significant role, with more airlines offering paperless travel and integrated smartphones key to planning and tracking your travels.
Soon technology will mean suggested tweaks to travellers’ itineraries based on weather conditions and local events will be sent directly to travellers’ smartphones or tablets during a flight – creating an ever more tailored travelling experience.
Airports are also due for an overhaul as innovative departure lounges play a key part of any future travel landscape. With airport spas, art galleries, green areas and even cinemas now a common sight at most departure lounges, Lonely Planet suggests we can expect bigger and bolder leisure activities soon – maybe even a pre-flight rollercoaster.
Other future travel predictions include the rise of experience hotels and event travel, as travellers explore the globe in search of memorial experiences and once in a lifetime sights.
Iata director general and chief executive Tony Tyler said: “One hundred years after the first passenger flew on a scheduled flight; the predictions from Lonely Planet clearly show that millions more people are set to enjoy the opportunity to travel and particularly travel by air, as the world becomes a smaller and more accessible place than ever before.
“It is amazing to see how far we have come over the past 100 years and even more so to think of what we can expect from the next century. Air travel connects us to the world and reminds us of the importance of being there, whether it is the places or the people we love.”
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