Travel Leaders Discuss the Trends to Shape the Travel Industry in 2024
Travel leaders have shared the top three tour, activity, and experience trends they expect will shape the travel industry in 2024 prior to the Arival 360 Conference, which is set to be held in Orlando on October 9-12.
More than 1,000 representatives from companies across the travel and tourism industry will attend the 2023 Arival 360 Conference next week. Some of the hot topics that will be discussed during the event include artificial intelligence and its implications for the experiences industry, digital distribution, pricing, passion travel, partnerships, and how inclusion & diversity will continue to drive fundamental shifts in the way people experience travel and the responses they expect.
Douglas Quinby, CEO and Co-founder at Arival, said, “We’ve seen an explosion in excitement and tangible applications for artificial intelligence in 2023. At Arival we’re going to dig into the tangible applications and opportunities for businesses across travel experiences to drive new efficiencies and enhance the guest experience. If we channel it the right way, operators will only get better at delivering that personal, human touch that makes the experiences sector so special within travel.”
Adding to the potential of AI to redefine the guest experience in 2024, Greg DeShields, Executive Director at Tourism Diversity Matters, said, “Customer expectations for more authenticity will remain high, while artificial intelligence and automation advancements will continue redefining the guest experience, providing greater awareness and more choices. AI and automation will impact various segments, adapt, and offer more “customer-friendly” AI-driven solutions. AI algorithms and data analytics will provide travellers with more personalized and efficient experiences.”
Quinby has noted the increasing demand for immersive experiences with authentic human connection and said, “This trend, which has dominated 2023, will continue to evolve in 2024, with the desire for unique, once-in-a-lifetime and themed trips becoming even more prominent. As a result, there is likely to be a huge range of new options available to travellers. Travel providers will need to consider how to take their offerings a step further in 2024 than they did in 2023; focusing on differentiation and user experience at the booking stage will be key to captivating travellers and turning lookers into bookers.”
Rebecca Fisher, Co-Founder of Beyond the Bell Tours, agrees with Quinby and says, “People are going to be more and more driven to pursue experiential travel experiences [in 2024]. Travellers are seeking authentic connection and deeper engagement. I believe we will see these trends grow globally as well as domestically [within the US].”
Acknowledging the shift from destination-based travel to passion-based travel, Quinby says, “Where will matter less than why in 2024, the typical traveller’s bucket list used to consist of places to go, countries to check off, and passport stamps to collect? But in 2024, it’ll be more about the who, what, and why than the where and when.”
Dan Christian, the host of the Travel Trends podcast and founder of the Acceleration Team, also shared his opinion on the matter and said, “We are seeing a shift from destination-based travel to passion-based travel. But travel discovery is still stuck in the past; the only options today are where and when, and we need to move to who you are and what you’re interested in. Websites and other travel platforms, for example, are still focused on destinations. But people are choosing travel experiences based on their passions over destinations. Building marketing funnels around time and place is no longer the most effective approach; it’s up to all of us to make this shift to attract and retain consumers today.”
In conclusion, according to some travel industry leaders, the top three trends for 2024 that are expected to dominate discussions at the event are, the role of artificial intelligence in paving the way to genuine personalization; the growing demand for immersive experiences with authentic human connection; and a shift from destination-based travel to passion-based travel.