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The tourism arena is constantly changing. Ongoing changes in consumer behavior and preferences as well as source markets and technology are re-shaping the travel and tourism industry on a daily basis. However, research and analysis of these changes points to five key travel and tourism trends that will become increasingly evident in 2019.

01. In-depth experiences - When visiting a new destination is less exciting than it used to be, now is the time for in-depth experiences. These tourism experiences include travel with a purpose (social tourism, pro-poor tourism, spiritual tourism and tourism aimed at personal growth), adventure tourism (hiking tourism, 4x4 trips, and expeditions off the beaten track), or special-interest tourism (culinary trips, sports tourism and travel to special events such as music festivals).

02. Localhood - As our world becomes hot, flat and crowded, we are becoming more interested in authenticity and local experiences. The well-traveled tourist is now searching for a unique, personal and local experience, staying in a local apartment, visiting off-the-guidebook eateries, shopping in authentic markets and trying to live like a local for a few days.

03. Location-based apps - Digital travel is all around us, and it is hard to imagine our travels without a smartphone and the Internet. As the use of travel apps increases and the cost of data roaming drops, the focus is shifting to smart tools that allow for a spontaneous and seamless experience of the destination (which is of critical importance for millennials and Generation Z). This includes location-based apps that enable immediate access to experiences, attractions, hidden gems, restaurants and other tourism services, making the destination more accessible than ever before.

04. Tourism 365 - The lowering costs of air travel and accommodation (mainly thanks to AirBnB and other sharing economy platforms), enables today’s tourist to have more trips during the year. This leads to the trends of micro trips and urban getaways, and visiting destinations during the off-season, allowing us to keep away from over-tourism and to experience top destinations without crowds of visitors.

05. Booming Asia - In 2019, over 200 million tourists from China will travel the world, far more than any other nation. Although outbound tourism from China is growing at a slow pace, compared to other source markets such as India, in absolute number it means some additional 40 million tourist every year. On the supply side, since 2005 Asia outperforms all world regions in growth in international arrivals, and destinations such as Vietnam, Japan, Korea and Thailand have recorded several years of double-digit growth. As this boom continues, we will see more global tourism companies turning to the East, investing in marketing, product/ business development and brick-and- mortar establishments.

Want to learn more on travel and tourism trends and their practical implications? Eran Ketter (PhD) conducts keynote presentations, providing a focused and inspiring view on global tourism trends.


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