“Slow travel” will top the pile for travel trends 2020, a new report from ABTA claims. The annual list has been compiled by ABTA, leading trade association for travel agents and tour operators, based on data from their members collated throughout the year. Flexi-travel, digi-travel, eco-travel – here’s what’s to be hot and not come 2020.

Looking for destinations rather than travel trends? Read Wise Living’s guide to the top 6 travel destinations to visit in 2020, from Bhutan to Costa Rica.


Top travel trends 2020

1. Slow Travel

Slow down the pace of travel with a slow vacation and holiday
2020 could see slower-paced holidays with more time to relax and take things easy.

A reaction against the whistle-stop box-ticking employed by Instagram-obsessed hostel-hoppers, slow travel means soaking in your environment rather than rushing through it.

The phrase hakuna matata springs to mind – keep your nose out of your guidebook, let the sights come to you not the other way around, and remember that life is about the journey as much as the destination.

Longtime market leaders Responsible Travel are at the head of the pack here once again, offering new packages specifically designed to let the senses settle, and the mind wander.

2. Doubling Down on Digital

More digitally connected travel and on-the-go information is expected in 2020.
More digitally connected travel and on-the-go information is expected in 2020.

You can’t stop progress, and technology is gradually redefining the travel experience, whatever the speed.

From live chat services simplifying the booking process, to constantly updating online timetables, and digital platforms providing travel advice 24/7, travel tech is no longer just a gimmick. We await with bated breath the arrival of teleportation.

3. Electric Aviation

Top travel trends 2020 includes eco-friendly electric aviation - concept image
A top travel trend for 2020 could see the introduction of more eco-friendly air travel including electric planes.

Electric aviation is one those growth areas, which, like driverless cars and household AI, is set to arrive much sooner than you think.

Budget airline EasyJet is leading the way, targeting low noise, electric flights of more than 300 miles by 2030, while the 2019 Paris Air Show revealed a prototype for an Israeli-made nine-seater, nicknamed Alice, that could comfortably travel more than twice that.

Where there is demand, you will usually find supply, and the calls for more sustainable air travel are getting louder by the day.

4. Personalised Packages

Expect more personalised travel experiences in 2020.
Expect more personalised travel experiences in 2020.

All hail the bespoke itinerary. Flexi-travel, as it is sometimes known, aims to provide “self-guided” tours, which construct a framework for holiday-makers without subsuming them within a tour group. The client can explore a destination at their own pace and in their time, safe in the knowledge that logistics, hotels and major sites have been expertly taken care of.

Consider, for example, TUI’s ‘Escorted Tours’ programme – so well-received that summer trips are set to rise 50% for 2020.

5. Eco-Conscious Tourism

Eco tourism and eco-friendly destinations is set to be a big travel trend in 2020.
Eco tourism and eco-friendly destinations is set to be a big travel trend in 2020.

A hot-button issue for not just travel, but literally everything else too, ABTA figures suggest that 50% of consumers now say that green credentials are important or essential when choosing a holiday – a record number.

Plastics, animal rights, and, of course, the climate crisis, have placed pressure on holidays and holiday-makers to demonstrate that tourism can be a positive force in a eco-conscious world.

Expect carbon offsetting, sustainability initiatives, recyclable straws – and that this trend will grow for many years to come.

Fancy a holiday adventure that gets you closer to nature? Follow in the footsteps of sir David Attenborough and visit the wildlife locations featured in the BBC’s Seven Worlds, One Planet with our guide.



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