It’s the year of curious travellers!

It’s the year of curious travellers!

From gourmet walking tours to multigenerational trips, the millennial traveller is spoilt for choice when it comes to options for exploring the length and breadth of the world


For the Gen X traveller, exploring new places, trying out new cuisines and interacting with people from diverse cultural backgrounds has become a way of life. The year 2019 holds many promises for such globetrotters who want to go on a journey of exploration.  

This passionate generation of travellers is more likely to make their travel decisions based on the travel posts of their peers on social media because social media is a more authentic source of information.

At the same time, it is important for them to capture their best travel stories through photos and videos and inspire their circle of friends and colleagues to take up travel. Wi-fi enabled places and hotels are a bliss for such travellers as it enables them to post live travel updates.

Far and beyond

What drives travellers to pursue their travel dream is curiosity. A rising number of them are keen on exploring what’s beyond the most remote locations in the world. Based on the travel searches made by holidaymakers in 2018, there is an evident trend of rising interest in places beyond city centres and conventional tourist spots. Unravelling hidden secrets and visiting untouched lands is a challenge taken up by many. Following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, a new tribe of travellers are making their way to Galapagos archipelago to experience the endemic species and inhabited islands. Similarly, cruising through Norwegian Fjords to reach the remote shores of Svalbard are experiences catching the eye of avid travellers who wish to reach earth’s edges in 2019. 

Walking tours

Each place, if observed carefully, tells you multiple stories about its history, culture, biodiversity, geography, food, architecture and people. Many travellers consider exploring destinations on foot as the best way to delve into several intricate aspects of the place, which one might miss otherwise. This is why many passionate travellers are relying more on guided walking tours to enjoy the experience. Though city walks are the most common form of walking tours, they are gradually moving to food walks, cultural trails and photography stroll among others according to the specific interest of the travellers. While heritage walk in South Mumbai is common, one can get introduced to unusual sea creatures in Mumbai during a guided Marine walk near Haji Ali.

Similarly, gourmet walking tours in France offer an amazing experience to foodies with food and wine pairing, cooking classes, gourmet restaurants and even a bit of local culture like cheese and truffles. Travelling on foot also offers the opportunity to spend sufficient time at any given place, explore the local culture and reach inaccessible spots. Walking tours at Machu Picchu is a great window to explore the colossal mountains, lush vegetation and ecological wonders while the forest trails of Japan are equally resplendent. Such holidays will form an integral part of every traveller’s itinerary in the coming year.

Multigenerational travel

The joy of travelling with the family is unmatched. The new trend of multigenerational travel seems to have caught the fancy of nuclear families who lead hectic lives and find it difficult to meet their family members on a regular basis. For them, travelling with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins has become a great way to spend some quality time. In addition, family members of different generations are travelling together to celebrate several occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Given the rise in multigenerational travel, there is a sharp increase in demand for family groups and customised packages. Cruising is also one of the top five leisure options for multigenerational family groups as it is more relaxed and is not much activity-based, especially when there are older family members travelling along.

Luxury travel

Luxury travel is growing faster than it did in the past five years. Over the next decade, the growth rate for luxury travel is projected to be at 6.2%. There are several factors influencing the decision to opt for luxury travel. The year 2019 will see more people experiencing luxurious camps, villas, embark on exquisite journeys, traverse in luxury trains and embark on luxury cruises. While the developing nations are at the forefront of the growth acceleration, an increase in disposable incomes in these countries is favourable to luxury travel. Although currency fluctuations in different nations slightly affected the segment, it has made developed nations seek luxury travel at further discounted prices, fuelling the growth. 

Dark tourism

Curious travellers always want to explore every nook and cranny filled with unforeseen surprises and great adventures. Some people find it thrilling and entertaining to visit mysterious places like Kuldhara village in Rajasthan which is believed to be haunted. While others may visit tragic sites such as the Cambodian Killing Fields Memorial or the Berlin Wall in Germany, some also visit the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero when in New York. Though for most of the travellers visiting the sites of death and disaster is only a part of a wider range of things to do, a large number of travellers in some way are getting attracted to such sites because they wish to review these chapters in history and remind themselves of these incidents. 

Getting over overtourism

Factors influencing a traveller’s choice of destination is fast changing. The year 2019 is set to make holidaymakers more discerning and conscious. Although there is a trend of travellers being more sensitive towards geopolitical and other related issues, of late these factors have started influencing the travellers’ decision. 

It is non-desirable to get stuck in long queues or crowded streets on a leisure trip. While Italy is using phone apps to deal with overcrowding by giving real-time updates, Dubrovnik is experimenting with dispersing cruise timings through the week. While such measures are being undertaken at all major tourist hubs, travellers are modifying their plans to help curb overtourism at an individual level. In 2019, more travellers will be taking trips during the off-season to ensure a visit to their favourite place while not adding to overtourism. New destinations near the saturated ones stand to benefit. 

Responsible travel

There is no running away from much of the devastation that has rocked our oceans, beaches, forests and Islands. Most being tourist places, the onus of the situation must be borne by the travellers as well as operators. Pollution of different forms has started hitting the business as well as non-economic aspects of societies including indigenous tribes, local ecology, ecosystems etc. However, the good part is that there are organisations and operators that have great regard for sustainability.

They will take centrestage in 2019. Travellers, including majorly the millennials, consider themselves equally responsible for the disaster and duty-bound to reverse it.

The year 2019 will see a spurt in the number of responsible travellers demanding sensitive travel packages as well as sustainable operators to ensure a guilt-free tour. Plastic-free travel, voluntourism, sustainable and green tours are predicted to be extensively used terms in the travel space.