Bleisure, staycations and digital nomadism. Welcome to the part of the year when emerging travel trends begin to sound like Gen -Z slang. This year is no different. The next 365 days of travel will be dominated by astro tourism, surprise travel, location doppelgangers and more. Here is a glimpse at the trends to keep your eye on this year:
Chasing the stars:
Also known as ‘star bathing,’ Astro tourism is what happens when fans of the cosmos travel to find the best views of the great balls of fire above us. While the Northern Lights are considered a must-see for any would-be stargasers, South Africa is also brimming with celestial sightseeing opportunities. After all, it is the home of the largest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. All you need is to escape the city and find the right hotel.
Leigh Myles, Africa’s Senior Business Development Manager for the award-winning booking platform Profitroom says, “Our country is blessed with astro tourism opportunities. One of the best ways to make the most out of your adventure is by booking directly with the hotel you want to stay at. You will be able to get the best prices and, more importantly, they will put you in the best position to see Orion’s belt.”
Transforming travel into a surprise adventure:
The spirit of adventure is not a shooter! Instead of meticulously planning every detail of your trip, surprise your loved ones with an exciting and mysterious holiday. More and more travellers are choosing to take this leap into the unknown. While this type of travel may present some challenges for people with a Green Mamba, AKA a South African passport, it still opens up many countries to explore.
You can enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to various destinations, such as Ireland, Mauritius, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mozambique, Ghana, South Korea, the Philippines, and more.
For an even more exciting adventure, consider encouraging a friend or partner to book with you, and revel in the joy of not knowing what’s coming next.
Have you ever wanted to go to Santorini, Greece? The Island of Paros offers a similar experience without the crowds and high prices. What about Lisbon? The Italian city of Palermo is a beautiful alternative. These are both examples of ‘destination dupes’, a phrase coined on TikTok that is making waves in travel circles. It’s like finding out your best friend has a twin whose just as fun to hang out with but has more affordable taste.
Destination dupes are fast becoming a top travel trend for 2024, as holidaymakers head off similar, often more affordable, destinations than the traditional hotspots. They also give people the opportunity to have more unique experiences.
You are wanted on set!
Do you remember Kings Landing from Game of Thrones? Or the café where Emily meets Thomas in Emily in Paris? Increasingly, globe trotters with a taste for TV are taking to the skies to visit locations from their favourite shows in a trend called ‘set-jetting.’
Myles says, “It’s always a surreal experience to walk the same streets as characters from your favourite shows. Imagine walking down the same street Cersei, from Game of Thrones did? Well, those places really exist and people are having a blast visiting them.”
Time to follow the beat:
In the past year, global superstars like Backstreet Boys, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Bryan Adams have all had massive international tours that grossed upward of around R10 billion ($500 million). Now more than ever, people are willing to dig deep into their pockets to see their favourite artists live in concert or experience a festival that they had always dreamed of attending.
Travellers have rediscovered a desire to connect and there are few better places to find a connection than at a concert with thousands of fellow fans. The wonderful thing about these experiences is that hotels will often be able to help tourists plan artist-themed activities when you contact and book through them directly.
No matter if you’re a jet-setting diva or a couch potato enthusiast, 2024 is shaping up to be the year of connection. And let’s be real, nothing connects you to the world more than a trip – unless, of course, you’re talking about accidentally super gluing your hand to a globe.