1. The Appren-trip
Representing a new type of currency and means of personal fulfilment, 2019 will see a focus on travelers making choices with extra significance as they look to add more purpose to their trips. Over half (56%) of global travelers agree traveling has taught them invaluable life skills, and 2019 will see a rise in people’s desire to learn something new whilst away, as well as an increase in volunteering and skills-based vacations across generations. In particular, Generation Z will increasingly scrutinize the value of expensive college degrees over and against the life skills and practical learning that can be gained from travel, especially as experiences beyond the classroom and office cubicle continue to make for attractive potential employees in many companies’ eyes. When looking at the most popular kinds of trips with purpose, 68% of global travelers would consider participating in cultural exchanges to learn a new skill, followed by a volunteering trip (54%) and international work placements (52%).
2. Easy does it
In 2019, "ease" will be the gold standard by which tech travel innovations will be judged. In past years, travelers have heard a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and speech recognition; in the coming year, the winning innovations will be those that can seamlessly offer these technologies as a practical solution to travelers. Think keyless room-access with your phone, personalized travel tips or a robotic concierge who can communicate with guests in their mother tongue. The innovations that will have us truly excited won’t be the most futuristic or exotic, with travelers more enthusiastic about real-time luggage tracking through a mobile app (57%) and having a single app for all their planning, booking and travel needs (57%) than the prospect of using self-driving transportation in their destination (40%). The extremely complex will power the seemingly simple for whole new levels of travel confidence and flexibility. 2019 will also see more tech developed for use pre-trip at research stage. Almost a third (31%) of global travelers like the idea of a 'virtual travel agent' in their home, using voice-activated assistants to answer travel queries, and one in five want to see technology such as augmented reality helping to familiarize themselves with a destination before they arrive.
3. Watch this space – uncharted territories