New for 2024 and travel trends for next year - from Audley Travel - TravelMole


New for 2024 and travel trends for next year – from Audley Travel

Monday, Nov 06, 2023 0

 

Country specialists from tailor-made tour operator Audley Travel have shared their insights into what clients are booking for 2024 and why, as well as their thoughts on other travel trends for the coming year.

 

Destination switching

 

With availability tight for many popular destinations, Audley’s specialists report clients are opting for alternatives to enjoy popular or iconic sights and experiences away from the crowds. South Korea is a popular switch for clients wanting to see Japan’s cherry blossom, and Nicaragua is an excellent alternative for a client keen to visit the rainforest instead of Costa Rica. The same trend is seen within destinations, with clients choosing to visit lesser-known parts of countries like South Africa – for example, flying into Durban and exploring KwaZulu-Natal’s game reserves and the Drakensberg Mountains, learning about the history of the battlefields, and then relaxing at a remote beach lodge on the coast.

 

Off season travel

 

Clients travelling in 2024 are increasingly booking popular and well-established destinations and experiences in the off-season to take advantage of lower prices and better availability. An example is Canada and the lodges typically visited for the salmon run. Visiting earlier in the year makes the clients’ travel budget go further whilst still having a fantastic experience – this is particularly true for properties including Klahoose and Knight Inlet where clients visiting in May or June are rewarded with fantastic spring bear watching opportunities as they come to feed on the water in the grasslands.

 

A move back to curious travel

 

As borders reopened, ticking things off bucket lists was a key motivator for travel (cited by 72 per cent of Audley’s country specialists for 2023 travel, but only 36 per cent for 2024 travel). Clients who have taken their much longed for bucket list trips are now moving back to more curious travel exploring off-the-beaten-track for future adventures.

 

Audley’s country specialists report an increasing interest in cultural experiences, for example around the Maasai in East Africa as well as an interest in more remote and authentic safari destinations e.g. Ruaha National Park. They also have seen more requests for ‘authentic’ hotels that reflect the culture of the country, across the destinations.

 

Luxury bookings continue to grow

 

Despite the rising cost of living, Audley reports continued growth in demand for luxury properties and experiences. Luxury lodges in Australia and New Zealand are selling faster than they did pre-2020 and there is a lot of demand for small ship expedition style cruising. Audley’s country specialists for Latin America report that people are looking for more comfort and upgrading their flights.

 

Further demand for more experiential and customised travel

 

Clients are asking for more ‘unique’ experiences when they travel. Audley’s North America specialists are responding with suggestions of experiences such as guided kayak and camping trips to see whales and wolves, or exploring lesser travelled regions such as Saskatchewan and the Yukon.

 

This trend is also being recognised by Audley’s partners in destinations. Whilst arranging tailormade trips has always been at the heart of Audley’s operations, the country specialists report that an increasing number of partners are customising the excursions and experiences that they offer for individual clients, moving away from set tours and adapting their plans to the needs and wants of the customer – a move that is a perfect fit for Audley’s custom travel offering.

 

Sustainability

 

Travelling responsibly remains important. Research conducted recently found that 57 per cent1 say that having sustainable travel options (e.g. lower carbon flights) is important to them.

 

Motivations for travel

 

A long-awaited bucket list trip remains the top motivator for 2024 travel (albeit at lower levels than in for 2023 travel) – cited by Audley’s specialists as the reason for 36 per cent of trips2. To celebrate a personal milestone (birthday, anniversary, retirement, graduation etc) is the reason for 24 per cent of trips, and to spend time with the family is 14 per cent.

 

Where Audley’s clients are booking 3

 

Top destinations for 2024 travel are India, Canada, Japan, the USA and Costa Rica (with Costa Rica replacing South Africa in the top five when compared to 2023 bookings). The average duration for 2024 bookings is 18.5 days, up six per cent from 17.4 days in 2023.



Learn more about Audley Travel


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