There's a lot of change in the world of travel in 2024, and tour operators need to keep up.

We're examining the trends that are reshaping the way people travel in 2024, so if you're a tour operator, you'll be the first to find out what's new, hot, and changing.

We've got the lowdown on growing trends and what travelers want, whether that's spontaneous, plan-free trips or eco-friendly adventures. So, if you want to keep your business fresh and exciting, here's what you need to know about tourism trends 2024.

The Rise of Astro Tourism

Astro Tourism attracts travelers looking for unique experiences. With international tourism at 90% of pre-pandemic levels (UNWTO), this niche offers new opportunities for operators to have guests create memorable experiences.


  • Organize Night Tours: Offer guided stargazing tours, especially during astronomical events.
  • Collaborate with Astronomers: Partner with local astronomers or observatories for educational experiences.

Eco-Diving and Sustainable Practices

More and more travelers are seeking sustainable experiences.

Eco-diving is on the rise, with 95% of divers preferring sustainable operators (Reef-World Foundation, 2022). This aligns with the 72% of travelers who believe in sustainable travel choices ( Operators can tap into this trend by promoting eco-friendly practices.


  • Promote Conservation: Include educational sessions on marine conservation in dive tours.
  • Achieve Sustainability Certifications: Pursue eco-certifications to attract environmentally conscious divers.

Home Swapping and Long-Term Travel

Home swapping appeals to long-term travelers, a segment that is growing as travel normalizes post-pandemic. Tour operators can cater to this trend by offering experiences that align with these travelers' lifestyles.


  • Offer Customizable Packages: Create flexible tour packages for long-term travelers.
  • Partner with Local Communities: Work with local accommodations for authentic home-swapping experiences.

Culinary Evolution: Train Stations as Food Hubs

There's nothing like a scenic rail tour with delicious local cuisine.

Train stations and cities are emerging as culinary destinations, creating opportunities for food tours. This trend coincides with 74% of Americans who prioritize experiences over products (Eventbrite), highlighting the potential for experiential culinary tours.


  • Develop Food Tours: Create culinary experiences and tours around food hotspots near train stations.  
  • Focus on Local Cuisine: Highlight local food artisans and regional specialties in your tours.

Sports Tourism: Catering to a Diverse Audience

Sports tourism is expanding, with 2024 every country hosting major sports events. This trend is a chance for operators to create sports-themed tours, tapping into a market of enthusiasts and casual spectators alike.


  • Create Event-based Tours: Develop tours around major sports events.
  • Offer Variety: Include both spectating and participatory sports activities in your packages.

Coolcationing: The New Summer Trend

Cooler destinations are gaining more traction for travelers living in warmer zones.

Coolcationing is gaining traction, with 82% of Virtuoso clients considering moderate weather destinations in 2024. This trend offers new avenues for tours in cooler climates and less-traveled destinations.


  • Explore Offbeat Destinations: Design tours to cooler, lesser-known locations.
  • Market Seasonal Exclusivity: Promote unique activities available only in cooler climates.

Gig Tripping: Music and Travel Fusion

Gig Tripping blends music and travel, appealing to a wide range of music enthusiasts. Tour operators can collaborate with music festivals to create unique travel packages.


  • Package Deals with Music Events: Collaborate with music festivals on combined tours and event packages.
  • Include Local Music Scenes: Showcase local music scenes and underground venues in your tours.

Health and Wellness: Biohacking at Resorts

Health-conscious travelers will love wellness experiences in 2024.

The focus on health and wellness in tourism is growing in recent years, aligning with biohacking trends. Incorporating wellness activities into tours can attract health-conscious travelers.


  • Incorporate Wellness Activities: Offer tours with yoga, meditation, and wellness workshops.
  • Partner with Wellness Experts: Collaborate with biohacking and wellness professionals for specialized tours.

Shoulder Season Travel: Maximizing Off-Peak Opportunities

Shoulder season travel is becoming more popular, with Original Travel reporting 14% more bookings for September 2023 than August 2023, and Small Luxury Hotels of the World seeing a 33% and 58% increase in bookings for March-May and September-November respectively past year. Operators can leverage this trend to attract travelers during off-peak times.


  • Promote Off-Peak Benefits: Highlight the advantages of traveling during the shoulder season.
  • Create Exclusive Offers: Develop unique experiences or discounts available only off-peak.

Private Group Travel: Tailoring for Intimate Experiences

A little more intimacy away from the hustle and bustle.

The demand for private group travel is growing, offering companies the opportunity to tailor experiences to smaller, more intimate groups of travelers.


  • Customize for Small Groups: Offer personalized tours tailored to the interests of private groups.
  • Focus on Unique Experiences: Create unique, intimate experiences that cater to small groups.

AI and Technology: Enhancing the Customer Experience

With 40% of US adults interested in AI-powered virtual travel agents and 44% of travelers using AI for travel planning, incorporating AI and technology is crucial. This aligns with 80% of travelers who consider online booking a top deciding factor.


  • Implement AI-Based Solutions: Use AI for personalized travel recommendations and customer service.
  • Upgrade Online Booking Systems: Ensure a seamless and efficient online booking experience.

Skip-Gen Travel: Bridging Generational Gaps

Offer getaways for all generations.

Skip-Gen travel is a unique trend, catering to both grandparents and grandchildren. Designing tours for this demographic can create unique multi-generational experiences.


  • Develop Age-Inclusive Tours: Create tours that offer activities enjoyable for both grandparents and grandchildren.
  • Focus on Educational Elements: Include educational and cultural aspects that appeal to all ages.

The Luxury of Experience: Gen Z and Millennials' Preferences

Gen Z and Millennials value experiences over material goods. Immersive experiences can attract younger generations.


  • Create Authentic Experiences: Focus on immersive and authentic local experiences.
  • Leverage Social Media: Use platforms like Instagram and TikTok to showcase the unique aspects of your tours.

TikTok and Social Media: The New Travel Advisors

TikTok reels and videos are the new word-of-mouth marketing.

Utilizing platforms like TikTok and Instagram is essential for tour promotion, especially with the US travel industry's ad spending reaching $6.79 billion in 2023.


  • Engage on Social Media: Actively use social media for marketing and engaging with potential customers.
  • Create Shareable Content: Encourage travelers to share their experiences on social media.

Digital Transformation: Streamlining Booking and Operations

Digital transformation is highlighted by significant ad spend and online booking preference. Implementing efficient online systems is the key to staying competitive.  


  • Adopt Digital Tools: Utilize digital tools for efficient operations and enhanced customer experiences.
  • Focus on Mobile Accessibility: Ensure your website and booking systems are mobile-friendly.


So, there you have it – a sneak peek into what's going to be big in travel in our Tourism Trends 2024 report. For all you tour operators out there, this is your heads-up to start mixing these cool trends into your tours. Think eco-friendly trips, tech-savvy experiences, and lots of surprises along the way.

It's time to roll up your sleeves and spice up your travel plans. And hey, if you need a bit more help or some insider tips, don't hesitate to chat with travel experts and pros. They've got tons of ideas to make sure your travel business is not just keeping up, but really shining.

Let's make 2024 a year of unforgettable journeys and happy travelers. Ready to dive in? Let’s make travel awesome together!

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the travel industry forecast for 2024?

For 2024, the travel industry is witnessing a substantial resurgence in original travel. Trends report a growing interest in sustainable tourism and wellness retreats, reflecting a heightened focus from travelers on health and eco-consciousness. This shift is largely influenced by the experiences of the past few years, with travel agencies and tour operators adapting to offer more tailor-made travel options that cater to the evolving preferences of consumers, including Gen Z travelers and baby boomers.

What is trending in 2024?

In the year ahead, major trends like Astro tourism, sustainable travel, and wellness tourism are shaping the travel industry. The Global Wellness Institute highlights a significant rise in wellness-focused travel planning. Additionally, there's an increasing demand for hyper-local experiences, including culinary adventures that spotlight local cuisine, and immersive destination experiences that create lasting memories.

What are the hospitality trends for 2024?

Hospitality in 2024 is evolving towards offering more personalized experiences with a focus on sustainability. The industry is integrating technology to enhance guest experiences, with a special emphasis on local culture and cuisine. Business travel and leisure travel trends are both seeing a shift towards unique experiences that cater to diverse traveler needs, from Gen Z to baby boomers.

What will tourism look like in the future?

Future tourism is expected to fully embrace sustainability, with a strong focus on personalization and technology. The industry is moving towards more travel companies creating experiences that are not just trips but culturally rich and environmentally responsible journeys. Wellness tourism and the social aspect of travel, such as skip-gen travel, are anticipated to play significant roles.

What are the predictions for the travel industry?

The travel industry is predicted to continue its growth in sustainable and wellness tourism. This is driven by a growing trend among travelers to be environmentally conscious and health-focused. Technology will play a key role in travel planning, and there's an expected increase in demand for immersive and tailor-made travel experiences, catering to the preferences of diverse groups including Gen Z and baby boomers.

What products will be popular in 2024?

Popular travel products in 2024 are likely to focus more than half of on sustainable travel essentials and wellness-focused items. There's an expected demand for products that cater to immersive travel experiences, such as locally sourced food and authentic cultural items, aligning with the growing culinary experience trends in the travel and hospitality industry.

What is the color trend for 2024?

While color trends are more often associated with fashion and design, in 2024, these trends in the travel industry may reflect a deeper connection to nature, wellness retreat and sustainability. Expect to see a palette of earthy tones, calming blues, and vibrant greens, symbolizing a growing focus on wellness, eco-conscious travel experiences, and the desire for tranquility and rejuvenation in destinations.

Where will plan-free travel be in 2024?

Plan-free travel, where trips are spontaneous without fixed itineraries, is gaining popularity in 2024. This trend caters to travelers' desire for authentic, immersive experiences, and aligns with the increasing flexibility in lifestyle choices like remote work.

Advancements in technology facilitate this spontaneity, allowing for last-minute bookings and adaptable plans. Post-pandemic, there's a growing preference for stress-free, flexible travel, making plan-free travel appealing. As a result, travel agencies and operators are adapting, offering more flexible options to meet this growing demand, blending leisure and business travel in a fluid, spontaneous manner.

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