The way we travel continues to evolve, Visit The USA has highlighted eight trends which reflects current traveller attitudes and expectations.
These include journeys of self-discovery, through both outdoor adventures and tracing ancestral roots, our growing desire for wellbeing while abroad, with millennial hiking on the rise, and the increasing focus on lesser-visited neighbourhoods and alternative destinations, known as ‘under-tourism’.
These are just some of the influences that are set to shape the way we travel in the U.S. in 2020. Read on to discover eight travel trend predictions from Visit The USA.
Under-tourism, the antidote to over-tourism
Visit the USA believes travellers are becoming more conscious of over-tourism and are increasingly opting to look for lesser-visited options resulting in better travel experiences for residents and visitors alike. This is being seen on a local scale – for example, exploring up-and-coming neighbourhoods and boroughs in popular cities like Miami and San Francisco, and on a bigger scale across the country, considering alternative destinations.
Emerging destinations such as Baltimore in Maryland, Buffalo in New York, and Detroit in Michigan are set to become increasingly popular, particularly with Millennial and Gen Z travellers who are more aware and mindful of the detrimental impacts that over-tourism can have.
Longer trips, work-and-play hybrids and Wellbeing tourism
The working landscape is changing quickly – with a rise in flexible working hours, ‘unlimited’ annual leave policies and an increase in self-employed business owners and freelancers. Morgan Stanley predicts that more than half of the U.S. workforce will be freelance by 2027 (up from 35% in 2018), and this increase in self-employment is also being seen across the U.K. and Europe.
As the lines between work and travel are gradually blurring, there are more opportunities for longer holidays. Meanwhile, traditional business travel is becoming more holistic, as individuals increasingly aim to set aside time for health and wellbeing activities during an overseas trip.
The mindfulness market is now worth over $1 billion in the United States (its largest market), highlighting the popularity and importance of yoga, meditation and ‘time out’ during both everyday life and trips abroad. This is reflected in the huge increase in these types of offerings in U.S. destinations – whether it’s meditative surfing retreats in Hawaii, goat yoga in Oregon, or forest bathing in California. Travel that considers mental health will continue to play a key role in travel in 2020 and beyond.
Ancestral tourism is already big business for U.K. visitors to Scotland and Ireland, but with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage next year, trips to the U.S. to explore our ancestry are set to become more popular. According to the official Mayflower 400 organisation, more than 30 million people (including Richard Gere, Clint Eastwood and Marilyn Monroe) are said to be able to trace their ancestry to the 102 passengers and 30 crew onboard the Mayflower, who came from England and Holland. The anniversary will help boost general interest in ancestral tourism, while encouraging many to investigate any links they have had to the Mayflower.
Big adventures for self-discovery
The combination of a number of trends based around responsible travel, mental health, and work flexibility is creating a more general move towards trips that allow time and space for self-discovery – particularly in the great outdoors. Whether it’s a multi-day Appalachian Trail hiking excursion, a fortnight in the Alaskan wilderness or going off-grid in Zion National Park, Utah, we’re looking for transformative trips that also incorporate a positive socio-cultural aspect. Learning about indigenous communities and historic ways of living are ways of achieving a great understanding of our own place in the world, whilst natural settings provide the perfect environment for broadening our minds.