tourism trends 2020

7 Key Tourism Trends To Follow In 2020

Whether you’re working in the tourism industry and keen to keep up to date with the top tourism trends for 2020, or simply a traveller who wants to know what’s hot for travel, these are the things to keep an eye out for.

More people are travelling than ever before (last decade marked the first time that 1 billion people traveled across an international border as a visitor in a single year!). So, 2020 and beyond is set to be huge for the travel industry.

From solo travel to sustainability, here’s seven things that will define tourism this year.

Tourism Trends To Follow In 2020

1. Solo Travel

While solo travel has always been popular, it’s becoming more accessible and easier than ever before. With the help of apps allowing solo travellers to meet new people in cities around the world, we predict it’s going to be huge this year.

If you want to explore the world that little but more but can’t find a travel buddy, don’t give up your wanderlust dreams just yet. Consider joining a group trip with G Adventures or a similar organisation. You’ll have the independence of travelling by yourself but you have the backup and company (if you want it) of a small group of like-minded people.

Sustainable Travel Tips

2. Politics

We’ve seen politics have a huge impact on global tourism in recent years. Just look at the United States’ travel ban or the protests in Hong Kong in 2019. For the last six months of 2019, visitor numbers to Hong Kong dropped by 39% against the same period a year before, says Resonance Co.

2020 will be an interesting year for the UK, with Brexit still looming. A report from Oxford Economics found that a “no-deal” Brexit would cause a 5% drop in UK outbound trips in 2020.

3. Sustainability

As we’ve seen in recent months, millions of people have been inspired by Greta Thunberg to start taking action on climate change.

The environment (and protecting it!) has moved from a fringe issue for many to become one of the most important factors in planning a trip. Although we are only at the very start of this shift, it is being led by a younger generation who will shape travel in the future.

Travel (planes, trains and automobiles etc) makes a huge part of global CO2 emissions so expect future generations to stay closer to home and demand more eco-friendly options from their vacation providers.

4. ‘Second City’ Travel

In a nutshell, second city travel is exploring lesser known places in a bit to prevent overtourism. Swap out popular cities such as New York, Paris or Venice for up-and-coming cites such as Portland, Oregon; Nantes, France or Perugia, Italy.

Over half (54%) of global travellers want to play a part in reducing overtourism, while 51% would swap their original destination for a lesser-known but similar alternative if they knew it would have less of an environmental impact, according to

tourism trends 2020

5. Transformative Travel

Many people want to feel as if they are making a difference even when they vacation. This is a 2020 travel trend that is going to take off in a big way.

The transformative element might not just be about helping others, but also helping oneself. This could be by taking a small career break or by choosing destinations that are away from the touristy norm. We see this in community work trips and yoga retreats.

68% of global travellers would consider participating in cultural exchanges to learn a new skill, followed by a volunteering trip (54%) and international work placements (52%), according to

6. ‘Smart’ Destinations

In 2020, 5G is going to be available in major cities across the world. While this won’t hugely change how people travel, it will have an impact on tourism industries and how they are able to improve visitor experience.

Resonance Co. explains that this new data will allow DMMOs (destination marketing and management organisations) to better understand the visitor experience. It will also help them to manage tourism in the destination more effectively. Amsterdam, for example, is already experimenting with displaying wait times at top visitor attractions on its website.

We will also see an increase in personalisation through data. Apps like Tripit will help you plan every step of your travel experience while Google, Facebook and others are using AI to adapt to where you are, where you are going and what you want to do.

tourism trends 2020

7. Bleisure Travel

Ah, that intriguing concept of mixing business and leisure – a huge trend we’ve seen thanks to millennial remote workers. This is more of a lifestyle change where the introduction of new technology like 5g, video conferencing and Slack allows a new workforce to work wherever they want in the world.

Far more important than any technology? The fact that companies and bosses are now open to the idea in terms of attracting and retaining talent.

remote work options for travellers

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

View stories
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments