The travel industry is constantly evolving, and subsequently, the way travellers choose tours, packages and safaris is constantly changing. We dissect some predicted travel trends for 2016 and investigated if they have indeed come true by chatting to our tour consultants and industry influencers.
As people are more aware of digital burn out, the priority for rejuvenating holidays is on the rise. Our travel consultants have seen an increase in clients booking spa treatments and holidays that focus on rejuvenation and relaxation (like beach packages and luxury accommodation tours). Luxury lodges, hotels, and spas are increasing their wellness portfolio by opening their own in-house spa or by including it in their clients’ itinerary.
VOLUNTEERING ON THE RISE?
While this has always been a way for European and American travellers to combine their philanthropic spirit with their love for travel, there has been some negativity surrounding the volunteering industry. While the volunteer industry is still very active – travellers have become more aware of the ‘shadow’ side (with the release of the Blood Lions documentary that exposes canned hunting).
We think that travellers are becoming more clued up about sustainable tourism – and whether or not the organisation they chose to work with is actually making a positive impact for the people and animals it is aimed at.
We’ve seen an increase in senior travellers wanting to give back. A few of our clients have gotten involved with Pack 4 A Purpose, and have brought school supplies such as stationary, to the schools we visit on our tours. Seniors are eager to work on these projects but not for an extended period of 6 months – but smaller, shorter projects.
Tourists who obtain a visa prior to travelling continues to decline and is at its lowest level ever (according to UNWTO’s latest Visa Openness Report). 39% of the world population could travel for tourism in 2015 without obtaining a traditional visa before departure as compared to only 23% in 2008.
In southern Africa, the Zambia-Zimbabwe univisa project has been relaunched. And South Africa has finally dropped the need for tourists to bring their children’s unabridged birth certificate to passport checks.
Ultimately travel ease has to be carefully with security – so it’s a trend that will always be changing according to the political situation.
With the advent of Snapchat, the way millennials and thirty-somethings are documenting their life has changed. Social media and communication apps have changed the way we travel too. Many companies are adding different social media channels to their website (we started our Instagram account this year!). And there are now apps available for tracking your hike, organising your pre-trip packing and inspiring your itinerary.
More personalised experiences are becoming more popular for tourists. Exploring like a local with a local guide offers a bespoke, curated tour experience that’s authentic. First-time visitors are interested in visiting the homestead, going into the township, eating, drinking local, homemade food – and staying away from the mass-tourism places. Jenman guides are all local and experts on the countries they travel to.