Americas interest in travel remains up from the 2017 year-to-date average. Reasons Americans cite for thinking of international travel are: learning about different cultures and experiencing new languages. But on the money front, the dollar is still down versus the Euro, but then gas prices are rising, and the stock market has been far less stable than in 2017. And, international travel is not cheap: the average cost of a 12-day trip overseas, including flights, lodging, food and drinks and entertainment is $3,251, according to ValuePenguin. So, Portugal’s cost advantage may be helping, versus other places in the EU. And some are looking to retire or relocate overseas.
Flying remains very safe and growth in international routes has made it easier for Americans to travel to new destinations like Portugal for less. The number of Americans booking international trips in 2018 is up by 44% compared to last year, according to American Express Travel. WOW airlines and other companies have opened up new low-cost routes between the US and Europe, including Norwegian. It has never been cheaper for people fly to Europe.
Last year, a total of 21.4 million passports were issued in the US, the highest number ever recorded. Compare that to the 6.3 million that were issued in 1997. That year, only 15 percent of Americans possessed a passport. The share of the US population with a passport has now increased to 42 percent.
Less travelled destinations
People looking for less touristy and alternative destinations (Azores, South Korea)
Places that don’t get as much play in the magazines or are less known to the general public. Think emerging
Family trips (and single Parents Travelers)
The number Millennials that like to travel and choose to be single parents is growing.
And they like international travel more and more — as long as it is safe.
Themed travel on the rise
Agencies are specializing offers around Food, Books, History, and Sports.
Experiences that engage with local culture
Food: Cooking classes, wine tasting or cuisine tours are becoming a trend
Backpacking, using Couchsurfing or Social apps to get around and get to know locals
Volunteer and exchange programs:
WOOF – Young people looking for a low cost rural experience
Au Pair – Temporary nannies looking to know a different country and usually learn a language
Wellbeing vacations: Spiritual Retreats or health related traveling (yoga, spa, etc.)
Some travelers — especially Millennials — could counteract the influx of crowding in cities such as Lisbon by opting for eco-tours and other sustainable trips, as trips to “endangered” destinations are also seeing a boost in popularity.
There’s a growing awareness on sustainability and a major concern over a healthy lifestyle that makes travelers look for rural experiences and accommodations offering healthy menus, local made products and hands on activities.
Travelers looking for ‘sustainable’ tourism options
Environmental friendly cruises, public transport options (trains, etc.)
Environmental friendly housing and organic food. Pay more, damage less. Avoid big ugly hotels.
There’s a trend of “glamping”: glamour camping is for people looking for outdoors experiences but are not willing to give up some comfort. Lodgings offering the basic access to electricity, food, proper shower, etc., target adult generations that are no longer on there camping stage of life but still look for nature experiences.
Hotels and tourism operators are investing in artificial intelligence:
Apps are enabling guests to do automated check in, book tours, schedule airport pick-ups, ask for room service, etc.
Online bookable experiences are on the rise
Virtual Reality used on historical sites and museums.
Internet of Thing (IoT) applied in luggage tracking.
Booking engines comparing flights, hotels and car renting are improving
Advertising online is more important then ever: social media, website, native content are powerful resources in the market.
Business travel: People traveling for work always need to be connected, so they will ultimately look for on board Wi-Fi, conference rooms in hotels and business friendly destinations.