As we settle into a new year, I always enjoy the exercise of reflecting on the year behind us and evaluating (with a healthy dose of optimism) what lies ahead. Inside our business, we’re squarely positioned at the crossroads of the travel and tourism industry, where macroeconomic factors, consumer behavior and innovation converge.
In 2023, the industry continued its resettling following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2024, our research shows that travel intent remains steady, despite rising travel costs and in defiance of many predictions. No longer driven by the need to travel just because they finally can, travelers are looking to elicit specific feelings when they select a destination and plan their experience. Given air travel has now surpassed 2019 levels, they are clearly prioritizing their moment(s) of bliss – whatever those unique experiences might be.
At MMGY Global, we’re lucky to have the most experienced leaders across all facets of the travel industry leading our global business. Our team collaborated to share “ins and outs” for this new year.
In: Vibes. Travelers are looking to immerse themselves in other cultures, and brands that can find novel ways to fill their need will benefit.
Out: Revenge travel.
In: Event and gig trips. After Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” raked in billions, destinations will need to look at event-driven tourism differently in order to make the most of it.
Out: Banking your PTO.
In: The human touch. As AI is used with varying degrees of success by the media, journalists and consumers are searching for proof of humanity and authenticity in the content they create and consume.
Out: AI hallucinations and deepfakes.
In: Regenerative travel. While sustainable tourism remains an important topic, it’s evolving into a more holistic approach to create destinations that can successfully weather the test of time.
Out: Performative activism.
In: Keeping it real. With the evolving roles of DMOs and other tourism bodies, it’s possible to eliminate some of travelers’ perceived travel risks – but it needs to be done authentically.
Out: Staying in your lane.
In: Cruising. We’re calling it already: In 2024, travelers are entering their cruise era.
Out: Avoiding the high seas.
While I will always be glass half-full on travel, there are certainly headwinds we’re watching, and we are advising our partners on where to diversify strategy and when to lean into new opportunities because of changing travel behavior. If you want to read more about MMGY Global bird’s-eye view and microscope look at what’s in and out for our industry in 2024, download the full PDF read at the link below!