Travel trends

Key partner takeaways from Booking.com’s 2024 Travel Predictions

travel predictions
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As 2024 approaches, many travellers will already be thinking about how, when and where to get away next year. In fact, even after all the uncertainty of 2023, most travellers (78%) feel more alive than ever when they’re on vacation. So, how can you tap into that enthusiasm? 

Based on our exclusive research* of more than 27,000 travellers across 22 countries and territories – combined with our own insights as a leading digital travel platform – here are seven key takeaways to consider for your business in the new year.

1. Travellers want to reinvent themselves – even temporarily

More than two thirds (68%) of those surveyed said they feel like the best version of themselves when travelling – whether by enjoying the anonymity of travel (62%) or even by making up stories about their real life to the people they meet while travelling (37%). 

This also means that many travellers are willing  –  or even eager  –  to pay to upgrade their lifestyle while travelling. For instance, 42% say they’re willing to pay to rent a nicer car than they drive at home. From cool convertibles and SUVs to electric and hybrid cars, Booking.com’s car rental platform allows your travellers to browse various options from some of the biggest car hire companies. And with free cancellation up to 48 hours before pick up, your customers can travel with peace of mind.

Tip: Unlock a new audience and provide more value to your customers by promoting our Car Rental Solution

2. Travellers are seeking cooler climates 

Recent extreme weather has meant more than half of travellers (56%) say that warmer temperatures at home will see them use their vacation to cool down elsewhere. 

Water remains a priority though – with three quarters (75%) agreeing that being close to water instantly makes them feel more relaxed while more than a third (36%) are interested in water-centric trips in 2024. 

This could be part of a growing shift, as the majority (51%) report that climate change will impact the way they plan their vacation in 2024. 
 

Tip: Diversifying the kinds of destinations you highlight in your marketing and promotions could help you tap into this trend. Use our Affiliate Links tool to build affiliate deep links to city and region pages quickly and easily. 

3. Travellers are open to the unknown 

Travellers increasingly want surprises in their lives. More than half of travellers (52%) are keen to book a trip where everything – even the destination – is unknown until arrival. 

The majority (55%) would like to have no plans set in stone prior to travelling in 2024 so they can remain flexible, while more than two thirds (69%) prefer to travel with loose plans so they can react to opportunities. As a result, flexibility will be a key part of their planning – creating strong potential for last-minute bookings. What’s more, with many of our accommodation partners offering flexible cancellation policies, your customers can rest assured that they’re covered – even if their plans do change. 

Tip: Activate Booking.com’s flights offering and attract spontaneous travellers with our flexible booking options. 

4. Travellers crave culinary experiences 

Food experiences remain important, with the overwhelming majority of travellers (81%) wanting to try indigenous cuisines in 2024. It’s not just the meal itself, however, as nearly two thirds (61%) are interested in learning about the origins of a destination’s ‘must-eat’ delicacies. 

 In addition to the traditional, there’s appeal from the modern. Nearly half of travellers (46%) want a ‘phygital’ food experience – a physical/digital hybrid where a meal is enhanced by virtual or augmented reality. 

5. Travellers seek rest and rejuvenation

A surprising majority (58%) want to travel for the sole focus of uninterrupted sleep. In fact, for parents the same majority (58%) plan to travel completely alone – without their children or partner – in an effort to prioritise their vitality. 

 More than half (51%) also crave a stripped-back, agrarian experience where they can focus on a better balance with nature. 

Tip: Our accommodation solution can help you convert this traveller demand by displaying each property’s wellness facilities and amenities – such as a sauna, hot tub and spa services – to your customers.

6. Travellers won’t let budgeting get in the way of luxuries

In the current economic climate, many travellers aim to cut back on costs where they can. Half (50%) plan to pick destinations where the cost of living is cheaper than their hometown, and 43% are looking to keep travel costs down by searching closer to home. 

For parents, almost half (47%) are planning to take their children out of school to travel outside of peak season. 

But for all that thriftiness, many travellers are still open to luxury experiences, but perhaps in more budget-friendly ways – such as paying for day passes to use the amenities in a five-star hotel rather than staying there (51%). 

Tip: To attract cost-conscious customers, be sure to opt in to our deals such as Black Friday Deal

7. Travellers see sustainable and luxurious as compatible 

Sustainable and stylish are becoming increasingly overlapping, with the majority (53%) looking for accommodation that has wow-factor sustainability innovation. Three in five (60%) want to see sustainability in action, while nearly two thirds (65%) want to see green spaces and plants within accommodation. 

Tip: Through our Travel Sustainable programme, we highlight properties that have taken steps to become more sustainable – making it even easier for your customers to make more sustainable choices. 

Travel remains important – and inspiring 

Moving into 2024, one thing is certain: travel continues to remain important. It also continues to inspire people – with 68% wanting to be more like their vacation self in their day-to-day life back home.  

These twin motivations mean that in spite of any economic headwinds heading into 2024 – and perhaps partly because of them – travel remains big on most people’s agenda. 

*Travel Predictions 2024 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total, 27,730 respondents across 33 countries and territories were polled. Respondents completed an online survey in July 2023.

 

Key takeaways

  • Travellers look to feel like the best versions of themselves when travelling –  such as the 42% who say they’re willing to pay to rent a nicer car than they drive at home
  • Cooler climates, culinary experiences and relaxation are all traveller priorities for 2024 
  • Travellers are cost-conscious, but will still look for ways to get luxury experiences into their trips  
  • Sustainable and luxurious are seen as both compatible and desirable for travellers

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