Global travel company Cox & Kings has published its ‘Travel Style 2018’ study, highlighting the popular destinations and trends that will shape the travel behaviour in 2018. The study stated that while destinations will continue to determine the kind of trips one wants to take, one cannot ignore that ultimately immersive experiences will take precedence over destinations. According to the study, in the coming year, travellers will seek experiences that are defined by their personality, interests and style, most of which have been evolving over the years but will find a definite pattern in 2018. Peter Kerkar, group CEO, Cox & Kings, has presented the top eight experiences that will gain momentum in the coming year.
While culinary trips as part of larger holidays are already in place, what will emerge in the coming year is food tours that will not only focus on dining or food tasting, but rather delve more into the cooking style, history of cuisines, local flavours and tradition. Gourmet travellers looking to connect with the history and culture are joining local chefs in Spain for hands-on cooking lessons, taking wine tours around Tuscany, exploring farm tours in Israel to learn about the fresh produces.
The growing need for experiential travel has made way for ‘glamping’ or glamorous camping lately. Travellers want to be a part of immersive experiences without compromising on the luxuries, and glamping is an ideal blend of luxurious accommodation and in-destination experiences.
Technology has made the world smaller and easier to connect with people from different destinations. The curiosity to know more about the world and about oneself, their past, legacy, and ancestral history has given birth to the concept of ‘tracing-your-roots’. Given a large Indian diaspora population has been living in different continents for years, there is a sudden rise in third generation travellers, travelling to their ancestral properties back in India and experiencing their cultural roots. Tracing one’s family back home while exploring other destinations around is fast catching up with the new age traveller.
The evolved Indian traveller has now moved on to more intimate experiences such as river and canal cruises in India and Europe. Experiencing comfort while exploring hinterlands in river cruises will be the flavour of 2018. Exploring cities in France as you sail in its inland waters like Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon and Lyon to experience France’s beauty or gliding along Russia’s river waters to explore Uglich, Yaroslavl, Kuzino and Kizhi, river cruising has piqued the interest of travellers.
In a quest to balance social good in everything they do, millennials are blending purpose with leisure. Contributing to change in its true sense is becoming a new norm for this generation of the most frequent travellers. Being environmentally and socially conscious, travellers are facilitating voluntourism across countries like South Africa, India, Cambodia, Nepal, Peru and Mexico among others.
Climate Change is leading to thawing of pristine glaciers and significant permafrost, islands to submerge, marine ecology to vanish while displacing locales. While the world is working to reverse the effects, some iconic places on earth stay threatened. An increased number of tourists is said to visit the Dead Sea in Israel, The Alps in Europe, The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, wineries in America and archipelagos around the world in 2018 before climate change takes over.
As travellers are spreading into the last unexplored corners of the globe, the demand for bigger, better, and more adventurous experiences is surging. Those who wish to test and push their strength are picking up tough expeditions such as ice-cycling in Mongolia, trekking through ice in search of snow leopards in Spiti, cruising in Antarctica, mountain cycling in Bhutan, rafting in remote rivers, taking advanced open water courses in Philippines and frozen river treks in Indus valley among others.
According to the study, wellness will emerge as people focus more on improving their physical and emotional wellbeing by travelling for meditation, spa, yoga, ayurveda massages and bathing in mineral-rich water bodies for rejuvenation. Travellers will take detox breaks in the foothills of Himalayas, indulge in spa treatments in Thailand or Bali and rejuvenate through ayurvedic treatments in Kerala.