The new year may still be a couple of months off, but that hasn’t stopped Forbes from making some early predictions on travel trends for 2015. The magazine recently published an article on its website that offers some interesting insights on the destinations that could be hot in the months ahead, as well as those that might fall out of favor with travelers instead. While the predictions may not all come to pass, they do provide a sneak peek at the trends that could shape how, and where, we travel next year.
To aid in their 2015 travel trends predictions, Forbes enlisted the help of George Morgan-Grenville, a veteran of the industry who runs a company called Red Savannah that specializes in custom made luxury tours. Morgan-Grenville says that he has seen a number of destinations start to receive positive attention amongst travelers in recent months, and he believes those places will be the hot spots for travelers next year. The countries that make the cut include Indonesia, Bhutan, Botswana, South Africa, Turkey, and Myanmar. He also adds that there are some rising stars for the more adventurous travelers as well, including Iran, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Oman, Bosnia, and the Arctic.
As for which countries are in decline with travelers, Morgan-Grenville says that Russia, Kenya, China, and Egypt have all seen a significant decrease in interest with tourists in recent years. Social and political trends seem to be playing a role in why travelers are avoiding Russia and China in particular, while both Kenya and Egypt are perceived as being unsafe for travelers at the moment.
Morgan-Grenville says that the interest in space tourism has also fallen off significantly. A few year ago, the thought of being able to go into orbit aboard one one of the first commercial spacecraft held an undeniable allure with travelers who had plenty of money to spend on such an extravagant adventure. But continued delays with space tourism have caused interest to wane. The travel industry veteran tells Forbes, “No one is talking about space anymore.”
Other trends include an increased popularity of river cruises, and the rise of more casual, relaxed experiences such as enjoying a picnic on a mountainside or walking with cheetahs on the African savannah. There has been a significant surge of travelers taking vacations in their 50’s as well, as couples take second honeymoons after their kids leave home, or celebrate a milestone birthday. Sailing a single cabin luxury ship around southwest Turkey or taking over a villa in Venice or Menorca are popular with this crowd, which still longs for an adventure, but enjoys the comforts that come with luxury travel as well.
Predicting travel trends is never easy, as a number of factors can influence which destinations rise and fall in popularity. Political instability, economic conditions, levels of security, and ease of access all play a role in how we view potential places for our next holiday. On top of that, other unforeseen variables can arise as well, which can completely alter the landscape in terms of tourism. Take for example the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. While it is taking places thousands of miles away from the traditional tourist centers on the continent, there has been a significant decrease in the number of bookings to that part of the world in general, as travelers look to avoid potential contact with the virus.
Whether or not these trends will continue into next year remains to be seen. But still, it is interesting to see the destinations that are on the rise with travelers, and where the next hotspot just might be.