The Booming Business of Travel and Tourism: Top Trends for 2019

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If travel and tourism is what you live, breathe and dream about, we’ve got good news around the fast-growing global industry, along with some of the latest trends to stay on top of.

Whether you’re a student or working your way up in the field, a diehard traveler or just sticking your toes in the water, global tourism could be for you — personally, professionally or both.

In the next 12 years, international travelers will increase from 1.3 billion per year to 1.8 billion. Airline passengers will double from 4 billion to 7.8 billion by 2036. And over the next decade, millions more jobs will open up thanks to travel and tourism.*

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To help follow this dynamic industry and get an insider’s view on what’s hot, Bryan Lavin '11, assistant professor of Tourism & Hospitality Management at JWU and an expert on sustainable tourism, millennial travelers, and the influence of social media and destination marketing, shares his take on the compelling direction of travel and tourism.

"The travel industry saw tremendous growth in 2018 and shows no signs of slowing down for the coming year."

Every year travel becomes more accessible to the masses. As a result, hot destinations seem to pop up, the industry shifts gears to meet new demands, and travelers become more conscious of how they spend their money. The travel industry saw tremendous growth in 2018 and shows no signs of slowing down for the coming year; however, the way people are traveling is changing every day. Here are 6 interesting trends to pay attention to for 2019:

  1. No Frills, no Problem. Based on the success of smaller, regional carriers that offer a no-frills flight where everything from luggage space to extra legroom can be purchased as an add on, the larger carriers will follow suit for long-haul flights. Travelers will be much more comfortable with traveling light (and paying less) while the airlines can reduce costs as fuel prices rise. It’s a win-win for everyone.
  2. Join the community, even for a few days. Travelers will continue to look for unique, authentic, and immersive experiences surrounding a way of life within their destination. This year, however, localhood will become more mainstream, meaning travelers are no longer looking to exchange money for experiences. Instead, they want to contribute to the destination’s community and generate a positive impact. These co-created experiences can thrust tourism into the spotlight as an economic change agent.
  3. Personal values and travel values align. The bond between the travelers’ personal sustainability values and that of travel companies will form an even greater bond as travelers demand eco-friendly options, question the use of materials like plastic and find ways to offset the environmental impact of their travel.
  4. Last Call for Adventure. Travelers are starting to look for “last chance” travel opportunities. As an example, as the ice continues to melt in Greenland, demand is on the rise to experience the frozen landscape before climate change fully alters the destination.
  5. Table for 1? Solo travel will continue to grow in 2019, especially in the female market. As more and more travel companies jump on board this trend, the options will be endless for single travelers to take that trip of a lifetime. The number 1 location for solo travel? Spain, closely followed by India, New Zealand and Italy.
  6. Goodbye Selfie? As Insta-influence continues to drive personal brand, travelers who are serious about sharing their experience with their social circle are looking for the highest quality photos possible to share on their feeds. While new technology in smartphones is making this pretty easy, imagine hiring a freelance photographer to chronicle your next trip — yup, that’s a thing now!

Safe travels in 2019 and remember, no matter where your adventures take you, try to leave the location better than you found it!


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