Solo travel will grow, less visited destinations will be explored and immersive experiences will once again be high on the list, but the thing most tourists will look out for in the coming year is sustainability.
We’re less than two months out from moving into a new, but according to Intrepid, travel in 2018 will look a whole lot different from 2017.
Research conducted by the tour operator found sustainable travel will be top of mind among holidaymakers and will be executed in a number of ways, whether it be avoiding over populated destinations or choosing greener businesses.
Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton commented on the rising trend of sustainability, saying people are becoming more aware of their impact and want leave minimal disruption on the places and people they visit.
That’s why in 2018, travellers will:
Visit off the beaten destinations
Over-tourism is reaching crisis point in major hot spots, prompting Intrepid travellers to increasingly seek out authentic local experiences in lesser known destinations. Instead of adding to the masses in Croatia, in 2018 Intrepid is offering its first tour of Cyprus in 2018, and as an alternative to Tuscany, there are tours to Moldova, home to the world’s largest wine cellar.
As travellers increasingly seek new and authentic experiences, travel to the Middle East is also on the rise with Intrepid’s Iran departures increasing by 24 percent in 2017.
In South America, new Intrepid tours take in Suriname and French Guiana. Located between Brazil and Venezuela on South America’s north-eastern coast, these little-known countries are in need of tourism dollars. While in Peru, Intrepid is the first group tour operator offering an itinerary to the lesser known area the Chachapoyas, with astonishing cliff hanging sites and newly discovered mummified bodies.
Take advantage of off-season travel
Travellers often take a holiday to escape winter but Intrepid is seeing an increase in holidaymakers flocking to winter destinations to make the most of off-season prices and avoid crowds. A new 12-day US and Canada Discovery Winter trip offers the chance to experience the magic of a white Christmas and new off-season departures for its Canadian Rockies and Northern Lights tour encompass the best of Canada without the crowds.
Instead of the over-crowded and over-priced Alps, Intrepid offers a winter itinerary to the Tatra Mountains combining a traditional sleigh ride in Zakopane, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Jasna, a Zalipie village visit and cooking class in Krakow. With Game of Thrones driving travellers to Iceland in droves, Finland in winter offers an alternative Arctic wonderland of pristine peaks, snow-dusted woodlands and the chance to get to know the indigenous Sami people.
Travellers are increasingly wanting to get active, stay healthy and really immerse in a destination, and not just see it from inside a bus. In response to this trend, Intrepid has released a series of hike, bike and raft tours in some of its most popular destinations including the chance to raft along white water rapids on the Ganges in India, ride through tea plantations in Sri Lanka, hike along the famous Nakasendo trail that linked Tokyo and Kyoto in ancient times in Japan, and explore the northern Kathmandu Valley in Nepal on two wheels while continuing to help the quake-stricken country rebuild.
Take part in grassroots level food experiences
Moving away from fine dining in Michelin-starred restaurants, travellers are seeking more authentic food experiences. Ensuring valuable tourist dollars make it into the right hands, Intrepid guests are treated to guided tours of local markets and family feasts around the table in a local’s home. New tours in 2018 include the chance to experience Jamaica like a local from dining with Jamaicans to perusing markets, a spicy sojourn in southern India, a visit to Japan to sample the best sashimi the country has to offer, a tour to far-flung coffee plantations in Peru and in the ultimate Middle East feast, everything from succulent street kebabs to chewy baqlava and a home cooked stew in Iran.
Travel isn’t just for couples and young backpackers anymore. Over 50 per cent of Intrepid’s travellers are solo travellers taking advantage of the ease and safety of group travel to enjoy adventures all around the world. To cater to this demand, Intrepid launched its first dedicated solo traveller trips in 2017 and has added even more in 2018. Sparing solo travellers single supplements, the company’s solo-only trips pair each traveller up with a like-minded companion so everyone shares a room, and the costs. New solo-only tours include Morocco, Vietnam, Bali, India and Peru.
Australians don’t have to go far to see some of the world’s most untouched wilderness or immerse themselves in the oldest civilisation on Earth. Intrepid is offering the chance for travellers to walk in the footsteps of the Yolngu people’s ancestors in remote East Arnhem Land as the local Indigenous people share their culture, history and traditions. Through the seven-day Journey into East Arnhem Land, Intrepid hopes to see indigenous tourism boom in 2018 and beyond.
What are some travel trends you expect to emerge in 2018?
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