As ecotourism awareness grows and travellers begin to rethink their carbon footprint we spent some time looking at Travel Trends across the globe for 2020.
People are much more aware of the impact that flying has and this has led them to look at alternative travel methods. However most people only have a set number of ‘holiday’ days per year meaning that whilst they want to be more eco conscious they also need travel methods to be reliable, fast and value for money. Not everyone has the time to sail to their starting point…
My mum and I were chatting about where we would like to visit in 2020 (Italy, Cuba, Vienna, New Zealand) and we both agreed that whilst we would love to visit Venice neither of us wanted to contribute to the overtourism of the region and so it was no surprise to see that this has been a topic of concern for the past 4+ years.
According to Euromonitor International, 46 percent of all travelers go to just 100 destinations.
“Overtourism is one of the most pressing issues impacting the travel and tourism industry today. This is especially the case in Europe, where the phenomenon is most acute. Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik are among the most-cited examples of overtouristed places. ” ref EuroMonitor International, Top 100 City Destinations Ranking: WTM London 2017 Edition. – 2019 Wellness Trends, from the Global Wellness Summit
However, the Up Side of this is that more people are willing to visit off track destinations that offer a similar experience but are perhaps less known. The ‘Hidden Gems’ as they call them. (Hard to remain a hidden gem once people know about you of course but it’s all about balance & collaboration and they all need visitors to keep the local business going).
Local authentic experiences are still high on the agenda for many tourists – domestic and international, especially the younger generations.
One trend that fills me with joy is Astrotourism – yep, stargazing. As less areas are left unpolluted with light so the desire for ‘dark skies’ grows. If I had a few acres of dark skies I know what I’d be focusing on! I remember taking my niece Leah when she was about 12 and my dog Skippy of TheWicklowWay to an Astronomy Ireland Star-B-Q in Roundwood years ago, Skippy had become ‘famous’ enough for the main guy to recognise him and come over to say hi – lol.
I know we have some amazing darkskies in Ireland and it would be great fun to head off for a weekend of guided stargazing, bbqs and camping. Camping is (supposed to be) cheap – all you need is a tent, sleeping bag, and a small fee to cover your pitch. Check out Camping Irelands list of camp sites in Ireland here >>
Another trend that interests me is Birdwatching holidays. Yes, I am a twitcher – it should be noted that serious birdwatchers don’t like to be called twitchers – however, I am a casual bird watcher. I grew up with a ‘living countryside’ book and it had lot’s of birds in it that enthralled me. It’s such a lovely thing to look up (people don’t look up enough) and see a bird hovering or flying in formation and know where it might be coming from or going to…
People travel all over the world ‘birding’ and last weekend in the UK alone there were as many bird watchers as there were folk who attended last weekend’s Premier League football matches participating in the Big Garden Birdwatch! Don’t believe me? Check out this article from the telegraph on ten top birding holiday ideas >>
In fact the fourth edition of the Doñana Natural Life Ecotourism Fair, which will take place from April 16 to 19 in El Rocío (Huelva), will focus on birdwatching, as a fundamental element of biodiversity and tourism value differentiated from the sector. I would LOVE to go to that – not quite sure how I would get there..