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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

2019's top four travel trends

From eco-conscious trips to artificial-intelligence-inspired holidays, this year looks set to be adventurous for travellers

Socially-conscious millennials are putting responsible travel on the agenda. Getty Images
Socially-conscious millennials are putting responsible travel on the agenda. Getty Images

Last year it was all about solo travel, wellness trips and cruises. This year we've become more socially conscious and technologically minded. Here are four trends we're betting will be big in 2019.

Responsible travel

As socially conscious millennials and Generation Z-ers make their voices heard in the travel arena, responsible holidays look set to be a huge trend this year. According to accommodation platform Booking.com, today’s global travellers would rather skip a destination altogether if they feel their visit there would impact the locals negatively. Accordingly, socially conscious travel companies are coming out on top. Findings from the Association of British Travel Agents agree; the ABTA noted that holidaymakers will now opt for one travel business over another, depending on which company has the better environmental record.

Mini breaks are increasing in popularity as travellers look to recharge on the weekend. Courtesy JA Hatta Fort Hotels
Mini breaks are increasing in popularity as travellers look to recharge on the weekend. Courtesy JA Hatta Fort Hotels

Micro trips

While the UAE has long been a fan of the staycation, micro trips are tipped to increase in popularity around the world, according to Booking.com, which released data suggesting that 53 per cent of global travellers plan to take more weekend breaks in 2019. “It’s a year that’s predicted to be all about made-to-measure, bite-sized travel with more curated itineraries squeezed into shorter time frames,” said the company in a statement. With new hotels scheduled to open across the Emirates over the next 12 months and even more destinations within an easy three- or four-hour flight time from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, make sure you’ve got plenty of pages left on your passport.

The future of travel is here as hotels and travel companies begin to utilise check-in robots. Courtesy Travelaerz / Wikimedia Commons
The future of travel is here as hotels and travel companies begin to utilise check-in robots. Courtesy Travelaerz / Wikimedia Commons

Technology-fuelled trips

As artificial intelligence becomes more mainstream, technology looks set to reshape the future of travel. A recent study by travel commerce platform Travelport suggested that the average UAE-based traveller would happily provide biometric data if it resulted in reduced airport waiting times. The same study detailed that digital tools ranked high in the planning processes of travellers, with 76 per cent of the 500 people surveyed relying on their smartphones to research upcoming trips. Google Assistant has just been updated to include flight delay prediction capabilities, and the population of check-in robots, such as those found at Japan’s robot-staffed Henn na Hotel, are predicted to multiply.

Design and architectural projects can draw visitors to destinations. Like this temporary sculpture which floated on London's Serpentine Lake. Courtesy Chris Wood / Wikimedia Commons 
Design and architectural projects can draw visitors to destinations. Like this temporary sculpture which floated on London's Serpentine Lake. Courtesy Chris Wood / Wikimedia Commons 

Architectural icons

Mammoth public landmarks will influence travel trends over the next 12 months as crowds flock to destinations that are home to immersive architectural monuments. According to JWT Intelligence, the New York staircase – part of the Hudson Yards development – has already begun to draw travellers despite not being scheduled to open until spring 2019. As ambitious, large-scale monuments continue to be commissioned and created, they look set to attract crowds to destinations around the globe that might otherwise have remained off this year’s hotlist. Regionally, Zaha Hadid’s The Opus falls into a similar category, and is likely to make waves in 2020 when the much-anticipated Me by Melia hotel opens within its walls.

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Updated: January 5, 2019 02:14 PM

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