Booking has just published a study on the major trends in international tourism in 2020. Combining the responses of 22,000 tourists from 29 markets, as well as data compiled from 180 million customer comments, the OTA provides an overview of the strategic tourism directions needed for 2020. Connected tourists looking for authentic and unspoiled encounters, experiences and places, here are some of the highlights that emerge from these results.

The rise of responsible tourism

If travellers don't talk about giving up tourism & international tourism, they are thinking more and more about organizing their trips in an eco-responsible way. Thus, 54% of international tourists mention wanting to participate in the reduction of mass tourism (56% among 18-25 year olds). This is reflected for example in the choice of transport: 48% would be willing to extend their travel time if it can reduce their environmental impact. This concern is also reflected in the choice of destinations and places to visit, with 51% of tourists ready to go to a similar but less well-known place if it allows them to travel in a sustainable way.

The experience begins before arrival at destination

The experiential has been on the front page of most articles on tourism trends for several months/years now. This study is no exception to the trend: tourists are looking for experiences, uniqueness, enrichment and variety. This is reflected in particular in the integration of the notion of experience into elements of travel that were previously purely utilitarian. Transport is the best evidence of this change. For example, 62% of tourists surveyed "want to make a trip where travel is an integral part of the experience.

The growing importance of local gastronomy

An interesting figure that remains in the trend of the experiential: 71% of travellers indicate that tasting the local gastronomy is important to them during their trip. This means that local products and local know-how have a real impact in terms of tourist appeal, so it's a notion to be integrated into tourism marketing strategies. This trend is also confirmed in long-haul markets: 73% of Chinese respondents, 78% of Brazilians, 73% of Russians, 78% of Indians and 68% of Japanese ranked gastronomy as having a major role in the choice of their destination. In addition to the big names, Booking indicates that it is increasingly the authenticity of the culinary experience that attracts tourists.

Optimizing travel time

Booking notes the emergence in the choices of tourists of destinations/places that can offer various activities to their visitors/customers. Indeed, travellers do not wish to waste time on unnecessary journeys. 62% of them take into account the grouping of experiences of various natures (e.g. activities and monuments) in their choice of holiday destination. Mountains and beaches, culture and shopping, nightlife and relaxation ... places and establishments that are able to offer their customers several facets of activities will be at an advantage in 2020.

Activities are generally a major trend for 2019-2020: read here

Technological Expectations That Summarize These New Trends

The tourists of 2020 expect technology to support their overall travel expectations. In fact, 59% of them want technological innovations to provide them with experiences. Centralization and intelligence of data presented to travellers will also be important. For example, 44% of travellers would like a travel application with personalised advice and allowing them to organise their stay in the same place. In terms of sustainable tourism, 60% of those surveyed would like to benefit from a service that would allow them to organise their trips according to the benefits for local communities. In view of these trends, Booking foresees a boom in suggestion and advice services based on artificial intelligence.

Trends to be Integrated into its Tourism Marketing Strategy

Booking draws up a rather comprehensive assessment of the major trends that could drive the international tourism market in 2020. It is therefore up to the professionals concerned to take these different elements into account in the construction of their tourism marketing for the coming year.