Expedia Group has unveiled Unpack '24, a comprehensive look at what's motivating travellers and where they're going next year. Based on the company's unmatched first-party travel data, plus a global consumer survey of 20,000 travellers, Unpack '24 includes eight new travel trends for 2024, from top destinations to what's next in travel tech.
"At Expedia Group, we have extensive first-party travel data that we use to enhance and curate experiences for our travellers across Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo. These insights shape our travel forecasts, revealed in Unpack '24, enabling our travellers to be the first to discover and book the most desired trips before they become well-beaten paths," said Jon Gieselman, President of Expedia Brands.
"From 'dry tripping' to events like Taylor Swift or Beyoncé performances, and the rising allure of destinations like Perth, Palermo, and Paros, these trends begin to define the travel landscape in 2024."
For 2023, Expedia predicted travellers would turn to television sets and movie screens for travel inspiration. They did, and the trend shows no signs of stopping in 2024. More than half of travellers said they've researched or booked a trip to a destination after seeing it on a TV show or movie, and one in four admit that TV shows and films are even more influential on their travel plans than they were before. In fact, travellers said TV shows influence their travel decisions more than Instagram, TikTok and podcasts.
Given the popularity of this travel trend, Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo compiled its first-ever Set-jetting Forecast predicting what entertainment-inspired destinations travellers will head to in 2024, based on upcoming show and film releases and travel data from Expedia Group.
- Thailand inspired by "The White Lotus" season 3.
- Romania inspired by "Wednesday" season 2.
- Malta inspired by the new "Gladiator 2" film.
- Paris inspired by "Emily in Paris" season 4.
- Scottish Highlands inspired by the remaining seasons of "Outlander."
- London, Bath and Windsor, UK inspired by the new season of "Bridgerton" and "The Crown" season 6.
- Korea inspired by "Squid Game" season 2.
- Florida Keys & Bahamas inspired by the new Apple TV show "Bad Monkey."
- Australia inspired by both Baz Luhrmann's "Faraway Downs" and the Mad Max prequel "Furiosa."
- Greece inspired by new spy action thriller "Argylle."
The "dupe" trend — affordable alternatives to popular products — that has flooded TikTok feeds is now taking over travel. Expedia's 2024 destinations of the year are destination dupes — places that are a little unexpected, sometimes more affordable, and every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true destinations travellers love.
The 2024 destination dupes all experienced a notable uptick in searches1 over the past year. In fact, global searches for the Top 5 destinations on the list more than doubled YoY.
- Taipei (dupe for Seoul)
- Pattaya (dupe for Bangkok)
- Paros (dupe for Santorini)
- Curaçao (dupe for St. Martin)
- Perth (dupe for Sydney)
- Liverpool (dupe for London)
- Palermo (dupe for Lisbon)
- Quebec City (dupe for Geneva)
- Sapporo (dupe for Zermatt)
- Memphis (dupe for Nashville)
In 2023, the cultural impact of the Eras and Renaissance tours was undeniable, driving ticket sales but also travel and tourism. Expedia predicts that Tour Tourism will continue to thrive in 2024. Nearly 70 percent of survey respondents said they are more likely to travel to a concert outside their own town, with over 40 percent adding they'd travel for a concert as an excuse to visit a new place. In a new twist to Tour Tourism, perhaps driven by ticket prices, 30 percent of travellers said they would travel outside of their home city for a concert because tickets were cheaper elsewhere. Unexpected places on Expedia's list of top tour tourism destinations are Kuala Lumpur, Edmonton, and Mexico City.
While generative AI tools like ChatGPT took centre stage in 2023, only six percent of travellers used it to plan their trip. In 2024, Expedia Group predicts the "generation of generative AI" travellers will come of age and fully embrace this tech throughout their travel journey. In fact, survey data reveals that half of travellers are interested in using generative AI to plan their next trip, and one in three said it's very useful when making travel plans.
What's driving this trend? Generative AI's ability to simplify planning and shopping through a conversation. Nearly 40 percent of travellers said they would use this tech to find the perfect stay, 35 percent would plan activities and things to do, 33 percent would compare flight options, and 20 percent of travellers would change or cancel their travel plans.