By: Bryan Herb
One of my favorite things about international travel is watching travel trends emerge in destinations and spread from country to country.
Every sector of the travel industry experiences trends with each coming year, whether it be dishes at restaurants, designs at hotels, features on cruise ships, or amenities on airplanes. Certain things take off right away across the world, such as avocado toast (still a huge thing by the way–almost every restaurant in the western world that serves breakfast offers avocado toast now and they didn’t ten years ago) and certain things sometimes stay regional. Then there are things for which your country is known but then spread to other countries as well. A good example of this is zip lining in Costa Rica. There are hundreds of places where you can zip line in Costa Rica, but you can also do this in other areas of the world such as India, China, Australia, Cambodia, and most others. They just don’t offer as many as in Costa Rica.
The following are some of the current travel trends I have noticed emerging within the last 5 years, and these trends are spreading far and wide across the globe.
1. Pass me a beer. The craft beer and microbrew industry has truly exploded, and no matter where you are, virtually every tourist destination has at least one microbrewery. Once established, it becomes an experiential part of the fabric of the destination. The next time that you are, well, anywhere, google “microbrew near me,” and see what comes up.
2. Take care of the planet. Especially in the luxury travel market, sustainability is a huge focus. At many of the luxury hotels around the world, you will see them touting their focus on the environment and on a healthy planet. In the Maldives, for instance most of the resorts have now done away with plastic bottles, and are using glass and/or refillable bottles. Several islands also have their own recycling centers, where they are taking things such as cans or other items, and converting them into other things for sale, or items to use in the resorts such as bags, hats, and more.
3. Go outside and pluck me some dinner. The farm-to-table concept has been a thing for a number of years now, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. It is safe to say that every major city in the world has at least one popular farm-to-table concept restaurant. This often goes hand-in-hand with my number two trend of sustainability. In fact, a number of properties around the world have their own gardens where they are growing the produce for the meals served at the hotel. These gardens offer an experiential component for guests as well, and many properties are delighted to give you a tour. Furthermore, many resort restaurants now offer plant-based menus.
4. Beige is so chic: boho chic. Having recently attended a luxury travel show in Seville, Spain, I noticed one huge design trend; many of the newest properties in Europe and beyond are incorporating a kind of boho chic style, where much of the decor is the color of a rope, an egg, or a burlap sack. This is not to say that the design is not beautiful nor luxurious, quite the contrary. There is a definite trend towards using high-end fabrics and materials in soothing colors, especially those that blend with the outside surroundings. You see lots of natural woodgrains and very minimalist decor. Of course there are exceptions to this trend, and I can think of several hotels that have very colorful, glistening, splashy bars and common areas. Still, the boho chic design is very in right now.
5. Next port: USB. At hotel rooms across the globe as well as in planes and on cruises, there has been an influx of USB ports offered, especially in the newest places. It has kind of become the world’s answer to a truly universal adapter.
6. Glamping. I’m sure that almost everyone knows by now, but glamping is essentially glamorous camping. Generally the tents come with an actual bed, a bathroom with indoor shower, and additional seating. There is glamping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, in the mountains in India, in vineyards in Spain, alongside ruins in Peru, all over Australia, and in countless other places I haven’t mentioned.
Bryan Herb is co-owner of Zoom Vacations®, a US company that creates stylish international private events and gay group vacations to the world’s hottest destinations. Learn more about them at www.zoomvacations.com or call 773.772.9666.