Travel & Tourism Trends 2020 – Top 12

12 Opportunities for The Tourism Industry 

Every industry has trends and innovations – our industry is not exception. In a rapidly-evolving landscape, new trends are appearing and taking hold all the time.

Whatever aspect of the tourism sector your business is involved in, you need to keep your finger on the pulse. Formerly beloved concepts and products go out of style, to be replaced by more modern elements that end up capturing more of the market. New destinations, new technologies and means of transport have caused major shifts in the industry. Early adoption of new trends is vital.

1.Eco Travel

Tourism trends are heavily influenced by the concerns and mores of the customer base. As a new generation becomes increasingly relevant in the marketplace, the ideals driving their purchasing decisions create new tourism trends. Eco travel is just one example of these tourism trends, reflecting a growing concern among today’s travellers for sustainable tourism options. Eco travel includes simple changes, such as the option to rent an electric instead of a conventional vehicle. More sophisticated examples might include tourism with a volunteer element.

2.Local Experience

Today’s tourists don’t want to be insulated from the places they visit. They want to engage with and participate in the local culture. From enjoying local cuisine to celebrating regional festivals and holidays, local experiences are set to become some of the top tourist trends to watch. One example of a popular local experience would be a long stay with a host family in the destination country as a means to learn more about the local culture.


You’re probably familiar with those ads that pop up on social media and certain other websites, ads related to things you’ve looked at or purchased online. This is just one example of personalisation. As well as in marketing tourism more effectively, personalisation can apply to every aspect of the tourist experience. Today’s consumers expect experiences that closely match their personal preferences, from destinations to accomodation and the kinds of activities they’ll engage in. The more closely an experience can be tailored to a client’s desires and expectations, the more likely they are to return and to use the same service again.

4.Bleisure Travel – The Millennial Tourism Trend

The concept of combining leisure and tourism with travel for business has become increasingly relevant among tourism trends. Bleisure travel tourism can take many forms. Sometimes a client who is travelling for work decides to engage in tourism on their downtime, in other cases, a company may arrange for tourist activities on work trips as a perk. Another increasingly popular set of tourism trends relate to the “digital nomad” phenomenon where online workers engage in travel.

5.Robots, chatbots and automation

One of the more eye-catching examples of these particular tourism trends is Connie, the Hilton Hotel chain’s robot concierge. Other hotels have also got in on the robot-staff trend, installing interactive robots to handle certain reception duties or even having them serve food and drink to visitors. Also in Bulgaria, we can meet the first robot in hotel industry – “Roomy”, part of the staff of Best Western Premier Sofia Airport Hotel.

Many customers now book their travel and accommodation with the help of internet chatbots, specifically tailored artificial intelligence who can handle queries and assist customers with useful information when human operators are unavailable.

Video: Alibaba’s first “Future Hotel”

6.Artificial intelligence (AI)

As well as the aforementioned chatbots, artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important to the tourism industry. Machine learning technology is now firmly entrenched in the marketing of the tourism sector, with AI helping to personalise the experience of finding and booking tours and trips. AI is also increasingly valuable in contexts such as smart hotel rooms, identifying the likely needs of guests and fine-tuning the environment and services to fit the guest’s needs and preferences. Artificial intelligence is finding applications everywhere, from customer service to security. Future AI tourism trends to watch out for might include self-driving vehicles and virtual guides for tourism.

Video: AI for Marketing & Growth

7.Recognition technology

Recognition technology is one of those increasingly important travel & tourism trends that’s starting to creep into a multitude of different areas. One of the most familiar applications of recognition technology for a frequent traveller is the bank of automatic gates at some borders. The gates are capable of reading the data on the traveller’s passport or ID card and matching it to their face using a camera and facial recognition technology. Recognition technology is one of the big tourism trends in the hospitality industry too, with voice recognition becoming more and more popular as a method of control in smart hotel rooms.

8.IoT /Internet of things/

The IoT is relevant to many tourism trends. IoT devices are gadgets equipped with a microprocessor and some form of digital connectivity, allowing them to connect to, and be controlled from, the internet. IoT devices include heating and cooling systems, entertainment systems and other items often found in a hotel room, calling often “smart” hotel rooms. The IoT is also used to integrate services in hospitality setting, for example by allowing guests to book activities /a session in the hotel’s spa, swimming in the pool, training in the gym etc/ or request such things as room service or extra linen via a hub or a smartphone application.

9.Virtual reality /VR/

Virtual reality technology offers many opportunities for tourism management. Tourism trends involving VR include high-end entertainment applications, some of them combining physical elements like controllers or movable seating and platforms. Sports simulators are increasingly popular. Many extreme activities can also be simulated using VR.

Virtual reality can also allow tourists to “visit” destination that are too fragile for physical tours, such as archeological sites: structures can be recreated in VR and tourists can enjoy the experience of walking around them unimpeded.

10.Augmented reality /AR/

Where VR simulates entire environments and experiences, augmented reality combines real-world experiences and virtual elements. A familiar example would be the smartphone game Pokémon Go, where imaginary creatures are superimposed on real-time footage of the player’s environment. In the tourist industry, this is obviously very useful. AR smartphone apps can show tourists information about the area they’re exploring. This could be historical details about buildings and landmarks, or listings and menus for entertainment venues and local eateries. Museums make increasing use of AR, allowing visitors to view artefacts with their original appearance as a virtual overlay. Other augmented reality applications might include internet-enabled virtual maps.

Video: Menu AR – menu of restaurants in augmented reality

11.Healthy and organic food

Healthy food and the kind of fare consumed by tourists used to be antonyms in the minds of many travellers, with holidays traditionally representing a chance to break one’s diet and indulge in forbidden treats. Today’s travellers know that delicious and nutritious are not exclusive concepts. Demand for excellent cuisine with a view to better nutrition is driving new tourism trends. The modern tourist wants to know that the food they’re eating is as healthy as it is delicious. The organic food movement is also affecting tourism trends, with more eateries and hotels offering organic options. Other special diets are also represented.

12.Customer experience

Of course, the customer experience has always been central to the tourist industry. With new technologies and an ever-broadening array of options for tourists, enhancing the customer experience has never been more vital. In the final analysis, customer experience is what will make or break your business. Fine-tuning the experience can make the difference between creating a loyal repeat customer who boosts your business via word of mouth, and one who drops out at the booking stage. Everything from the web interface where your clients book their trips to the very last day of their journey needs to be as enjoyable as possible.

Main information source: REVFINE