This is part of an article that first appeared in the April 2017 issue of Finnish lifestyle magazine, Kotiblogit in Finnish.
Every year, almost 1.2 billion people travel abroad, and that number is expected to increase by around 5% year on year [UN World Tourism Organisation].
With more and more people travelling the world what are the top travel trends in 2017?
1 | Responsible Travel
The United Nations named 2017 the Year of Sustainable Tourism in recognition of the environmental and social impact tourism has on our world. In practical terms, this means travellers are taking more time to assess the impact their trips have on local communities and the environment.
Many people choose to travel by train rather than plane or car to reduce their environmental footprint.
Other travellers are avoiding wildlife tours that may harm animals. Some examples of this are elephant rides and tiger patting experiences in South East Asia.
We always try to ensure our tourism dollar is spent with local organisations when we travel and avoid international chains where possible. That way tourist revenues stay with and support local communities.
I am an ambassador for Visit.org who aim to make socially conscious travel easy, fun, and accessible by promoting local experiences around the world delivered by not for profit community groups. With Visit.org you can really make a difference.
Go on a walking tour of London neighbourhoods and support the vulnerably housed individuals they hire as guides.
In Africa, you can join safari across the Great Rift Valley with a group committed to the development and education of Tanzanian children. Learn more at www.visit.org
Another excellent way to support the communities you visit is to shop at local markets for your supplies. I particularly love the fresh seasonal produce available at French markets.
2 | Special stays
Why book a small, dark hotel room in Amsterdam when you could rent a houseboat on the canals? Travellers are looking for interesting places to stay on their vacations with all the added extras.
Let your imagination run wild and choose rest your head in an eco-lodge, yurt, chateau or even a rainforest treehouse. You get a new perspective on your destination and have wonderful memories of your trip to share long after the experience is over.
If you like visiting cities, the best hosts on Airbnb and other short-term rental sites include lots of special additions with your booking. Nearby restaurant recommendations, luxury toiletries and tasty local treats await you at your accommodation.
In London, the Plum Guide takes all the hard work out of finding the best apartments to rent. They curate a collection of unique and inspiring homes available for short term rental where all the special touches are included in very reasonable rates. Check out these special London stays at plumguide.com
3 | Multigenerational travel
As we lead busier lives, spending quality time with those we care about the most becomes more important. Increasingly, people are choosing to holiday with their extended family including grandparents, aunts, uncles and children.
The key to enjoying a vacation like this is to make sure there is a wide variety of activities for all family members to enjoy. An Italian villa holiday ticks all the boxes for me.
Rent a villa with a pool close to a small town with great local restaurants you can walk to and close to some historical and cultural sites for sightseeing. You can find some brilliant options on Bookings For You a booking site specialising in Italian villas.
4 | Foodie travels
Chances are some of the best memories of your travels are of the delicious food that you ate along the way whether you seek out street food or Michelin stars. You are not alone.
Let your taste buds lead your adventures and find the best pastry in Paris, the most delicious pasta in Italy or a Mexican seafood feast you will be talking about for years to come.
I recommend joining a local food tour on your next trip. Not only will you try the local dishes but you inevitably learn about your destination in a unique way.
On a recent visit to Venice, we discovered local food traditions and learned about the history and culture of the lagoon city on a walking food tour. It was one of the highlights of our travels last year.
5 | Immersive experiences
Travelling can be so much more than gentle wandering around sites. People of all ages are increasingly seeking deeper cultural experiences when they travel whether that be a short city walking tour or a longer overnight writing or art course in an exotic location.
In Berlin, we enjoyed a fascinating bike tour of the east of the city that included visiting lesser known sites and learning about the history of the areas we saw.
An extended culinary break in Italy is at the top of my experience wish list. Many communities are joining forces to offer unique experiences including cooking classes, wine tasting and cheese making. Visit Palazzo Tronconi in Italy’s Lazio region and enjoy a luxury farm stay and a gastronomic adventure you will be talking about for years to come.
What trends are you seeing in travel? Are there any travel trends that interest you and you would like to try? And are there some that just seem plain silly?
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