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2020 Travel Trends & Predictions

2020 Travel Trends & Predictions
16 October 2019 admin_rooster

“2019 has been one for the history books, particularly for the travel industry, which witnessed one of the oldest travel giants collapse, airlines go under and the strains of Brexit’s uncertainty continue.

As we look forward to 2020, while political and economic uncertainties remain, we’ve recognised positive influences outside of the travel sector that will impact the way in which consumers will travel in the year to come, and for the better, we believe.

Guided by changing consumer purchase habits through emerging generations, fast-paced social media platforms creating universal communities, and the advancements in technology, each play a role in shaping travel habits and demand.

Here, we look five of 2020’s biggest travel trends and predictions, from DNA mapping to supporting lesser-known communities. 2020 will be a year of discovery, community and sustainability.” Sam Willan, General Manager of StudentUniverse

DNA Discovery

Trend: Taking time to travel has often stemmed from individuals hoping to ‘find themselves’. However, with advances in modern technology and a growing demand from those wishing to trace ancestral heritage, people are now, quite literally, finding themselves through DNA mapping.

The trend of DNA discovery is on the rise and set to be a big hit in 2020. Discovering ancestral roots will inspire more and more people to book a flight, take a ferry or board a train to visit their ancestral roots across all corners of the globe. The appeal of DNA discovery is influencing people to visit new and often unheard-of destinations, perhaps not known for their tourism offering, but for sentimental purposes, no matter what percentage the DNA make-up is.

Destination: Whether it be a journey to Scandinavia, or further afield to the Americas, there are no limits when it comes to DNA discovery. Whatever the ancestral heritage, it’ll be a big travel booking factor in 2020.


Trend: The much-needed antidote to over-tourism, which has wreaked havoc in once untouched parts of the world, is set to gain momentum in 2020. For fans of travel ‘off-the-beaten-track’, uncrowded sights, and unspoiled destinations; embracing under-tourism is all about expanding travellers’ horizons, while giving back to communities that can truly benefit from tourism, rather than suffer from it. Under-tourism has the potential to transform the travel industry in 2020 – watch this space.

Destination: According to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Sierra Leone is one of the world’s least-visited countries. For those looking to explore outside the tourism traps, then a visit to this West African country has a lot to offer. The country has an abundance of wildlife, from sanctuaries to game reserves, and a deep-rooted heritage which can be discovered on guide tours for early Krio settlements.

Going Solo

Trend: There are many advantages to solo travel, from going against the tourism grain and discovering a destination’s quirks, to the flexibility of changing plans on a whim and relishing in the chance to be independent and uncompromising.

While the thought of solo travel remains daunting for some, the trend has been growing over the years and shows no sign of slowing down. In 2018, more than one in six chose to travel solo, up from one in nine in 2017*. With figures increasing YOY, 2020 will be the year that’ll see more solo travel than ever before, as people of all ages strive for adventure and embrace freedom.

Destination: Thailand. Known for its picture-perfect beaches, ancient ruins and Buddhist temples, the Southeast Asia hotspot is an ideal place for that first solo travel experience thanks to its buzzing tourist vibe. It’s hard to not make friends for life in Thailand.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Trend: Work-life balance has been under the spotlight in 2019, with Gen Z and Millennial influencers and spokespeople pushing for greater flexibility, in order to strike a better balance between work and play.

With both generations fortunate enough to travel with work to destinations across the globe, more than any other generation before them, we anticipate 2020 will see a rise in extended breaks that incorporate work and play, living up to the demand for better work life balance.

Destination: Major cosmopolitan cities, home to financial districts, tech hubs and creative spaces, will be at the heart of this trend. Destinations that will help travellers play as hard as they work, including New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Singapore and Toronto.

Green Adventures

Trend: Sustainable travel has seen its fastest acceleration in 2019 than in any year prior, but it shows no sign of slowing down in 2020. With Gen Z leading the charge to save our planet before it’s too late, it’s no surprise that the tourism industry has been quick to respond to the growing demand for eco-tourism holidays and experiences.

While flying is a huge part of travel, and for many its unavoidable, how travellers spend their time overseas can, to some extent, counteract the environmental impact flying has on the environment.

Destination: In the 2019 Sustainable Top 100 Destination Awards, Nepal entered the list with Bardia National Park, winning gold for the Best of Asia category. The national park is the largest protected area in Nepal’s Terai, home to animals like elephants, rhinoceros and Bengal tigers. The population of the animals that live here is estimated to double by 2022 thanks to efforts from international organisations.

StudentUniverse is the world’s leading travel booking site for youths and students. For more information on flights to all the destinations mentioned, please visit:


Notes to editors:
*Abta Holiday Habits Report 2018

For further press information, please contact:
Arabella Halfhide | Baillie Horwood
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About StudentUniverse
StudentUniverse is the world’s leading travel booking site for students and youth. Through negotiations with a network of global partners, StudentUniverse offers discounted pricing and terms on flights, hotels and tours.

StudentUniverse launched in the UK in 2013 and was acquired by Flight Centre Travel Group in 2015. StudentUniverse is headquartered in Boston with offices in London, Toronto, New York and the Philippines. StudentUniverse believes that travel is essential to a modern education. Millions of students use the service every year.

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