People are traveling more than ever, and the travel industry is changing to suit the demands of the new, well-informed tourist. From the rise in cruelty-free accommodation to the final frontier of human exploration, keep an eye on these exciting travel trends in the coming year.
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The 7 Popular Travel Trends to Follow in 2020
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Landscape hotels are designed to blend into the natural surroundings, working with the lay of the land rather than against it. Landscape hotels are sustainable and designed with minimal environmental impact in mind, intended to be a quiet retreat where staying guests can get back to nature. The popularity of this unique style of hotel is on the rise, and notable examples include Norway's Juvet, Misool Eco Resort in Indonesia and Arizona's Ambiente (opening winter 2020).
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The historic charm of a centuries old castle or an ancient palace are impossible to fully recreate. That's why, in this ultra-modern world, people are becoming more and more interested in staying at heritage accommodation. Highclere Castle of popular TV series Downton Abbey recently became available on AirBnb and the opulent Taj Falaknuma Palace was restored over a ten-year period, now welcoming esteemed guests from all over the world. In 2020 the Palace of Versailles will begin accepting overnight guests, as well, for those looking for the ultimate combination of luxury and history.
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As flight-shaming sweeps Europe, rail ticket sales soar. In Scandinavia, for example, where the idea of flight-shaming began, rail passengers increased by 40 percent from 2017 to 2018. A journey by rail emits 96 percent less carbon emissions than air travel, and many rail travelers point to the reduced carbon footprint as a deciding factor in their travel decision. If the aviation industry continues to grow at its current rate, it will contribute to 6 percent of all global emissions in just a few years.
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Overtourism, the overcrowding and inadvertent destruction of popular holiday destinations, is a growing problem. The hoards of tourists at places like Bali, Venice and Barcelona are straining local resources and making it impossible to enjoy a vacation. Savvy travelers are looking to hidden gems and underrated hideaways to make their vacation more unique and enjoyable.
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As the vegan and vegetarian populations continue to grow, a new type of hotel has risen to the occasion. 'Vegan Hotels' are about more than just what's on the menu - with featherless pillows, cruelty-free amenities and certainly no wool carpeting, the demand for these planet-friendly hotels is only expected to increase in tandem with vegan lifestyles.
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As people become aware of the world beyond their hometown borders, so does their quest for knowledge of it. More people are beginning to seek out educational tours or volunteer opportunities in order to better themselves or give back to the global community while traveling. In 2020, New Scientist magazine will launch its Discovery Tours around places of scientific interest, led by experts in their respective fields.
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The dawn of the new decade of the 20s marks the beginning of space tourism. Virgin Galactic's first space trips for the common man will launch soon, followed by another travel company with intergalactic dreams, Blue Origin. And with plans for the first resort in outer space underway, it's only a matter of time before space travel becomes almost as accessible as a Caribbean cruise or Dublin walking tour.
The travel industry is starting to change now more than ever with new trends popping up every year. With more sustainable, cruelty-free and educational journeys available than before, this year could mark your best and most unique vacation yet.