Dubai, UAE, 14 January 2018: As the 2017/2018 peak holiday season closes, travel planning for the next round of 2018 holidays is on the front burner for families, singles and business travellers.
Wego.co.ae, covering a travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has put together a list of 2018’s major travel predictions to simplify and spur the holiday planning process.
MENA covers the Middle East and North Africa and Wego’s trending is based on observations sourced from data in this region.
Nine trends driving travel in 2018
- Responsible Tourism: Today’s travellers prefer travel and hospitality service providers who embed green or eco-friendly practices into their operations. Best ethical destinations include: Panama, Dominica, Tonga, Mongolia, and Uruguay.
- Short Leisure Trips: Weekends are the perfect opportunity to take a three- to four-hour flight out to nearby destinations (MENA region) such as Goa, India or Tbilisi, Georgia. Globally, an estimated 60% of Wego users look for one-night or two-night stays.
- Culinary Holidays: More travellers are following their stomach, combining the attractions of a new destination with experiential and culinary delights. Whether your tastes run to trying out a storied or starred restaurant, the trend leads us to sample ethnic food traditions or genuine street food at its source. According to the World Food Travel Association, 75% of leisure travellers visit destinations because of local food-based activities.
- Cold Locales: Escaping to a cosy log-house or to watch the stunning Northern Lights in Iceland, Alaska or Antarctica continues to be a popular trend. In Asia, Japan’s ski resorts fit the bill. This preference for freezing-cold locales is primarily because travellers are looking to dive into new, exotic cultures and adventures, especially if they live in hot, arid countries.
- Luxury backpacking or ‘glamping’: For those who wish to go backpacking, but do not want to give up on the luxurious amenities of a five-star hotel, try ‘glamping’. It’s the most comfortable way to experience the adventures of an Indian desert or an African jungle.
- Solo trips: Young travellers are more likely to pick a solo-trip to a peaceful Indonesian island or the culture-soaked streets of Cuba: to see the world on their own terms, or even find like-minded people.
- Cultural hunt: There is no better way to experience and understand new cultures than by visiting museums. Some of the recent big draws in the museum circuit have been: Louvre Abu Dhabi, Oman Opera House & Museum MACAN in Jakarta.
- Bleisure: Mix work and play on every business trip as more city hotels offer full leisure facilities such as swimming pool and spa services. This works best for employees who travel for work on long weekends, and even take their families with them.
- Off-the-beaten-track Destinations: Forget the traditional locations of Paris, Vienna, and New York; and say hello to lesser-known and exotic destinations. Think: bird watching in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, or camping out by the gorgeous lakes of Slovenia.
Wego Managing Director of MENA and India, Mamoun Hmedan said: “In the last few years, people from the MENA region have been jet-setting like never before, and the year 2018 will likely see no exception to this positive trend. We witnessed a lot of new trends in all our markets last year as people travel more frequently and to new destinations and adventures and away from traditionally popular destinations.”