2024 TPG Travel Trends Report

The travel industry has experienced significant changes over the past year, with updates to loyalty programs and shifts in traveler preferences. Trends predicted in early 2023 have continued to shape the industry in 2024, including the rise of all-inclusive resorts and pay-to-play elite status programs. Despite challenges such as climate change and overtourism, travel demand has increased, and 2024 is expected to surpass 2019 in terms of travel volume.

One of the top destinations for 2024 is France, with Paris hosting the 2024 Olympics and various events taking place throughout the country. Other popular destinations include San Diego and Tijuana in California, Assam in India, and various locations along the eclipse path in the United States. These destinations offer unique experiences and attractions that are drawing in travelers from around the world.

Experiences are becoming a major driver for travel, with concerts, festivals, and major events sparking demand in various locations. Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” has had a significant impact on local economies and the travel industry at large, and her international legs of the tour in 2024 will continue to drive travel. Additionally, “set-jetting” to destinations featured in popular TV shows and regional theme park visits are growing in popularity among travelers.

The cruise industry has seen ongoing trends from 2023, including the launch of larger ships by mainstream cruise lines and more intimate experiences offered by luxury lines. However, a new trend on the horizon is the increase in private beach escapes, with cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line planning to open new private beaches and islands to enhance itineraries. This trend caters to travelers seeking exclusive and secluded experiences.

In the hotel sphere, new brands are emerging with a focus on residential-style accommodations and technological advancements. These luxury-minded brands aim to compete with Airbnb, offering more space and amenities for families and friend groups traveling together. Family-friendly resorts in Orlando are leading the way in providing accommodations that cater to the growing demand for more space.

As travel demand continues to grow, airlines are adding more flights to popular destinations. “Super-haul” flights, which are the longest flights in the world, are becoming more common, connecting cities like New York and Singapore or London and Perth. Nontraditional carriers like Sun Country Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Avelo Airlines, and Breeze Airways are also gaining popularity, offering budget airfare and service to underserved markets.

Airports are undergoing renovations and receiving federal infrastructure funding to improve traveler amenities and accommodate the increasing number of passengers. New airport lounges have been launched in cities like New York, Denver, and Washington, with more to come. However, lounge overcrowding has led to changes in program guidelines to manage the number of travelers with access. Lounge operators are exploring new ways to offer services, such as Delta Air Lines’ “grab-and-go” concept.

Qualifying for airline elite status has changed, with spending requirements playing a significant role. Some airlines now allow elite status qualification through cobranded credit card spending, while others rely solely on Medallion Qualification Dollars. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also becoming more prevalent in the travel industry, with chatbots and service robots being used to enhance customer service and productivity.

Credit cards in the travel industry are becoming more expensive, with rising annual fees and merchant-specific statement credits. This trend may make some cards feel more like metal coupon cards, limiting their usability for travelers. However, despite these challenges, the industry is still expected to grow in 2024. Technology enhancements will play a larger role in travel experiences, from planning to booking and arrival, as travelers seek out new and unique experiences worldwide.

Overall, the travel industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing trends and demands. While challenges such as climate change and overtourism need to be addressed, there is still much to look forward to in the world of travel. Technology advancements and a desire for new experiences will shape the industry in the coming years.

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