Is Travel Entering A New Era? Emerging Trends Suggest So

Travel is experiencing an evolutionary shift in 2024. Nearly 40% of travelers told Expedia they’re likely to use generative AI to help find a hotel or vacation rental. Meanwhile, a third would use it to compare flight options, find inspiration for where to go and/or find fun activities to do once they got to their destination. Compare that to the 6% who used artificial intelligence for anything travel related in 2023.

And that’s just one of the anticipated seismic shifts travelers can expect in 2024. In December, eviivo released their annual travel trends report, based on internal data and industry partners such as Expedia and Booking.com.

As innovative trends and changing preferences begin to reshape the travel landscape, how we plan, experience, and enjoy our travels is changing.

“2024 will be nothing like years past,” says CEO Michele Fitzpatrick of eviivo, a leading hospitality software company. “We’re out of the shadow of the pandemic, and those who work in hospitality have more optimism about their businesses as the industry rapidly grows.”

Music And Sports Tourism Take Center Stage

Taylor Swift
Photo Credit: [@A.Paes/DepositPhotos]

With a lineup of once-in-a-lifetime music and sporting events this year, travelers are willing to pay big bucks and even travel internationally to see their favorite musicians and athletes.

In Paris, France, many large hotel chains are already sold out ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games. However, if you are lucky enough to find a vacancy, you’ll likely encounter astronomical rates or properties nearly an hour’s drive away.

In the United States, for the first time ever, Las Vegas, Nevada hosted Super Bowl LVIII this past weekend at the brand-new Allegiant Stadium — coined “The Greatest Arena on Earth.”  While the stadium only has around 65,000 seats, experts predict somewhere between 300,000 to 450,000 visitors could flood into the city.

Meanwhile, the US PGA Tour will return to a calendar-year season for the first time in a decade. 

Music tourism, also referred to as “tour tourism,” is also expected to grow in popularity. Last year, Swifties and Beyoncé fans dished out thousands of dollars on travel and concert tickets. 

According to an Expedia survey, nearly 70% of respondents say they are more likely to travel outside their hometown for a show. While 44% said they’d travel to a concert just to experience a new destination. 

Spain Will Be The Most Sought After Destination

Malaga, Spain
Photo Credit: [@sepavone/DepositPhotos]

Spain secured its spot on the coveted lists of top travel destinations for 2024, earning accolades from Travel + Leisure, the New York Times, and Frommers. The most sought-after cities to visit in Spain include Mallorca, Valencia, and Seville.

Spain is also high on the list of best places to live—specifically, Malaga, Alicante, Valencia, and Madrid, according to The World’s 20 Best Cities to Live by Forbes

In 2023, Spain dominated the top three spots for best cities for expats, according to InterNations. One city, in particular, stands out for its friendly locals, affordability, and quality of life.

“Malaga is flourishing as one of the fastest growing cities to live and work,” says Philip Comunello, eviivo Regional Director, Spain. “Malaga is also becoming the tech capital of Spain, with tech giants like Google and Oracle moving in, like San Francisco’s Silicon Valley. It doesn’t hurt that Malaga is a seaside city that sprawls with stunning beaches.”

On A Whim: A Surge In Spontaneous Trips

friends on a road trip
Photo Credit: [@Wavebreakmedia/DepositPhotos]

Last year, writers for, Forbes suggested, “last-minute trips are hot;” that the trend will also continue in 2024.

“Out of the 26,000 property owners and hoteliers that use our platform, a significant number have seen spikes in last minute bookings, in addition to guests who book weeks and months in advance,” says Fitzpatrick. 

“In 2024, we’re confident spontaneous bookings will become more common,” he adds, pointing to the data from eviivo Collective, the world’s only collection of unique, notable and luxury independent properties.

According to Hospitality.net, 67% of American travelers agree that spontaneous getaways booked on a whim are the best trips. The survey found that 73% would be willing to visit a “surprise” destination. 

Vacation Rentals vs. Hotels: A Traveler’s Dilemma

vacation rental app
Photo Credit: [@RDStockPhotos/DepositPhotos]

The accommodation landscape is shifting, with demand for vacation rentals experiencing significant growth. 

According to a study by AirDNA, by May of 2023, the demand for vacation rentals (+24%) in small city/rural areas outpaced hotels (0%). Mid-sized cities, suburbs, mountains/lake resorts, and coastal resorts also saw higher demand for vacation rentals. But in larger urban areas, both vacation rentals and hotels saw a 12% increase in demand.

“With vacation rentals, guests have the luxury of more space, privacy and amenities that aren’t offered in a traditional hotel, such as kitchens, laundry and private swimming pools with backyards,” explains Fitzpatrick.

Amenities Matter More Than Ever

spa
Photo Credit: [@pressmaster/DepositPhotos]

To stand out from the crowd, hoteliers and property owners are going above and beyond to wow guests this year, according to Hospitality Net

With the increasing demand for local and authentic experiences, hotels are utilizing their destination’s assets to deliver unique amenities to their guests. Properties are partnering with tour operators, celebrities, and brands that align with these preferences. 

7744 Ranch, a newly opened eviivo Collective property, is an upscale glamping resort with six $2-3 million dollar, bi-level trailers once owned by celebrities like Vin Diesel, Jennifer Lopez, and Simon Cowell. Each unit is equipped with the original furnishings and decor used by these celebrities. 

Due to the game’s increasing popularity, many luxury resorts now have pickleball courts

Hotels are also making rooms “smarter” with new technologies, adding green-friendly features, and offering immersive travel experiences like yoga retreats and surf camps. Airbnb hosts like Kenny Hawksworth are upgrading with amenities, who offers complimentary fitness bars at his properties.

A Growing Demand For ‘Immersive Sustainability’

Costa Rica jungle
Photo Credit: [@kamchatka/DepositPhotos]

Based on Booking.com’s 2024 travel predictions report, 53% of travelers want accommodations that offer innovative sustainability features with a “wow factor.”

While sustainable travel isn’t new, there seems to be a growing number of travelers who want to minimize their environmental footprint. According to Marriott, 77% of respondents expressed a desire to travel to environmentally friendly destinations that resonate with their values.

The 34-acre eviivo Collective retreat, Desert Harbor, located in New Mexico, was constructed exclusively using eco-friendly materials. This eco-retreat relies entirely on solar power and is among the world’s only properties that encourage dogs to roam freely off-leash, allowing them to explore the wilderness and connect with their canine heritage.

Gen AI: An Unstoppable Force Shaping Travel

vacation rental app
Photo Credit: [@sdecoret/DepositPhotos]

Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI) is poised to become the new norm in the travel industry. With the emergence of Open AI tools, such as ChatGPT, travelers and property owners now have tools to help improve travel experiences.

In May 2023, eviivo made history as the first hospitality software company to introduce Gen-AI to independent accommodations through the debut of eviivo Concierge. This virtual concierge serves property hosts, hoteliers, and vacation rental group managers, allowing them to integrate guest management tools with their established websites.

As we navigate the ever-evolving travel landscape in 2024, one thing is clear: the industry is embracing innovation, sustainability, and a renewed sense of adventure, promising exciting experiences for travelers.

This article was produced by Media Decision and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks. Photo Credit: [@HayDmitriy/DepositPhotos]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Is Travel Entering A New Era? Emerging Trends Suggest So

Alexandrea Sumuel Groves is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. Her work has appeared on MSN, YAHOO!, Euronews, and FOX, ABC, and NBC affiliates across the United States. 

Alex travels to experience, eat, explore, and occasionally escape! She collaborates with destinations, vacation property management companies, and hospitality technology firms to provide her readers with exclusive insights and information.