Travel Trends 2020 brings together the latest news and views from ABTA Members, market research and ABTA’s own research, providing insights about trends and destinations to look out for in the year ahead.
2019 marked another year of political turbulence, capped by the General Election on 12 December. As we go to press, we do not yet know what the shape of the new government will be, nor are we any closer to finding a resolution to Brexit – all options still appear to be on the table.
We saw the very sad demise of Thomas Cook towards the latter part of 2019 – an iconic British travel company whose failure impacted hundreds of thousands of customers and employees as well as many other travel businesses.
In spite of this context, however, 2019 proved to be a resilient year for holidaytaking. ABTA’s own research, along with other industry data, shows that despite the gloomy political and economic indicators, the vast majority of people still went on holiday – nearly nine in ten of us, in fact.
The enduring appeal of the package holiday is part of the reason for this, particularly as it evolves and adapts to appeal to new generations of holidaymakers. Also encouraging is that travel professionals are adapting to the changing needs of customers, a trend we think will continue as travel businesses increasingly employ technology to complement and support customer service.
In last year’s report, we predicted that 2019 would be the year that sustainability issues would go mainstream and that has proved to be the case, with a spotlight thrown on climate change in particular. Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion have become household names and there is an increasing appetite to understand the environmental impacts of travel and tourism. Tourism can be a tremendous force for good, although impacts on destinations, their natural environment, economies and communities need to be managed.
For its part, ABTA is committed to working with its Members, their suppliers, travellers, and destination governments, including the UK government, to build a sustainable industry and ensure tourism benefits everyone.
Chief Executive, ABTA