Lonely Planet Predicts The Future Of Travel

“In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself” – Frantz Fanon

In 1914, the first scheduled flight to carry a paying passenger took to the clouds. From that moment, the whole tourist industry was completely changed. A century later, 3.3 billion travellers use commercial flights to travel every year, and the total number of passengers who have flown in the last 100 years is 65 billion. And now, every second, more than a hundred aircraft takeoff worldwide.

The revolution of transportation and technology have made travel become cheaper and more accessible, also making it simpler than ever to travel independently to the world’s most far-flung corners. And below, Lonely Planet will tell you how it will likely be in the next decade.

Travel as life, not luxury

With more than 8 million people travelling each day, it will soon become fully integrated into our lives as opposed to a special event. Obstacles that prevented people travelling, like high costs, continue to fall away; for those with the means, travel has become a lifestyle, choosing to see beautiful destinations all over the world. Planes anywhere, scenic train routes and even the endless possibilities to go on a Caribbean cruise are appealing to almost everyone. Forget about the language barrier with the advent of ever-smarter translation apps. Also, the opportunities to work remotely will be incredibly common thanks to the Internet drones, which allow you to connect with people no matter where you are. Moreover, the rise in the number of people working remoting and working while on vacation has inspired others of all ages that they are not limited to live and work in their own city.

International festival fever

With flights faster and cheaper than ever before, travellers are taking advantage of a global calendar of events. “Be like a local” will be a common spirit with any traveller when they explore new cities and countries for events that interest them rather than watch on TV.

Flights of fantasy

The increase of competition on well-trodden flight paths is encouraging airlines to improve the experience for everyone, especially economic fliers. As true comparison-shopping for air travel increases choice and competition, the future looks bright for economy flights – perhaps lie-flat seats, high-quality food and more luxurious touches are not too far away.

The evolution of airports

Airports are also due for an overhaul as innovative departure lounges are a key part of any future landscape. With airport spas, art galleries, green areas and even cinemas now a common site at many departure lounges, Lonely Planet suggests we can expect bigger and bolder leisure activities soon.

The rise of experience hotels

As travellers explore the globe in search of memorial experiences and once-in-a-lifetime sights, the role of hotels has evolved over the last decade during the boom of interest in experiential travel. Hotels are differentiating themselves in an increasingly competitive and complex market by promoting a more local travel experience.

Smarter sustainable travel

Green travel is to rise as 70% of travellers expect companies to demonstrate commitment to preserving the natural environment prompting a boom in ecotourism and volunteering abroad. The aviation industry in particular has set its own objectives for carbon-neutral growth and cutting carbon dioxide emissions in half.

Travel planning in your palm (or on your nose)

As more airlines go paperless, our smartphones will become the key to planning and tracking travel. Travellers will plan their upcoming trips by sitting on their laptop and using Roadtrippers to plan the road, or Google StreetView to examine their next destinations. Also, getting used to traffic in the new city will be much easier with the vast options of local traffic maps. Many airlines are planning to bring augmented reality into the travel experience, with recommendations, navigation and taking photos by voice command by offering passengers Google Glasses.

The lure of unplugged travel

The “un-plugged” travel will become a new trend since people get tired of being connected and seriously seek for true escape. It’s becoming highly valued, and remote hotels are starting to make a feature of their lack of Internet or phone signals. The novelty of daily tweets from exotic locales has worn thin, and more travellers will look instead to a simple social media signoff: “trekking into the jungle, see you when I’m back”.

Return to local knowledge

Sourcing online reviews remains second-nature for travellers, but hunger for secret coves and local secrets are emboldening them to embrace face-to-face or local recommendations.

Virtual travel

By the year 2050, the nation will be able to feel, taste and smell their holiday while sitting at their desk thanks to a fully immersive, multi-sensory 3D version of the Internet. Even today, it is possible to virtually travel the world thanks to online guided tours but this will only become even more immersive as technology develops.

Travel has changed dramatically since the first commercial flight 100 years ago, and the next 100 years has endless possibilities. Share your comments with us.

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