Top Travel Trends 2014

by EmmaP

What is motivating people to travel in 2014? These are my predictions for the year ahead.

Eco tourism
In my opinion travel and being eco-friendly are naturally a bit of a contradiction. But as Many of us are becoming more conscious of how to reduce our ‘footprints’ in our daily lives; it makes sense that we should apply this to travelling too. Eco-tourism is far from a new idea, but is without a doubt on the rise. The UN World Tourism organisation predicts that there will be a whopping 1.6 billion eco-inspired trips taken by 2020. Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." Sounds like a win-win situation to me. There are so many destinations that offer eco-friendly experiences, all over the world, so this year if it takes your fancy, maybe you can give a little back on your holiday.

One could argue that any kind of travelling is an adventure (maybe not your work commute…), but it would seem that 2014 is the year to really go out push yourself, discover new activities and learn new skills. Adventure and exploration are, of course, intertwined and people are not only striving to find unexplored destinations, but also partake in more ‘adventurous’ activities whilst they are abroad. It would seem that merely sitting on a beach is not enough to tempt a lot of us these days (although it probably would be for me). Exploring the unknown is a natural curiosity which many of us have; hence the need to travel in the first place. But as the world gets smaller and smaller people are turning to more interesting methods of viewing the world in more unique ways. Inquisitiveness fuels exploration, and in turn makes us naturally more adventurous. Technology of course plays a part in this too – we are able to do things that our grandparents may have not even imagined. This year it is tipped that adventuring may be taken to the next level, as Virgin’s Galactic experience should be ready to blast clients into space, you can book now if you have a few hundred thousand dollars spare.

Medical tourism
This is big business, particularly for our friends over the pond, who have insane medical bills. This was highlighted to me the other week when my American friend’s family came to stay with me in Seoul on route to Thailand. I asked them why they were visiting Thailand, and their reply was – 'we all need dental check-ups'. I was shocked that this would be their primary reason for visiting, but then it started to make sense. Go on holiday to a beautiful destination and save a pretty penny along the way. Medical tourism also includes cosmetic surgery, which is a lot cheaper to get done abroad, so if you feel like making permanent changes to your appearance, why not combine it with a holiday? That may sound a little cynical, but this is an increasing motivation for people to travel. Asia is the place for cheap medical care, and although that may sound a little scary many clinics offer state of the art technology, which is generally a lot cheaper than in Europe and almost certainly the US. A quick nip and tuck, then off to the beach to show off your new body….. 21st century dream….