January 03, 2024

From Coolcationing, Gig Tripping to Home Swapping, These Are the Trends Shaping Travel in 2024

If 2022 was all about a return to travel, then 2023 was the year we went further than ever before. Travellers took to the skies, rails, roads and seas to tick off major bucket-list moments, with Arctic adventures, luxury yacht cruises and even the first tourist trip into space.

In 2024, travellers will be putting what's important to them front and centre of their plans, valuing deeper experiences that leave a positive impact, time spent with loved ones and wellness moments that last well after checkout. We'll be choosing destinations carefully, slowing it down to enjoy the silence and the stars, indulging in our love of food in new and interesting places, and immersing ourselves in wellness practices that help us live longer.

These are the 20 travel trends likely to guide how we see the world in 2024.

1. Astro tourism

What's the trend?
Astronomy, of course, is a field of study that has been around since the dawn of civilisation, and the act of gazing up at the stars has long been a source of soul-soothing wonder. Today, the more society falls deeper into an ever-expanding virtual world, the more we feel a need to broaden our horizons in the real universe. Astro tourism, or star bathing, is the act of travelling with the aim of catching sight of astronomical phenomena Ð disappearing to lands devoid of any pollution, crowds and traffic, where we can focus solely on the skies above and while away hours gazing at the stars, planets and constellations overhead.

Why will it matter in 2024? Increasingly, wellness-centric hotels and spas are creating the space for guests to gaze upwards, watching for comets, spying constellations and identifying patterns in the glittering expanse. In the UK, Port Lympne has opened the Lookout Bubble, a glass dome allowing guests to sprawl out on king-sized beds and study the stars. Further east on the Arabian Gulf, Zulal Wellness Resort is surrounded by the expanse of the Qatari desert Ð the ultimate destination for pollution-free astromancy, with dedicated workshops and stargazing sessions for families and children looking to learn more about the cosmos. Safari company Desert & Delta organises trips for travellers looking to soak up the stars across Botswana and Namibia, where guests can sleep in tents at remote locations such as the Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the world's largest salt flats, and spend nights with uninterrupted star vistas. Similarly, Tswalu is a South African safari camp with star beds set on a sleep-out deck in the Korannaberg mountains. And 2024 happens to be a big year, astronomy-wise, from mind-boggling eclipses to spectacular meteor showers Ð plus, scientists are predicting the best displays of the northern lights in 20 years, according to the Guardian, as we approach the next solar maximum (the sun's peak of its 11-year activity cycle). Olivia Morelli

2. Eco diving

What's the trend?
A rise in divers choosing their travel destinations based on the sustainability of the scuba centres, and having a more positive, regenerative impact on the ocean once there.

Why will it matter in 2024? In 2022, UK marine ecology charity The Reef-World Foundation found that 95 per cent of divers wanted to book with sustainable operators, but struggled to do so. In response to this, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (Padi) launched its Eco Center accreditation on World Earth Day (22 April) 2023, with the United Nations Environment Program and Reef-World itself. The steps required to earn this green status are so rigorous Ð including sharing evidence of conservation activities and a real reduction in environmental footprint Ð that Padi advised operators to allow at least 12 months to hit the criteria, taking us toÉ Earth Day 2024. After an initial figure of just 11 worldwide, there are now 100, and Padi has set a goal to reach 660 by 2030 Ð a 10th of its membership. “South East Asia currently has the highest density (more than 20), along with the Caribbean,” says Julie Andersen of Padi. So what does this mean for divers and their trips? “The type of conservation work done and reported on depends on the Eco Center,” Andersen explains. “Those in the Caribbean offer coral replanting programmes, key for regenerating coastlines. In Baja, Mexico, they've developed citizen science courses, collecting data for whale conservation.” There are also a number of new Padi courses being launched for any diver to take anywhere, including the Global Shark and Ray Census in August 2024, as well as the relaunch of the Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course before December. Becky Lucas

3. Home swapping

What's the trend?
Increasingly, discerning travellers are looking to stay away for longer stretches, while the rise of remote jobs post-pandemic means that working and living abroad has never been more appealing. The catch? Forking out on hefty accommodation fees while you're at it. Enter home swapping: the perfect solution to guarantee yourself a (free) home abroad while you offer up your own in exchange Ð for weeks or even months at a time.

Why will it matter in 2024? As the cost of holidaying continues to climb, home swapping is an affordable alternative to splashing out on expensive hotels or Airbnbs. And while the concepts of couch surfing and house exchanges have existed for decades, several slick new platforms are redefining what home swapping looks like today. Twin City, which operates in cities as far-flung as Lisbon and Los Angeles, has curated a community of 1,100 plus carefully vetted users in just eight months. For an annual subscription fee of £150, members can find Twins to connect with through the platform, and are encouraged to exchange local recommendations for their city as well as their homes, enabling members to feel as if they're swapping with a trusted friend rather than a stranger. Meanwhile, Kindred, a home-swapping platform where members rack âÛÜâÛÜup credits for each night that they exchange homes, raised $15 million in funding this year to expand operations across the USA and Europe, and currently has 10,000 plus homes in more than 50 cities. Members simply pay a cleaning and service fee for each stay, while the cost of the stay itself is free. Or skip out on membership fees entirely and head straight to TikTok, where Gen Z appears to be spearheading the home-swapping movement on social media. Inspired by cult film The Holiday, trending tags #houseswap and #homeswap have garnered more than 23 and 20 million views respectively, with users utilising the platform as a means to advertise their homes, discover like-minded peers to swap with and document their adventures along the way. Gina Jackson

4. Train stations are the new food destinations

What's the trend?
Train stations around the world are usually passed through as quickly as possible, having not been designed for commuters to stay and hang out. Nowadays, as travel delays increase and visitors want more local experiences, it pays for train stations to welcome travellers with shops, restaurants and bars for them to explore. In an effort to create a more dynamic visitor experience, historic train stations are being revamped, with bespoke food and drink offerings as an integral part of the redesign.

Why will it matter in 2024? As train stations are renovated to accommodate more travellers and update old infrastructure, local restaurants and bars are being added to attract more customers. In 2023, the new Moynihan Train Hall in New York City became home to The Irish Exit, a bar from the team behind the acclaimed Dead Rabbit, and Yono Sushi by trendy BondST, plus outposts of beloved NYC restaurants Pastrami Queen and Jacob's Pickles, with Mexican hotspot La Esquina coming soon. Platform 1 a new bar and restaurant that opened in November underneath Glasgow Central Station. The cave-like space, with its historic brick arches, serves street-food-style dishes and craft brews made in the on-site microbrewery, plus there's an outdoor beer garden. As part of its renovation, Toronto's Union Station launched Union Market in May 2023 with favourite local food retailers Manotas Organics, Chocolatta Brigadeiro's, Patties Express and Kibo. Meanwhile, in Somerset, Castle Cary station is in the process of a revamp, with nearby hotel The Newt creating a creamery, cafe and co-working space, which is set to open in 2024. Also on tap for the next few years is the completed renovation of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, with plans for a 20 per cent increase in concession space that will focus on local purveyors. Devorah Lev-Tov

5. Sports tourism

What's the trend?
No longer the domain of lads on tour keen to sink as many pints as possible with one eye on a football game, sports tourism has evolved in the past few years with a new generation Ð and type Ð of sports fan emerging thanks to glossy TV documentaries (Formula 1: Drive to Survive, we're looking at you). Now, we're taking our fandom out of the house and following a host of different sports in destinations across the world, planning holidays that hinge around seeing games, races and other activities in exotic locales, and extending trips on either side to see the sights too.

Why will it matter in 2024? A little event known as the Olympic and Paralympic Games anchors the 2024 sports calendar. It kicks off in Paris in late July and runs until early September, during which time more than a million tourists are expected to check in across the French capital. The games have inspired city-wide projects such as the Û1.4-billion clean-up of the Seine, which , all going well, will allow public swimming in the river for the first time in a century. Elsewhere, the Tour de France starts in Italy for the first time in 2024, with competitors speeding off in Florence before heading to Rimini on the Adriatic coast and then north to the Apennines through Emilia-Romagna. New bike routes in the area have been released by tour operators such as Ride International Tours and Ride Holidays for cycling enthusiasts keen to join in the fun. Sarah James

6. Coolcationing

What's the trend?
For the vast majority of folk, summer holidays used to be about following the sun, seeking the heat Ð watching the mercury climb and hitting the sands. With the intense, record-breaking temperatures of recent years, however, many are considering travelling in the opposite direction: booking "coolcations" in temperate destinations, which also benefit from being less crowded.

Why will it matter in 2024? Rising temperatures caused by the climate crisis have resulted in the hottest recorded summer in the UK Ð just over 40âãÄ in July 2022 Ð while 2023, with a sweltering summer in much of Mediterranean Europe, North America and China Ð is on track to be the hottest year ever. Little wonder that many travellers are thinking again before booking literal hotspots such as the South of France and Sicily in July or August. A survey for luxe travel network Virtuoso found that 82 per cent of its clients are considering destinations with more moderate weather in 2024. Destinations such as Iceland, Finland and Scotland, according to Intrepid Travel, along with Latvia, which is surging in popularity. “We're seeing an increase in those holidaying further north,” says Andrea Godfrey of Regent Holidays. “Scandinavia and the Baltics are both getting noticed more: they offer a more pared-back style of holiday but have some lovely beaches, and forests and lakes for both relaxation and adventure activities.” Cooler temperatures are particularly well suited to family travel too. “We're getting far more enquiries from families for destinations that offer summer sun but also respite from the high temperatures being experienced in beach resorts across the Med,” says Liddy Pleasants, founder of family specialist Stubborn Mule Travel. “Kayaking in Norway, with its midnight sun, for instance, and cycling or hiking in Slovenia, which is also very good value.” Time to ditch the SPF50É Rick Jordan

7. Gig tripping

What's the trend?
For years, athletes and wellness gurus were the big headliners at retreats. But rock stars are, well, the new rock stars of travel. Call it the Swift Effect. Destination concert business is up more than 50 per cent, led mostly by Taylor Swift, says Janel Carnero, a travel advisor at Embark Beyond. In the USA, tickets for Swift's Eras Tour cost thousands and were still impossible to score. Music fans are realising they can pay less and have a more memorable experience by seeing their favourite pop icons perform in say, Amsterdam or Milan. Tours from performers such as Pearl Jam, U2, Doja Cat and Madonna will anchor trip itineraries, while music festivals (Glastonbury sold out in less than an hour) will be major catalysts for travel.

Why will it matter in 2024? New music festivals, including Untold in Romania's Cluj-Napoca, are introducing travellers to undiscovered destinations, says Alexandrea Padilha of Fischer Travel. And it's no longer just about the music, says Carnero. “It's the social aspect of sharing experiences with friends,” she adds. Hotels and travel companies have taken note and are creating the equivalent of backstage VIP experiences for guests. Global adventure collective Eleven has recently introduced Music with Eleven. The programme's dedicated team of music-industry insiders (including Chris Funk, guitarist from the Decemberists) custom design itineraries that might include sitting in on a recording session at Fl-ki Studios, just outside the Arctic Circle at Deplar Farm in Iceland. And Rhythm & Sails hosts musicians on its catamarans. The company's music director, Anders Beck of the jam band Greensky Bluegrass, curates the line-up of artists who perform sessions onboard and in ports as you island hop around the Caribbean. Jen Murphy

8. Resorts will help you biohack your health span

What's the trend?
Longevity is the latest wellness buzzword thanks to best-selling books such as Outlive and the hit Netflix documentary Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones. Between 2021 and 2022, venture-capital investment in longevity clinics more than doubled from $27 million to $57 million globally, according to analysis from longevity research and media company Longevity.Technology. Now, the science of extending life and optimising health has become the focus at hotels. Blue Zones retreats are the new boot camps and even sybaritic resorts are offering the latest biohacks. Poolside vitamin IV anyone?

Why will it matter in 2024? Since the pandemic, feeling good trumps looking good. “People have become aware of the critical importance of developing a more proactive, preventive approach to health on all levels,” says Karina Stewart, co-founder of Kamalaya, a wellness retreat in Koh Samui, Thailand. This means a new willingness to go beyond diet and exercise and embrace sci-fi-sounding bio-regenerative treatments such as ozone therapy and hyperbaric oxygen chambers, both on offer at Kamalaya's new Longevity House. Luxury hotel brands are embracing the trend too. Six Senses Ibiza recently teamed up with biotech company RoseBar to offer guests full diagnostic testing. Maybourne Hotel Group is collaborating with wellness tech pioneer Virtusan to help guests boost performance. And Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea administers treatments such as stem cells and NAD+ (aka the fountain of youth) through its partnership with Next Health longevity centre. At 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay in Kauai, guests are welcomed with a B12 shot instead of bubbles and the resort's new wellness-specific rooms come with recovery-boosting mod cons including infrared light mats. If the trend continues, the secret to longevity may be as easy as taking more holidays. Jen Murphy

9. Peak season gets the cold shoulder

What's the trend?
There's been a dramatic recent increase in shoulder season travel to Europe's most popular destinations (particularly France, Spain, the UK and Italy), which is set to continue in 2024. Luxury travel specialists Original Travel has launched new shoulder season itineraries to locations traditionally in demand during the summer Ð including the crystalline seascapes of Sardinia and Corsica Ð after seeing 14 per cent more bookings for September 2023 than for August 2023. Pegi Amarteifio of Small Luxury Hotels of the World shares similar insights. “Comparing phone reservations in 2023 against 2019, we've seen a 33 per cent increase for March to May and a 58 per cent increase for September to November, a pattern reflected across our other booking channels too.”

Why will it matter in 2024? A combination of social, economic and environmental factors is driving this trend into 2024. The cost of living crisis means a heightened focus on value. For 62 per cent of respondents to Booking.com's 2024 travel trends survey, this is a limiting factor for 2024 travel planning, so much so that 47 per cent of respondents are even willing to take children out of school for cheaper off-peak travel. Shoulder season travel is also becoming more attractive due to rising temperatures, and more feasible due to flexible working. Layered on top of these practical considerations is an emotional motivation too: travellers are craving authenticity more than ever, seeking a tranquil, local feel when abroad, rather than Where's Wally beach scenes. Toyo Odetunde

10. Private group travel

What's the trend?
The post-pandemic desire to gather friends or family and embark on a shared holiday experience shows no sign of abating Ð in fact, it's on the increase in luxury travel, as people appreciate the benefits and savour the moment, from 3G family groups to 50-something empty-nesters keen to rekindle life-long friendships. Just don't take Succession's family outing to Tuscany as a role model.

Why will it matter in 2024? “While some predicted group travel would peak post-pandemic, we've seen it have a lasting, positive impact with private group bookings continuing to be a dominant trend,” says Tom Marchant of Black Tomato, for whom group travel now accounts for 30 per cent of bookings. The company has just launched its See You in the Moment series to cater for the demand: it uses a mood board of over 35 experiences themed around key flash points, from The Meal (a backcountry feast served on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, for example) to The Challenge (rafting down the Apur'mac in Peru, perhaps), all designed to create lasting memories. For Scott Williams, meanwhile, multi-generational travellers are thinking big: why take one house when you can take a whole estate, such as Meli on Paxos in the Greek Islands, which sleeps 17? Other groups are taking to the water, with Red Savannah reporting an increase in bookings for Turkish gulets, Egyptian dahabiyas and Indonesian phinisis. Scott Dunn have seen an increase in bookings amongst groups of friends, with 30 per cent of respondents in a recent survey saying they were planning trips for 2024 that included ski trips to France, adventure travel in South and Central America, and beach breaks on Antigua and Barbados. Empty-nesters are also a growing force, with groups of couples in their 50s to 70s hiring villas in the shoulder season for cultural weeks away, and all-female groups Ð mainly aged between 50 and 65 Ð who are proactive in wanting to renew long-term friendships. “We had one repeat group that included several cancer survivors,” says Sarah-Leigh Shenton at Red Savannah. “A hammam afternoon in Turkey was a deeply bonding experience and they've since travelled to Jordan and Sicily together.” Rick Jordan

11. AI aims to be your sidekick

What's the trend?
Early last year, after OpenAI's ChatGPT broke the record as the fastest-ever growing consumer app, travellers started playing around with AI chatbots to get inspiration on where they could go. More recently, major travel booking platforms have started to integrate AI chatbots into the booking experience. But if 2023 was the year of AI chatbots wanting to plan your trips, 2024 will be all about how AI aspires to be your travel sidekick. A wave of new AI-powered features and products aims to support travellers on the ground Ð all while raising concerns around the potential negative impacts as AI becomes more widely integrated with our travels.

Why will it matter in 2024? AI will start to make more real-time interventions in our travels in 2024. One practical example is live translation, which Samsung plans to launch on its 2024 Galaxy devices. Imagine calling somewhere you want to visit to get information without worrying about whether staff speak the same language as you. Another example is greater AI personalisation in popular apps you already use. Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has recently touted the company's increasing use of personalised AI algorithms, which will learn about your habits and make suggestions based on what you're doing. For the true early adopters, real-time travel interventions could also mean ditching your screen entirely and clipping a screenless personal translator and travel assistant to your chest. This is the unusual idea behind the new talking and projecting AI Pin from Humane, a start-up backed by investors including OpenAI's Sam Altman, that promises to function a bit like the universal translator from Star Trek. Will anyone want to actually wear the pin or will it go the way of previously hyped devices such as Google Glass? It certainly raises a host of ethical questions about privacy and data protection. Yet the more that AI products successfully help in addressing on-the-go problems, the more travellers will come to rely on them too. JD Shadel

12. Skip-gen travel

What's the trend?
Skip-gen travel describes when grandparents holiday with grandchildren, in other words, "skipping" a generation. “In the past few months, I've had around twice as many enquiries as usual for grandchild/grandchild bookings,” says Clio Wood, founder of family retreat company &Breathe. “There's been a rising trend of grandparents taking their grandchildren away,” agrees Ollie Summers, Head of Sales at bespoke operator Scott Dunn. “Often to places that have a sentimental meaning to them.”

Why will it matter in 2024? Several travel agencies have created itineraries to cater specifically for this demand in 2024. “Skip-gen safaris are emerging as a micro-trend from the UK, reflecting a niche traveller group now well established in the US luxury market,” says Liane Goldring of Mahlatini Luxury Travel. “The grandparents are usually in their 70s and still active enough to fully embrace a fully guided safari adventure.” Original Travel, meanwhile, has relaunched its Bonding Holidays Collection, featuring trips focussed on discovering something new together, such as its 14-day Family Ranching itinerary in the American West. Some of this growth can be attributed to big-ticket lockdown promises coming to fruition. Now, amid the UK's cost of living crisis, parents are also keen to make the most of the time and childcare support of their typically baby boomer, more comfortably retired parents. Plus, the global ratio of living grandparents to grandchildren is higher than ever, thanks to a combined increase in life expectancy and drop in the number of children per person. We're even said to be living in the "the age of the grandparent". Don't expect this trend Ð or your grandparents Ð to slow down anytime soon. Becky Lucas

13. Glamorous train travel

What's the trend?
Rising climate consciousness has fuelled a rail travel revival, the luxury train niche is reaching new heights of popularity, extravagance and ambition. Travel booking platforms are reporting growing demand for luxury rail trips, where the journey is, yes, the destination. In fact, new design-forward train lines increasingly rival the finest hotels for the culinary experiences and bells and whistles on offer.

Why will it matter in 2024? A new wave of rail lines and itineraries launching in 2024 puts an emphasis on deeper immersion into the culture and landscapes of the destinations, which are more and more off the beaten track. Responding to growing demand for luxury train travel among its user base, specialist platform Railbookers plans to launch arguably the most geographically extensive and expensive luxury train itinerary around. With prices per person starting at $113,599, the 80-day Around the World by Luxury Train voyage will cross four continents and 13 countries. Beginning in August, the slow journey will string together existing luxury rail trips including Canada's Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Jasper and India's Maharajas Express from Delhi to Mumbai. In Asia, the previously paused Eastern & Oriental Express is making a grand comeback starting in February, with carriages getting an upscale revamp and its legendary route being retraced through Malaysia's landscapes. Meanwhile, Japan is a hot destination for its scenic train journeys such as the exclusive Train Suite Shiki-shima, which quickly closed applications for its 2024 trips due to demand. And in Europe, six new train lines will commence or terminate in Rome under Accor's La Dolce Vita umbrella, with suites designed by starchitects Dimorestudio, building on the cultural legacy of the famous Orient Express. JD Shadel

14. Restaurateur-owned hotels

What's the trend?
Restaurants and hotels are the two linchpins of the hospitality industry. And naturally, the two are often intertwined on one premises. Until recently, though, most hotels weren't started or owned by restaurateurs. Yet as food-focused travel keeps increasing, with people hankering for the next hot reservation and planning entire trips around discovering a culture through its food, it makes sense that restaurateurs are adding hotelier to their CVs Ð and ensuring their new properties have impressive food offerings. We'd be remiss not to mention Nobu, which began as a restaurant in 1994 and in 2013 launched its global hotel brand, as a harbinger of the trend.

Why will it matter in 2024? Just as design brands (RH, West Elm) have opened hotels in recent years, now restaurateurs are getting in on the action. In the USA, restaurateur and 12-time James Beard award nominee Sam Fox has just launched the Global Ambassador in Phoenix, Arizona, with five restaurants. Santa Barbara's Good Lion Hospitality is relaunching Petit Soleil, a Californian wine country boutique hotel, with a new bar and restaurant slated for next spring. The Lafayette Hotel & Club was debuted last summer in San Diego by Arsalun Tafazoli, founder of a local hospitality group that operates 16 bars and restaurants. The hotel has five restaurants and bars, with two more opening by the end of the year. In Dallas, Harwood International, which owns a dozen or so restaurants in the area, opened H(TM)tel Swexan in June. In the St Gallen region of Switzerland two hotels were recently added to beloved restaurants: the revamped Mammertsberg and Gasthaus Traube. In Slovenia, AS Hotel is a new place to stay launched Sebastjan Raspopovi€à, son of chef Svetozar Raspopovi€à-Pope of renowned restaurant Gostilna AS in Lublijana. Aside from a restaurant by Raspopovi€à-Pope, the hotel has an eatery by Michelin-lauded chef Ana RoÅ¡. Finally, R48, and its lauded Chef's Table, was opened in Tel Aviv last spring by R2M Hospitality Group, which also runs restaurants CoffeeBar and Herzl 16. Devorah Lev-Tov

15. Silent travel

What's the trend?
In an age of overstimulation, silence might be just what we need from our travels in 2024. Offering a chance to restore and reset, silent travel represents a more mindful kind of trip, one that doesn't leave you needing a holiday to recover from your holiday. Silent meditation retreats are an increasingly popular wellness trend, but silent travel also encompasses secluded nature resorts, sleep retreats, quiet hotels, silent walking tours and even silent disco and concert experiences.

Why will it matter in 2024? Saturated with stress and screen time, many of us are looking for ways to disconnect. The silent walking trend that recently took TikTok by storm reflects a growing impulse to escape the noise of our tech-fuelled lives and embrace the quiet, with promising implications for wellbeing. One 2015 study suggests silence may help to stimulate brain development, while another found that two minutes of silence during or after relaxing music increased the music's calming effects. With the Global Wellness Institute forecasting a 21 per cent increase in wellness tourism in the next two years, what better counter to the chaos of our always-on lives than silence? Silent travel is also part of a move towards more sustainable tourism. Quiet Parks International, for example, offers unique nature experiences in dedicated quiet spaces, reducing noise pollution for the surrounding wildlife. Silent travel opportunities abound in 2024. Kick off the year with a silent retreat in Portugal (with Innate) or Italy (with Mandali). More adventurous silent-seekers can trek the peaceful Japanese Kumano Kodo trail, or explore Finland's Arctic landscape with a Silence & Nature Tour. For a tailor-made silent experience, Black Tomato's Blink camp offers luxury accommodation in the world's most remote settings, while its Get Lost programme promises to help you find yourself by getting lost in a far-flung location. Tasha Kleeman

16. Urban gardens

What's the trend?
Never mind the biophilic office and those pot plants you forget to water: whole cities are going green as architects and planners create leafy microclimates amid the grey concrete to help keep us cooler, connect communities and even feed us.

Why will it matter in 2024? Having trees and gardens in our cities is a pretty good idea. King Nebuchadnezzar certainly thought so, which is why his Hanging Gardens of Babylon made it into travel's first-ever bucket list Ð the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Ð back in the 2nd century BC. Nowadays planting trees creates much-needed shade, stores carbon and increases biodiversity, but it also makes our cityscapes so much nicer. While Valencia, an early adopter of urban greening with its 12km-long Turia Garden in 1986, is the 2024 European Green Capital, France is busy planting trees like there's no tomorrow: go to Paris for the 2024 Olympics and you'll spot budding new forests growing in Place du Colonel-Fabien, Place de Catalogne and in the Charonne district, while Bordeaux's Grandeur Nature project includes urban cooling islands, micro-forests and rain gardens. All of which will doubtless be discussed at the ISHS Green Cities 2024 symposium, hosted by RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, England, in September. Meanwhile, on Cyprus Ð an island that experienced temperatures of 44âãÄ in 2023 Ð the new Salina Park opens in time for summer shade in the seaside city of Larnaca. In Brazil, Rio's Hortas Cariocas is a groundbreaking achievement that will be completed by the end of 2024: the largest urban vegetable garden in the world, connecting 56 community gardens across favelas and schools. And in London, the £1-billion Google building in King's Cross will show just what can be done with one structure. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the "landscraper" Ð only 11 storeys high but stretching out longer than the Shard is tall Ð is hoped to provide a blueprint for future urban projects: running along the rooftop is a multi-level garden, with wildflowers, lawns and decked seating areas, set with more than 55,000 plants and 250 trees. Can you dig it? Rick Jordan

17. Back-of-house tours

What's the trend?
Greener hotels giving us a look behind the scenes to show us Ð not just tell us Ð they're sustainable. We don't mean a look-see at solar panels or composting, but heart-lifting experiential tours that help us appreciate why it matters to support socio-economic uplift through tourism. In South America, Blue Apple Beach invites visitors to get up close and personal with the community work it does in Colombia through its impact fund. Founder Portia Hart wanted more than token-gesture carbon offsetting, where locals themselves could decide how money was spent. In Africa, guests of the Bushcamp Company contribute to initiatives through the Luangwa Conservation and Community Fund. A popular excursion in Zambia is visiting the boreholes that are installed with outreach funds. Each pump provides fresh drinking water to hundreds of people a day, and visitors who spend time with those gathered get a very tangible insight into how such provisions funded by hospitality can literally change lives in regions most affected by a warming planet.

Why will it matter in 2024? Transparency is on the up as the European Union's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive comes into force and greenwashing is coming close to being officially outlawed. A year of droughts, floods and heatwaves also reminds us we need to make better-informed choices in our travel planning Ð and all the better if we can also get a crash course in the science and sociology of positive impact. Experiences that go beyond explaining responsible practices, but demonstrate a deep respect for communities on the climate-change frontlines and help make their challenges relatable to visitors are especially helpful. Juliet Kinsman

18. Wild feasting

What's the trend?
Have you ever noticed how food always tastes better outdoors? But in today's modern world many of us are more used to eating a sandwich while staring at a screen. Wild feasting describes the trend for beautifully curated culinary experiences in natural environments with the incorporation of hyper-local and foraged ingredients. In Sweden, for example, you can tap into a network of do-it-yourself outdoor restaurants where you book a table in a scenic location, search for nettles, birch leaves, lingonberries and trumpet chanterelles, and then cook them on an open fire according to a recipe card provided by a Michelin-grade chef.

Why will it matter in 2024? A greater range of wild feasting opportunities will give urbanites a chance to properly connect over food. Leading the way is Noah Ellis, founder of the UK's Nomadic Dinners. “Since launching in 2018, we experienced compounded year-on-year growth for our feasting and foraging experiences,” he says. In 2024 he will be hosting a new series of fire feasts, including one set among the bluebells. Also tapping into the zeitgeist is TikTok star Alexis Nikole Nelson (aka the Black Forager) who will publish a book about wild food in 2024. And don't forget, 2024 is the last year you will be able to eat at Copenhagen's legendary, foraging-focused restaurant Noma before it turns into a test kitchen and closes to the public. Another innovator is Holmen Lofoten's Kitchen On The Edge Of The World series in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, where guests can participate in four nights of wild feasts cooked by top chefs. In 2024, these will include Lennox Hastie, José Pizarro and Heidi Bjerkan. Ingunn Rasmussen, owner of Holmen Lofoten, says: “Now, as when we were little kids, gathering around a bonfire in the wilderness, sharing stories, feasting under the stars in these magical, remote surroundings is one of the absolute highlights, both for our guests and for us.” Jenny Southan

19. Plan-free travel

What's the trend?
Saying no to endless scrolling to plan every inch of a trip, and saying yes to spontaneity instead. The power of the algorithm-spawned era of Fomo travel is waning, with those once secret spots made Insta-famous becoming tired and cookie-cutter, and the drive to plan a trip around them losing momentum. The rising counter movement is travel with no plans at all.

Why will it matter in 2024? The plan-free appeal is going one step further in 2024. Booking.com recently reported that 50 per cent of UK travellers want to book a surprise trip in 2024, where everything, even the destination, is unknown until arrival. And it's possible to do it via travel companies such as Black Tomato, whose Get Lost service offers customers the ability to simply select a preferred environment Ð polar, jungle, desert, mountain or coastal Ð and leave its team decide everything else. “While we launched Get Lost several years ago, post-pandemic we've seen a notable and rising uptick in bookings and enquiries,” says Black Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant. Journee offers a similar surprise element, with travellers only finding out where they're going at the airport. The service, which includes a full itinerary and access to a team via Whatsapp, is particularly popular with solo female travellers, while overall demand has grown so much that the London-based brand recently launched trips in the USA. Lauren Burvill

20. Frontier tourism

What's the trend?
To go above and beyond. Or below and under. As crossings of the tumultuous Drake Passage to Antarctica rack up millions of TikTok views and traffic jams form on Everest, canny travellers are seeking more individual, less obvious experiences that combine thrill-seeking with more meaningful self-empowerment.

Why will it matter in 2024? One person's frontier is another's backyard, of course, so frontiers are entirely subjective here. For some, this could mean being the first to camp under the stars in a remote landscape, or hike an ancient pilgrimage trail that's been off the map for centuries. It's still possible to bag a rare place on a Kamba African Rainforest Experience in the Republic of the Congo, being one of just 12 people to explore a game park the size of Belgium. Black Tomato, meanwhile, is designing an intrepid new expedition to the remote Mitre Peninsula in Argentina, along with a trip in Peru navigating the Sacred Valley of the Incas by raft. “This sort of adventure goes beyond bragging rights and is more akin to self-empowerment and the gratification of pushing our own horizons,” says Black Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant. The Ultimate Travel Company is also heading to Peru, a country repositioning itself for luxury travellers, with stays at Puqio, its first tented exploration camp,, in the remote Colca Valley in the Southern Peruvian Andes. Wilderness camping is also pegging out fresh terrain in Kyrgyzstan, with yurt stays on the steppes trending for 2024, according to Wild Frontiers, as is Mongolia; while Albania, Mongolia, Pakistan and the Empty Quarter of Oman are all on the radar for an increasing number of travellers. And while the space-age pods of White Desert have already sold out for New Year's Eve 2024 and 2025, latter-day frontiersfolk can take the path less travelled and explore the frozen continent's southern coast (99 per cent of visitors go from South America to the northwest) with The Ultimate Travel Company's new Ross Sea cruises, seeing the Ross Ice Shelf and Transantarctic Mountains. Don't forget to pack your penknife. Rick Jordan

This article originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveller.

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