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Slow travel, eco-tourism, micro-cations: The ultimate trend guide for 2020

A brief overview of the shift in the travel trends that will dominate the year ahead.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 09, 2020, 09.23 AM IST
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Indulge in vacations that let you foster a fulfiling bond with your surroundings.
With the New Year 2020 stretching out ahead of you, cast your eyes on the trends that will rule the roost before you plan your trips ahead. To identify the right destination, first identify your area of interest.

We have put together a list of top trends that will help you understand where your heart lies and plan your travel calendar accordingly.

Make ‘deeper connections’ with destinations by indulging in Slow Travel
Slow travel abides by the popular adage of enjoying the journey as much as the destination. Slow travel takes the pressure to tick off all the usual tourist hotspots and emphasises on a leisurely-paced, quality-centric itinerary. It stresses on spending immersive span of time in one destination over hop scotching to a number of varied places. To soak up the vibe of the destination, one must enjoy all nuances associated with culture, food etc via local experiences which in turn result in a positive impact on the local economy and community.

Agencies
Enjoy your holiday at a leisurely pace. Pick one destination and spend more time there rather than packing your itinerary with many places.
Enjoy your holiday at a leisurely pace. Pick one destination and spend more time there rather than packing your itinerary with many places.

Top Spots: Lesser-known pockets of Japan, Slovenia, Austria, South Africa will be a huge draw.

Eco travel will continue to rise in 2020
The term ‘Environmentally-conscious travel’ can have many different meanings for different people — from sustainable travel methods and locations to amidst-the-nature vacations, there’s a lot to explore. With the topic of climate crisis gaining momentum, travellers are trying to balance the impact of their trips. This means opting for ethical travel brands that promote renewable energy projects or use profits to plant more trees. Conscious consumers can also look for valid certifications that indicate the brand’s commitment toward sustainable measures at the time of making bookings.

Top Spots: The Scandinavian circuit is one choice for those keen on sustainable practices. Of course, national parks and natural wildlife habitats are becoming increasingly popular locations for those seeking authentic wildlife experiences. From places such as Yellowstone National Park to the Serengeti in Tanzania, there will be much to explore amidst the vast greens.

Try a Train Journey too...

Agencies
​POSTCARD-PERFECT PICTURE: Enjoy a picturesque glimpse of the Canadian Rockies on a train ride​.
POSTCARD-PERFECT PICTURE: Enjoy a picturesque glimpse of the Canadian Rockies on a train ride.

Carbon offsetting has been around for years until Greta Thunberg championed eco-travel in 2019, making us all the more conscious about the way we see the world. This prompted responsible travellers to be mindful and add some variation by opting for train travel internally (apart from opting for direct flights). This shift to trains has seen a 30 per cent spike in European rail circuit in 2019 and is betting on a higher demand already.

Micro-cations’ during long weekend breaks

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DINING WITH A VIEW: Thailand offers a variety of options that are perfect for a micro-cation.
DINING WITH A VIEW: Thailand offers a variety of options that are perfect for a micro-cation.

Professionals will agree that the 14 long weekends of 2020 have stirred up a great appetite for short breaks. A micro-cation is nothing but a short vacation consisting of less than four nights. There’s a growing shift in shorter but more holidays around the year amongst travellers all age groups. In these fast-paced times, micro-cations make for an ideal opportunity to unwind and recharge in shorter, more frequent intervals. Adding on a few days of annual leave to a work trip to try and see more of the destination and take a few days off to relax and rejuvenate can be a fabulous bet.

Top Spots: Short halt destinations such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Hong Kong and Thailand

Flashpacking for the Gen Z
There’s a new spin to traditional backpacking that’s gaining momentum with the Gen Z. Traditionally associated with budget travel, backpacking involves visiting destinations that are relatively cheaper. Flashpacking, on the other hand, attracts the likes of those with more disposable income while travelling and has been defined as backpacking with a bigger budget. The youth today has deeper pockets and seek authentic experiences. Although, flashpacking urges saving money unless spending a little more brings comfort and ensures less hassle. The term is also used to denote tech-savvy travellers who carry electronic items like laptops, high-end cameras, smartphones. Flashpacking makes sure you fulfil your interest to enjoy a taste of authentic experiences in unique destinations (with a backpacking essence).

Top Spots: Immersive experience of floating cabins on the coast of Cambodia or staying over at a Bhutanese home-stay and enjoying guided trekking to the Tiger’s Nest should be on your wishlist.

Enriching holidays that encourage learning

Agencies
FOR A LARGER CAUSE: Voluntary Tourism is for those seeking fulfilment. Ecological conservation is one of the top picks!
FOR A LARGER CAUSE: Voluntary Tourism is for those seeking fulfilment. Ecological conservation is one of the top picks!

Voluntary Tourism has been picking up steam with those who seek a deeper sense of purpose with a visit. Ecological conservation is a UN-driven initiative with voluntourism options by various standardised agencies are a big hit with young corporates. Participating in community-driven activities that involve educating tribes, helping with medical aid and spreading sustainable ways of animal rehabilitation are some outstanding bets. Agree?
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