The predictions are based on data from Klook’s 2019 travel trends report, which was collected through surveys conducted throughout the year among 2,400 respondents in key Asian markets who have travelled abroad within the last 12 months.
“We’ve reviewed the survey and internal data for 2018 and found six emerging tour and activity trends we predict will continue to drive the travel industry globally in 2019,” said the company when releasing the report.
Here’s Klook’s take on the six trends
1. Solo travel
One of the hottest topics this year has been solo travel. According to our data, we saw the number of solo travellers increased on our platform from 31% to 38% in 2018. Interestingly, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, mainland China and the UK all saw 10% growth in the number of solo travellers. China, in particular, is bucking the stereotype of its all-inclusive group trips and is now seeing close to 60% of its millennials traveling abroad alone in 2018.
2. In-destination activities
We saw a huge rise in activities as the motivational driver for choosing travel destinations. 63% of the travellers surveyed said they planned to attend an event or activity specific to the destination prior to booking flights and accommodations; 54% planned trips around seasonal activities such as maple leaves viewing or one-off events like concerts and sports.
3. The pop culture influence
The movie Crazy Rich Asians took the world by storm this summer and put Singapore and South-east Asian hot spots back on the must-visit map. After the movie’s debut, page views for Singapore destination activities grew 10%. We launched our Crazy Rich Asians and Game of Thrones tours on the platform with good responses from travellers worldwide. We are exploring the possibility of bringing Pokemon Detective Pikachu experiences to our platform in 2019.
4. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) effect
Travellers continue to share their travel experiences through social media channels, triggering wanderlust and FOMO from their peers. Experiences deemed as “insta-worthy activities” dominated our platform. We foresee the growing trend of short live streaming videos on social media triggering travel interests as well. These habits show no sign of slowing down, and will fuel travellers’ desires for insta-worthy experiences.
5. Mobile booking
Our internal data revealed 70% of our millennial users booked activities on mobile devices. Research from Google Consumer Insights finds that more than half of South Korean and Japanese smartphone users research, book and plan their trips on their mobile devices. The number is even higher among Indian smartphone users, at 87%.
6. Instant adventures
Despite the increase in activity-driven travel many Klook users will not plan full itineraries until they arrive at their destination. Modern travellers now look for more flexibility to cater to their spontaneity while travelling, influenced by the weather or even their mood. Thankfully, 85% of bookings on Klook can be confirmed and used instantly.
There is no sign the tours and activities sector will slow down in the coming year. According to Phocuswright, “a host of startups focused on reselling activities have launched and online travel’s biggest brands including Expedia, Airbnb, and TripAdvisor have moved into this space. All are fuelling astonishing sector growth and travel activities is positioned to reach US$183 billion by 2020.”