A travel and tourism forecast by the U.S. Travel Association projects that global long-haul travel will see 4.8% growth annually through 2023. However, the way we travel will change.

Be it globetrotting, weekend getaways, backpacking or luxury travel, sustainable and responsible tourism will rule in 2020.

Sustainable and responsible

According to a recent Forbes article, travel in 2020 will embrace sustainability in all forms. The intense focus on responsible travel and tourism will be reflected in travelers' choice of transport.

Modes of travel are already shifting from airlines and automobiles to trains, trams, boats, ships, and pedal bikes. 2020 will redefine travel by reintroducing “slow” travel. Tourists will rush less and instead soak up as much as they can from one destination to another.

A Booking.com survey predicted that 61% of travelers would prefer taking the longer route to their destination, and 48% would be opting for slower modes of transport.

When it comes to local touring, it seems motion-based travel will be the popular choice. Cycle-based trips and walkthroughs will rule along with swim-specific tours and bike-boat vacations.

Travelers fretting about their carbon footprints are looking for carbon-neutral ways to travel, and the industry is reinventing itself to meet the new demands.

The road less traveled

Closely related to these efforts is the concept of going off the beaten path. The environmental damage that the top global destinations have suffered over the last few decades needs to the minimized. The best way to help do that is to contain the traveler footprints to these destinations and generate more interest in places less traveled.

This resonates very strongly with millennials who support reducing overtourism and are keen to explore new adventures. The Booking.com survey also predicted that 54% of modern travelers wish to help reduce overtourism, while 51% are willing to swap popular destinations for lesser-known places.

Also known as second-city travel, this trend will also help combat higher vacation costs and avoid overcrowded locales.

Other interesting trends to note:


Instagram tourism is here to stay, and it will impact all businesses in the sector, spurring a need to focus on Instagram marketing. The high organic impact of the platform will be crucial in inspiring wanderlust as the new generations travel to unknown destinations.

Wellness tourism

Wellness tourism has been on the rise over the past decade, but it will see impressive growth in the coming years. Tours that combine fresh outdoor experiences, disconnecting with the outer world, and focusing on healthy living will become more popular. By 2022, this market will be worth $919 billion.

Food travel

Foodie tourism is now occupying one of the top trends. From gourmet food aficionados to food truck lovers, tourists are on the lookout for something new and fresh to savor. The popularity of activities like wine tastings and visiting craft breweries is on the rise and here to stay.

But above all else, sustainability will be the cornerstone for future travel. With airlines, airports, and hotels swearing off single-use plastics, it seems like green travel will see wholesome progress in 2020.