reveals 2024 top travel trends
12/28/2023|4:40:11 PM| Group

As the sun sets on 2023, Group reflects on the dynamic landscape of travel over the past year, offering insights into the trends set to shape the journey in 2024. 

China's border reopening sparks global travel surge  

With the opening of China’s borders, travel was greatly boosted by a wave of Chinese travelers with a pent-up demand for overseas travel. data unveils a significant rise in outbound travel bookings, showcasing a six-fold increase compared to 2022. The company sees a robust New Year Holiday season from 31 Dec 2023 to 3 Jan 2024, which recorded a 240% increase in bookings year-on-year from 2022. 

The data also revealed that Chinese travelers have a strong interest in visiting Southeast Asia, with many of these countries topping the list of preferred outbound destinations in 2023: 

Top 5 destinations for Chinese travelers in 2023

1. Thailand 
2. Japan 
3. South Korea 
4. Singapore 
5. Malaysia 

According to data, China's top source markets for inbound tourism include South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the United States, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Germany. These visitors' preferred destinations in China are Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Zhuhai, Hangzhou, Foshan, Xiamen, Zhongshan, and Chengdu. Seven out of ten hotel bookings made by overseas tourists are for Shenzhen. partnered with e-payment service providers such as Alipay to simplify payment for overseas visitors, helping international tourists navigate their travels in China. 

AI takes center stage in predictive planning for 2024

Leveraging cutting-edge large language model technologies, TripGenie, launched in 2023, has evolved into a personalized travel companion. It is reshaping the way people plan journeys, from crafting bespoke itineraries, enabling instant bookings and delivering lightning-fast responses to user queries. 

In the latter part of 2023, TripGenie’s user searches unveiled a rising interest in content related to "travel guide”, reflecting a growing demand for comprehensive travel-related information. Other popular searches were related to “flight”, “hotel”, “itineraries” and “attractions”. 

Expanding beyond TripGenie, introduced AI-powered curated lists to enhance the booking experience for users: “Trip.Best” which recommends the best travel options, “Trip.Deals” which shows top flights, accommodations, and other travel deals, and “Trip.Trends” which features the most popular travel topics and events based on user searches. These dynamic compilations are finely tuned to user preferences derived from real-time data, providing a sneak peek into the future of travel planning in 2024. 

Music festivals and theme parks lead the way for 2024’s global attractions 

The world of travel is embracing the fun trend of event tourism, with festivals and iconic theme parks emerging as the cornerstones of trips. 

Theme parks specifically, are poised for a stellar rise, having witnessed an impressive 65% increase in bookings in 2023 compared to 2019 levels. According to data, these are the top 10 theme parks in 2023 globally: 

1.    Hong Kong Disneyland
2.    Universal Studios Japan
3.    Ocean Park Hongkong
4.    Universal Studios Singapore
5.    Tokyo Disneyland 
6.    Tokyo DisneySea
7.    Everland, Korea
8.    Universal Studios Hollywood 
9.    LEGOLAND, Malaysia 
10.    Adventure Cove Waterpark 

Theme parks also made five of the top ten most popular attractions globally in 2023, with Singapore Zoo, Gardens by the Bay, The Peak, S.E.A Aquarium, and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan also making the top 10 list. 

The category of "event+ticket" has become one of the most sought-after products on the company's platform. Globally, concerts and music festivals such as Jay Chou’s Carnival World Tour in Bangkok and Wang Leehom’s ONE concert in the same city were the top two most popular concerts respectively.

Concerts featuring international acts are anticipated to sustain their prominence as the most sought-after global events, promising a thrilling 2024 filled with unforgettable cultural experiences. 

The rise of sustainable travel and event tourism in 2024

According to Group’s latest ESG report, more than 16 million customers have opted for low-carbon travel options, signaling a rising interest in eco-friendly exploration. Group's low-carbon hotel standard initiative was also launched in 2023 with promising results. With over 1,500 partners shortlisted as low-carbon hotels, this suggests that sustainable accommodation is set to become a major trend. 

Event tourism, encompassing concerts, festivals, and sporting events, is poised to gain momentum in 2024. With the eagerly anticipated 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, the “ticket+hotel” category is expected to be a sought-after product, underscoring the growing importance of events in shaping travel choices.