Travel trends 2024: Here’s how we will holiday this year

From destination dupes to the rise of regional towns, journey through some of the biggest travel trends of this year.

2024 is the year of travel through conscious escapism. With the rise of trends such as wellness or sleep-focused tourism and an increased focus on sustainability, travel is set to embrace self-care, connection, and, of course, conscious spending. We have put together some of the biggest travel trends for 2024 and how they will define the travel landscape this year.

1. Wellness tourism

Spa at Kingfisher Bay Resort, K'gari

Self-care and mindful travelling are emerging as big trends for 2024. Travellers are seeking unique ways to unwind and relax with a focus on rest and recovery. Wellness tourism is expected to hit $1.3 trillion in 2025, according to research by Global Wellness Institute. Health-conscious offerings are making an appearance across different types of travel – from family vacations to babymoons and couple’s getaways. Searches for the terms such as ‘Sleep Tourism’ are growing in popularity. All these micro-trends point to the fact that travellers are looking at wellness-centric getaways in a big way, and Australia offers plenty of opportunities to rest, relax and rejuvenate.

Where to go: Kingfisher Bay Resorts, K’gari (Formerly Fraser Island): Head to this premier eco-retreat nestled in the picturesque and idyllic coast of K’gari (formerly Fraser Island). Here you can take advantage of the fantastic in-house spa that offers wellness treatments to suit your needs.

2. Destination dupes

corfu rotto
Rottnest Island can be easily mistaken for Corfu in Greece

Perth instead of Sydney or Palermo instead of Lisbon, 2024 is going to be the year of destination dupes. The dupe trend – which originated on TikTok offers affordable alternatives to popular products. Similarly, when it comes to travel destination dupes offer the same vibe at half the price.

Australia -- with its incredible beaches and nature havens -- offers many affordable destinations that could be easily passed off as slices of Europe. So if you’re looking to jet off on a European getaway, you may want to give these places a serious thought and save some serious cash.

Where to go: Thinking of Greece this year? Why not head to Rottnest Island in Western Australia, which offers stunning bays, turquoise water, and a laidback vibe reminiscent of a Greek holiday? Some would say, the island is a much better alternative to Corfu or Crete.

What to book: Hop on the SeaLink Rottnest Island ferry from Perth or Fremantle and you will be in paradise in no time. 

3. Sustainable tourism

Whitsundays is one of the best sustainable destinations to visit in Australia. Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Over the years, sustainability in tourism or eco-tourism has become more than just a buzzword. The way we travel is as important as why we travel. Tourism operators, hotels, and other tourism providers are offering ways to provide accountability for their impact on nature, they are taking concrete measures to protect the destinations they proudly showcase and are constantly looking for creative solutions. SeaLink is steadfastly focussed on sustainability and in an effort four of its businesses - Kangaroo Island, Magnetic Island, Whitsundays and Rottnest Island are eco-certified, which means the tours and products are backed by strong, well-managed sustainable practices. Read more about SeaLink's sustainable practices here.

As travellers, we can participate by asking the right questions, ensuring we are supporting local communities, and looking into off-peak travel and less crowded destinations.

Where to go: Australia enjoys an incredible connection to nature through its communities. While there are many eco-friendly destinations across the country, Whitsundays is one of our favourite eco destinations.

What to book: As a Brilliant Benefits member, you can enjoy a $40 member discount when booking SeaLink’s Big Island Day tour that cruises through the Whitsundays and the iconic Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet.

4. Regional glow up

Penfolds in Barossa. Image credit: Tourism Australia
Penfolds in Barossa. Image credit: Tourism Australia

According to Expedia’s latest research, regional Australia is geared for a serious glow-up. Almost 2 in 5 Aussies surveyed say that travelling to a new and different regional town is appealing to them. Some of the regional destinations hot on the radar include Barossa and Adelaide Hills in South Australia, Townsville and Magnetic Island in Queensland and Bruny Island in Tasmania.

Where to go: While Barossa Valley is world-renowned for its wineries and stunning landscape, its appeal is only getting better with a slew of new developments such as luxury accommodation and cellar doors.

What to book: Enjoy the beautiful bounty of Barossa on this small-group tour departing Adelaide. As a Brilliant Benefits member, you can enjoy a 10% discount.

5. First Nations Tourism

A tradition Tiwi Islands welcome
A traditional welcome on Tiwi Islands

According to a report by Airbnb, travel to indigenous communities through the provider has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. In Australia, there is a strong connection between sustainable and cultural travel with our First Nations people being pioneers of sustainability with over 60,000 years as the custodians of the country.

Where to go: Tiwi Islands is a truly unique part of Australia with a thriving aboriginal arts and culture scene.

What to book: Join this 2-day luxury escape to Tiwi Islands where you will be in the heart of incredible nature and immerse yourself in culture while staying in luxury on the popular Tiwi Island Retreat.

6. Gig tripping

An event is underway against the stunning backdrop of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Image credit: Tourism Australia

Life is short, buy a ticket to that festival, because gig-tripping is going to define the way you travel in 2024. If Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is anything to go by, then the destination concert business is booming and for all the right reasons. Music festivals and big artist concerts help people discover a new destination. Hotels and tourism providers have taken note and are providing bespoke experiences with VIP and backstage access and specific itineraries.

Where to go: Sydney is all set to play host to artists such as Taylor Swift, Pink, Coldplay and more. 2024 is the best time to visit this iconic capital city.

What to book: While you are in Sydney, don’t miss out on brilliant experiences such as the Sydney Harbour Cruise or the luxurious Gold Penfolds Dinner. Enjoy up to 20% discount as a Brilliant Benefit member. 

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