Need some inspiration for your 2024 travel plans? This is our third and final instalment detailing what will be trendy and trending in 2024 - shared by the country’s best travel experts.
What should Kiwis be heading over to the Pacific Islands for in 2024?
Pacific Island holidays can be easy and convenient, with a quick fix of warm weather, rest and relaxation. Generally, a two to three-hour direct flight, regular flight schedules, similar time zones and you can be on the beach having a cocktail by early afternoon. The Pacific is safe from the world’s major troubles, and crime is rare, especially in secure resort areas and hotels. For families most resorts provide excellent children’s facilities and kids clubs, kids eat and play free programmes, and rooms catering to families of all sizes.
What travel trends are you seeing in the Pacific Islands?
Post Covid, demand for Pacific Island holidays has been huge. We call it the great Pacific Sugar Rush. Trends coming through are 1) big families travelling together for at least part of the holiday, with quality family time being the driving force. 2) Small to medium weddings, where the cost of a combined wedding and honeymoon, will usually be cost-effective compared to NZ. 3) Booking early if you want the best options at the best price. A couple of other emerging trends are female trips with a focus on wellness and beauty and, for couples, adults-only resorts facilitating quality time together.
What travel hacks, tips and/or travel gadgets do you recommend?
Buy some sturdy reef shoes for everybody and suntan lotion is a must. Fight mossies with a good supply of repellents – a quick spray of your room before dinner is a good idea. Post Covid, you will want to pack your own mask and snorkel. Internet connections are now generally pretty good around the islands, even in some remote areas, and buying your NZ telco roaming package is a good way to go. Rarotonga recently joined the roaming fraternity, joining Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Hawaii.
Rick Felderhof - Managing Director at Our Pacific
Where are the best places to cruise to in 2024?
Cruising has rebounded faster than other forms of tourism and cruise fans have been heading back to sea with huge enthusiasm. Close-to-home itineraries have been especially popular and cruise lines now offer more choice when it comes to cruises in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific. For long-haul destinations, European cruises can be especially attractive, particularly outside the summer peak. They allow you to visit multiple countries with ease, especially across regions like the Mediterranean and Scandinavia.
What travel trends can we expect to see next year?
Younger generations are heading to sea and the average age of a cruise passenger is now 46 years. Multi-generational travel is also more popular than ever and it’s now common to see family groups travelling together with parents, grandparents, children and adult offspring. At the same time, solo travel is increasing. Cruise lines are responding by creating more single cabins in new ships and retrofitting others to include additional cabins for those travelling alone.
Why should Kiwis consider a cruise in 2024 more so than ever?
New ships, new experiences and new destinations are all creating more choices for cruise guests and the diversity of cruising styles is greater than ever. There is now a cruise to suit virtually any taste - each cruise line has its own character, from larger resort-style ships to smaller luxury ships and expedition cruise operators. With 12 brand new ships set for launch in 2024, it’s clear that cruising is undergoing a global renaissance and the opportunities for the traveller are better than ever.
Joel Katz - Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Managing Director in Australasia.
Jessica Wynne Lockhart
Where are the best places to travel to in 2024 as a solo traveller?
Recently named by Lonely Planet as one of the Best Places to Travel in 2024, Mexico has been perennially popular with North Americans for decades; they love it as much as Kiwis love Rarotonga. It’s both safe and affordable, which is just part of the reason many solo travellers — especially women — are falling in love with its rich history and culture. It’s not just about flopping on the beach; there’s so much to see and do, from exploring Mayan ruins on the Yucatán Peninsula and taking cooking classes in Mexico City, to relaxing in bohemian beach towns on Oaxaca’s coastline.
What travel trends can we expect to see next year in the solo sphere?
It’s only a matter of time until we see more tour companies reducing or eliminating single supplements. Already, we’re seeing new cruise ships built with single rooms; in October, Norwegian Cruise Lines was the latest to announce it was doubling the number of single-person cabins on offer. I think we’ll also see more resorts offering packages catering exclusively to singles.
What travel hacks, tips and/or travel gadgets do you recommend for solo adventurists?
I’ve interviewed countless solo travel experts and they all say the same thing: Preparation is key. It doesn’t just help you prevent travel disruptions; it can also help calm nerves. Although Lonely Planet’s new The Travel Hack Handbook ($32.99) is intended for budget travellers, it serves as an essential blueprint for planning any trip, including how to stay safe and make the most of your time abroad.
Jessica Wynne Lockhart – Lonely Planet Destination Editor and solo traveller
Where are the most inclusive and accessible places to travel to in 2024?
Both the Gold Coast and Tropical North Queensland offer a plethora of accessible travel opportunities. 2023 was declared the Year of Accessible Tourism in the Sunshine State and as a result, they’ve made great strides in accessibility. I foresee this momentum will continue to build in 2024.
The United States continues to elevate access and inclusion. Washington DC’s museums and monuments provide services such as Braille guides, sensory kits, tactile models, audio-described tours and specially engineered glasses that allow those with colour blindness to see a broader spectrum of bright colours.
What would you like to see more of in 2024 from an accessibility point of view?
Detailed accessibility information and photos make researching an accessible holiday much easier and often contribute to the success of a trip. Hotels, attractions and tour operators need to provide information to enable travellers with a disability to decide if it caters to their needs. It would lead to better outcomes for everyone.
What personal travel hacks/tips do you always use for a successful trip?
We travel with a variety of “in-case” equipment to assist us in adapting when an experience isn’t quite suited to our son. Non-slip matting, various straps and a basic wheelchair repair kit are always in our luggage.
My number one tip is to communicate your needs clearly and politely to everyone from airline staff to tour operators. Never assume that people know your needs. The best way to get the help you need is to ask.
Julie Jones Editor of Travel Without Limits & Creator of Have Wheelchair Will Travel
THE TRAVEL FUTURIST
Dr Ian Yeoman
Where are the best places to travel to in 2024?
In 2024 the economic situation will dominate the relationship between holidaying at home or abroad. If the economic situation stays stable and offers value for money through exchange rates, Australia will dominate outbound travel with Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast as the most popular destinations. However, I would expect to see little growth in the outbound travel to Australia given the nearly double growth between 2022 to 2023 of 697.6 to 1166 million. In 2024, the biggest increases will be in the USA, Fiji, UK, Singapore, Croatia, Thailand, Bali and China. The popularity of Portugal as a European destination for Kiwis could be the biggest surprise.
What travel trends can we expect to see next year?
Some things don’t change. Although climate change is a huge issue, the majority of tourists tend to put personal preference before societal values. Hence the beach, romantic and family-focused travel will dominate trends in 2024. Many people take several holidays a year, whether it’s visiting friends and families or hobby-based activities. Domestic travel dominates this secondary market with regions of New Zealand benefiting. E.G. Short breaks in local areas like Wellingtonians tramping and drinking wine in the Wairarapa. I would expect tramping, fishing, nature and getting back to basic holidays to dominate in 2024 if disposal income and consumer confidence is an issue.
What else will we see in 2024?
Expect children to have a bigger say on where and what we do on holiday in 2024, with many of them pressurising parents not to fly and be greener. Many consumers are embracing events, even occasions like divorces and funerals are being reimagined as parties. An emerging trend is the indulgence equation, in which tourists want to offset naughty activity with a feeling of “contribution”. This is often a combination of activities on holiday in which community tourism or volunteering offsets parties, going out for dinner or a bungy jump.
Dr Ian Yeoman is an expert in tourism futures and is an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington and a Professor of Disruption at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.
What should Kiwis be heading over to Australia for in 2024?
There is plenty to look forward to in Australia in 2024 including major events, new cultural experiences and a range of new hotels and resorts.
The Australian Open, VIVID Sydney and Adelaide Fringe are events well worth a trip across the Tasman for and while you’re here you can try experiences such as the Wintjiri Wiru drone show at Uluru or the Great Victorian Bathing Trail.
There is also no shortage of new accommodation to choose from. Melbourne’s new sustainably-minded 1 Hotel opens early next year, the largest W Hotel in the world has recently opened its doors in Sydney, while a new Pelorus private island getaway launches on the Great Barrier Reef next month – and that’s just to name a few.
What travel trends are you seeing in Australia?
We are seeing more travellers to Australia seek out more meaningful accommodation and experiences which are sustainability focused and there is no shortage of products which do just that.
Wild Adventures Melbourne’s Positive Impact Day Tour offers incredible outdoor adventures on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula while Willow Wood Glamping Retreat offer new eco villas in Western Australia’s Margaret River region.
What travel hacks, tips or travel gadgets do you recommend?
We know one in four travellers have accessibility needs and we want Australia to be a destination that goes above and beyond to deliver memorable experiences for these travellers.
One way we can do this is with the help of technology, such as the Vacayit travel app, which has recently partnered with Tourism Tasmania. The app has a series of audio guides designed to help blind and low-vision visitors plan and enjoy their holiday across the island.
Phillipa Harrison, Tourism Australia Managing Director