It’s less about where you’re traveling than how you can travel better.
WE ASKED MORE than a dozen industry experts what travel will look like in 2020, and the overwhelming consensus is that this year—more than ever before—travelers will prioritize their journeys’ impacts: on the planet, on destinations and local communities, and on themselves.
Perhaps it’s not surprising, given the climate-change headlines and the upcoming 50th anniversary of Earth Day, that sustainability is top of mind. “Travelers are increasingly interested in trips that mean something, and for the long-term,” says Will Jones, founder of Journeys by Design and Wild Philanthropy. “The knowledge that you’re contributing to something sustainable or beneficial is important.”
Therefore, our 2020 trends reflect not so much where you can go, but who you can be while you’re on the road.
Carbon offsetting is on
“The entire travel industry is taking note of the climate crisis and doing what it can to mitigate its impact,” says Jonny Bealby, founder and CEO of Wild Frontiers, which runs small group tours popular with solo wanderers. This starts with flights and greenhouse gas emissions, which Travel Beyond vice president Jenny Mikkelson says “are a big topic of conversation.”
Travelers will expect tour operators to help with carbon offsets. Wild Frontiers, for example, has been offsetting customers’ flights since 2005, and this year it’s upping the offset amount to 1.5 metric tons.