Why do you travel? Some travel for religious reasons, for sporting events, for beer and wine, the list goes on and on. The fact of the matter is that the travel and tourism industry is ever-changing, and so are the interests of those who travel. While travel trends and top destinations may come and go, current travel agents should keep in mind these four emerging forms of tourism:
Instead of hitting the mall for your next shopping spree, how about visiting a whole other country? Fashion tourism includes traveling to and staying in new and exciting places to experiment, enjoy and purchase fashion. Fashion is a top industry in both younger and older generations, and some people associate their unique style with specific countries or specific cultures. As a result, there has been a rising trend of shopping festivals where fashionistas from other cultures can come and shop for clothing they couldn’t find in their own countries.
Have you ever wanted to travel where your favorite movie was filmed? It’s a lot more common than you may think! Tourists from all over travel to Britain and Ireland to see where Harry Potter was filmed, New Zealand for Lord of the Rings and even Hawaii for Jurassic World. Televisions lovers also book trips to see experience parts of their favorite series in real life. Tourists travel to Seattle, WA to experience the ferry ride just like Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy; Wilmington, NC also sees many tourists that want to visit the homes in which their favorite characters from One Tree Hill lived; and Iceland and Ireland to see the majestic scenes from Game of Thrones in person.
Medical tourism refers to people traveling to a country other than their own to obtain medical treatment. While this term previously referred to people that traveled from less-developed countries to seek medical treatment that is unavailable to them where they are from, it has somewhat shifted in meaning in recent years. Many people now travel outside of the U.S. to gain medical services at a cheaper cost or to try experimental treatments not yet offered in the U.S.
Have a passion for traveling and helping others? Voluntourism, or volunteering tourism, is right up your alley. Voluntourism is a popular form of international travel that allows you to contribute to sustainable development while exploring a new country and culture. Despite the positive mindsets behind this travel trend, there are still conversations that need to take place about the negative sides of this form of tourism as well. It isn’t uncommon for volunteer tourists in these less-developed countries to leave projects that are unfinished or damage the environment or culture they visit. However, when planned out and executed with care, there are real benefits to helping out the economies of these countries.