Agoda Research Reveals Travel Trend Expectations for the 2020s

Press Room > 2020

Key trends take away: Technology advances to simplify travel; more conscious eco travel choices; and Kyoto tops destination wish list.

Single apps for all travel needs, passport free travel, and mobile app check-in are the top three new travel norms expected by travellers in the next decade, according to new research by Agoda, the world’s fastest growing digital travel platform.

People expect a log more from their travel experience in the next decade with continued advancement of technology, revolutionary travel apps and better connectivity. Specifically, Southeast Asians half of all respondents in Indonesia (56 percent), Singapore (54 percent), Malaysia (53 percent), Philippines (48 percent) and Thailand (48 percent) considering this the norm in the next decade. This compares to only a third of people in the United Kingdom and the United States (33 percent).

Meanwhile, Singapore (50 percent), Vietnam (47 percent), Philippines (45 percent), China (44 percent) and Australia (41 percent) are the top five origins most likely to see a future with passport-free travel.  In the United Kingdom and United States, they are less expectant of this advancement with only one in five expecting it, to be the norm within the next decade.

Technology has already made such a positive impact on how and where people travel as innovative technologies, like those developed at Agoda, give travellers instant access to millions of hotels and home properties around the world with real time pricing and availability.

“It is a technology golden age for travelers, as technology is developed to simplify the way anyone, anywhere can search, book and pay for flights, hotels or holiday accommodation. The 2000s was defined by the mouse and the computer, putting online travel booking just a click away.  The 2010s, was defined by the smart phone and app, and put a travel agent in the pocket of every phone owner, and the 2020s will be defined by the power of data and Machine Learning (AI). This will enable companies like Agoda to provide personalized, more relevant recommendations to make booking travel even easier,” explains Timothy Hughes, Vice President of Corporate Development at Agoda.

He continued: “Asian travelers, in particular, are enthused by, and expectant of, technology developments that enhance and simplify their travel experience.  Asian based companies are now leading the world in technology adoption and development to achieve this. I expect to see Asia press ahead with that lead in the 2020s – especially in areas such as video and augmented reality, improved mobile services with more chat and voice solutions, and payments to help bring the “unbanked online”.”

Globally, people want to increase travel, but also to make eco-friendlier travel choices

Universally, people want to increase the amount of travel they undertake in the 2020s.  Exploring more of their own country is cited by 40 percent of respondents globally, while international travel more often is anticipated at 35 percent.

What is also interesting according to the research, in the context of global narratives on climate sustainability is the trend that more than a quarter want to make more eco-friendly travel choices in the next decade.  Travellers from Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia are most keen to make eco- friendlier choices perhaps more aware than others with the recent closure of Maya Bay in Thailand, and the Boracay rehabilitation program in Philippines, thus travellers want to do their bit even when on holiday.

Travellers in the 35 to 44 and 55+ age groups, are most likely to want to explore their own countries and territories more (40 percent and 42 percent respectively), with those from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia,  Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam choosing domestic destinations within their top three wish list destinations for the coming decade.

Meanwhile Korean and Japanese travellers see themselves taking more solo trips in the next decade. Taiwanese and Indonesians would prefer taking a sabbatical or gap year.

 Kyoto scoops number one spot as the world’s most desired destination to visit in the 2020s

Asia dominates the global travel wish lists destinations for the next decade, as travelers from both Asia and the West showcase a growing curiosity for Asian treasures like Kyoto (Japan) famed for its Shinto shrine.  Kyoto is an eclectic blend of culture, food and history, followed by Bangkok, (Thailand) and Bali, (Indonesia).

Travellers in Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia want to cross off their own capital cities from their travel lists. Meanwhile, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Australian travellers do not choose a domestic destination on their wish lists for travel in the next decade.

American and British travellers alike are most excited about visiting New York in the coming decade. New York is also a top three choice for travellers from Australia, Japan and South Korea. Both Malaysian and Indonesian travellers would like to visit Makkah by 2030.