My comments in italics. Interesting!!!
Now hear this: Data from the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) forecasts that 6.6 billion passengers will fly worldwide by 2032, growing an average of 4.4% annually from 2014. Lonely Planet believes the concept of travel as a rare treat is disappearing, replaced by travel as a lifestyle choice. Fortunately, by 2032, I would be 86, and mostly likely too old to travel, at least as I do now. Maybe I can find a cure for sea sickness and become a cruiser dude.
With flights faster and cheaper than ever before, travellers are taking advantage of a global calendar of events, such as the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. I have enjoyed my global events, though I expect them to be cost prohibitive in the near future. This would include events on most of your bucket lists, like the Olympics, Wimbledon, Kentucky Derby, or the Great Barrier Reef.
Lonely Planet’s predictions also bode well for economy fliers, as increased competition on well-trodden flight paths is encouraging airlines to improve the experience for everyone. Perhaps lie-flat seats, high-quality food and more luxurious touches on economy flights are not too far away? It seems like it has become increasingly dangerous to fly internationally.
Airports are also due for an overhaul as innovative departure lounges are a key part of any future travel landscape. With airport spas, art galleries, green areas and even cinemas now a common sight at most departure lounges, Lonely Planet suggests we can expect bigger and bolder leisure activities soon – maybe even a pre-flight rollercoaster. The foreign airlines have already figured this out, the big American- based carriers are still trying to cut corners and cheapen the travel experience.
Research has also seen the increase in demand for hotels that offer something extra as travellers’ explore the globe in search of once-in-a-lifetime sights. Other than perhaps a destination retreat, I just want my hotel room is to clean, safe, efficient, and affordable. Too many amenities means spending too much time inside the hotel, when you should be out exploring.
Lonely Planet also predicts that green travel is on the rise as a new generation of travellers builds sustainability into every step of their journeys. 70% of travellers expect companies to demonstrate commitment to preserving the natural environment prompting a boom in ecotourism and volunteering abroad. I am not buying this, as I believe most travel companies are more concerned about profits than green. Correct me if I am wrong!!!!
Technology is also going to play an increasingly significant role, with more airlines offering paperless travel and integrated smartphones key to planning and tracking your travels. Soon technology will mean suggested tweaks to travellers’ itineraries based on weather conditions and local events will be sent directly to travellers’ smart phones or tablets during a flight. What about the charm of the unexpected? I really do not want a trip that is planned to well, or in great detail. I like to divert along the path LESS traveled!
The pressures of modern life are also recognised, as Lonely Planet suggests we can expect an increase in ‘unplugged travel’. With no emails or mobile signal, guests can immerse themselves in their destination and truly forget about work and everyday life. Remote hotels are starting to make a feature of their lack of internet and phone signal. Or you can be like Marriott, and jam everyone else’s signal. I send a daily email out to you when I am on the road. I enjoy it, and will keep doing it as long as you want to read them.
Sourcing online reviews remains second-nature for travellers, but hunger for secret coves and local secrets is emboldening them to embrace face-to-face or local recommendations. Lonely Planet experts suggest online reviews will remain part of a traveller’s toolkit, but a local recommendation has never been more highly prized. Over my years of travel, I have found the best locals to tap into are shuttle drivers, waiters and waitresses, and your half day travel guide.
Travelers can now plan their travels from the comfort of their laptop, exploring on Google Streetview before seeing it for real. But like I said above, save some time for a little spontaneity. I really cannot see myself carrying a laptop or tablet as I explore Burma, or Croatia.
One important item the Lonely Planet left out. That would be health risks, travel injuries, and infectious disease outbreaks. You must take precautions, stay in contact with the Centers for Disease Control, and only take calculated risks in third or fourth world countries. Even then, things can go wrong. An Aussie woman on my Trans Siberian Railway trip last May had a detached retina. Fortunately, she had travel insurance, and was flown to Moscow for surgery. But who wants a Russian physician fixing their eye? Not me!!!!
Don’t laugh at Jerry Brown’s high speed rail. It might become the only way to get around this great state of ours!