Montenegro. Image: Getty

This week’s top travel trends

(Thursday 20 February) Here are three of the very latest travel trends:
European tourism sector continues to grow
According to the European Travel Commission’s European Tourism Trends and Prospects report, covering the final quarter of 2019, Europe enjoyed a 4% increase in tourist arrivals in compared with the previous year — meaning it remains the most visited region worldwide. Montenegro, Turkey and Lithuania all registered double-digit increases in tourist arrivals, while Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia and the Netherlands also outperformed the average.
Travel companies dominate ‘most recommended’ rankings
Travel companies make up four of the top 10 brands most recommended by their customers. This is the result of a YouGov analysis based on the company’s Recommend scores, which represent the percentage of a brand’s customers who’d recommend it to a friend or colleague. Trailfinders was placed third and Universal Studios Orlando got the fourth spot, while Disney World Florida and Celebrity Cruises ranked sixth and seventh, respectively.
Luxury travel forecast
Globetrender has published its first report on the future of the luxury travel sector, forecasting that it will be worth over US$2.5 trillion (£1.9 trillion) by 2025, up from US$1.8 trillion (£1.4 trillion) in 2018. The company identifies space tourism as ‘the most thrilling trend’ for the decade ahead, with Virgin Galactic planning to launch its first space flights later this year. According to the report, tour operators are also increasingly offering a range of ‘sabbaticals’, with Original Travel developing a sabbatical division and Aardvark Safaris’ advertising ‘sensational’ sabbaticals. Finally, Globetrender noted the emergence of so-called ‘ephemeral’ hotels, citing 700,000 Heures — the world’s first ‘wandering hotel’ — as an example.