3 Major Trends in Tourism for 2019
By Russ Kuhn, MAML University Development Counselor
Grand Canyon University, Medford
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“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama
So far in 2019, we are exceeding the Dalai Lama’s advice. Research predicts that international travel will reach an all-time high by the end of the year. The tourism economy continues to grow, cruise lines are reporting strong bookings and airline fare competition is heating up. Not to mention the fact that road trips are more popular than ever. Now, people are looking to take more frequent trips close to home or go off the beaten path when they do venture out farther. Our travel adventures are definitely influenced by social media – but at least we’re becoming aware of our impact when we go off in search of those “Instagrammable” destinations. Check out the details on 2019 travel trends below. Mini Vacations: Over half of travelers surveyed said they plan to take more weekend trips this year. From “staycations” to out-of-town excursions, these mini vacations are great for tourism and local economies. AAA says that 39.7 million Americans planned a road trip over Independence Day in 2018 – a number predicted to rise in 2019. They’ve found that “families are heading to the road year-round for shorter, more focused road trips centered around key destinations like museums, beaches and cultural attractions.” Media-Inspired Destinations: Have you ever seen a picture of someone else’s vacation on Instagram and felt a pang of jealousy? It turns out that many of us have been influenced by those tiny squares of exotic beachfronts and breathtaking mountains. 30% of U.S. travelers say that they turn to social media for inspiration on where they should go. TV and movie destinations are another similar story – places where major shows are filmed have become vacation attractions. Ecotourism: As the idea of “overtourism” grows, more travelers are becoming aware of their impact. In fact, Elle calls 2019 “the year for the conscious traveler.” This includes avoiding overcrowded attractions as well as negative environmental impacts due to tourism. People are choosing less popular destinations, such as remote islands with few people or businesses. In terms of reducing other negative environmental effects, some resorts and hotels are making plans to cater to guests in a more responsible way. For instance, Marriott International strives to reduce their food waste by 50% by 2025.
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About the Author:
Russ Kuhn is a University Development Counselor at Grand Canyon University. Kuhn brings more than 30 years of global leadership experience to the Rogue Valley as the Medford-based UDC. He serves as the local face and brand ambassador to support GCU’s mission and help students start their educational journey.

Grand Canyon University 3300 W. Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85017 866-332-8863 Toll Free Fax Russ.Kuhn@gcu.edu
Refer someone to attend Grand Canyon University at http://www.gcu.edu/udc/Russ.Kuhn
Honorable mention for travel trends in 2019 include wellness retreats, “B-Leisure” trips and sabbaticals. More people are looking for vacations that include spa and fitness options, while others are taking advantage of business trips by mixing in personal interests and leisurely activities. Of course, sabbaticals are also having a moment: social media has made the idea of quitting your job and traveling for a year or two seem extremely appealing. Whether it’s road tripping around the U.S. in a restored van with family or embarking on a solo backpacking adventure around Asia, the internet has a guide for it. So, how do all of these trends impact you? There are more marketing opportunities online than ever and travelers love to support local businesses when they’re passing through town or exploring a new place. Social media is a necessity for increasing business awareness and engagement, and it’s always important to be environmentally aware. You can now build your brand in different ways and connect with others across the world!
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