Some of these predictions for 2020 are realistic and some are a bit more about wishful thinking, but hopefully they will all materialise.
1. People will increasingly shop small
We already know why we should shop at independent places for sustainability of our home towns and tourist destinations, but I think we’ll buy more of our important items from independents.
Supermarkets, Amazon and other large companies will have a role to play for items we see as unimportant in our lives.
And, as we all value different things in our lives, these shops will become more diverse. I think we’ll see a growth in independent electronics companies for people who really care about the quality of their headphones, for example.
This is my top prediction for 2020 because I believe people are willing to pay for what they care about.
Norwich is full of independent businesses. Here’s a walk which will showcase a few of them.
2. There will be less reliance on airlines
Staying with easy predictions for 2020, but prepare to see influencers standing on the bow of ferries faking like they like being splashed by the waves on a choppy channel crossing.
Sustainability is the focus of attention, so I look forward to reading all the articles on train travel and I wonder if Eurostar will put this into its marketing strategy.
3. Disruptive pan-European transport booking emerges
Interrail tickets are the best idea, but it’s not easy to schedule and plan, and most people don’t have the luxury of turning up and seeing what happens.
I’d like to see an Uber or Amazon-type disrupter appearing to make it easy book trains, coaches and ferries in one place.
4. One of my favourite predictions for 2020: A grand comeback for Turkey and Tunisia
Both of these countries have suffered for events outside their control.
I’ve only visited Turkey once, but everyone I met worked hard and was proud of their business, I’d really love for them to return to a top tourist destination.
5. Increasingly diverse staycations
VisitBritain launched the Microgap in 2019 and I can see UK city breaks being a consideration for more people than those with families.
One of my predictions for 2020 is that cities and regions will highlight their individuality, perhaps with a sustainability focus, or their key historic moments.
6. Rise of the volunteer break in the UK
Off the back of more staycations, I think we’ll see more people travelling to volunteer at animal shelters or doing beach cleans within the UK.
Lots of people want to do this abroad, but it’s quite expensive and generally involves a long haul flight, so I think we’ll see breaks centred around volunteering within the UK.
7. Inclusivity in PR & Influencers
Everyone’s Instagram feed will become more diverse. Consumers and travellers will demand to see more LGBT+, BAME, plus size and disabled representatives.
8. Solo travel will grow and grow
Solo travel makes up around 18% of global bookings and increased by 17% between 2018 and 2019.[i]
We all want to explore at our own pace and do our own thing, no one is waiting for their partner or friends to be interested in travel anymore, they will go when they want.
If you’re inspired by travelling solo, check out Teacake Travels’ adventures, tips and girl power.
9. Travel agencies will catch up with this and increase their solo offerings
Travel agencies will continue removing their single supplements and make group travel and itineraries more appealing to people who are travelling alone.
Keep an eye out for KirstyLeanneUK’s Plus Size Travel Too for her plus size travel tours and shop small for your travel, too.
10. Czechia will be seen as more than just Prague+
The Czechia tourism board has put a lot of effort in to promote towns outside of Prague, including Brno, which has historic buildings like the Old Town Hall and a great night life.
A country is always more than just one city.
11. Wishful Thinking Predictions for 2020: The demise of the ‘hen/stag’ weekend
One of Prague’s problems is that it became renowned for being a cheap weekend escape to get boozed up.
Younger people are drinking less than any generation before them, and I believe we’re becoming more conscious travellers and thinking about the impact we’re having. Prague will still be a great place to visit breweries, but hopefully not in fancy dress.
Need inspiration for your city break? Here’s my 4 Alternative City Breaks you could try.
12. Another demise… plastic!
The pressure will continue against single use plastic. Please remember though, that plastic has been a force for good and helps prevent food waste, so we shouldn’t automatically cancel it.
Having said that, one of my predictions for 2020 is that we there’ll be increased pressure against plastic.
13. Technological advances in materials becomes mainstream
Industry has been working on self-healing materials for years, but I’d like to see it hit the mainstream. Imagine self-healing phone screens!
14. New materials to stop the use of consumable items
Imagine t shirts that absorbed/reflected sweat so that you didn’t need deodorant? What could this fabric do for health conditions, such as detecting levels of insulin for people with diabetes? Is there any way it could be used to help mental health problems? The possibilities are endless, so get a move on, scientists!
15. Increased take up of language learning in the UK
We’ve historically fallen behind other countries in learning other languages, and maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I think this trend will reverse.
The reason I’ve included this in my predictions for 2020 is that people want “authentic,” “off-the-beaten-track” experiences, and this is much easier if you know the local language.
There’s also bragging rights in knowing you can talk to local people in their language and find out about a particular recipe, a hidden beach or artisan bakery.
Love to live like a local? Try this wine festival with a difference in La Rioja, Spain.
16. Slow travel boost
Livia Hengel has recommended in Curiosity Magazine that you should set out to explore a region, not a whole country. Have a multi-destination trip within the boundaries of a county to see a place in depth and discover the things that make it unique instead of hitting all the top sights in one go.
As I live in a small city which I love to pieces, I hate to think of people visiting the UK and only seeing London and Oxford and thinking that represents the whole country.
17. Historic narratives will continue to be revised to include minority groups and women
2019 saw statues being torn down and a cancel culture. 2020 has the opportunity to seriously reconsider the role of ‘others’ in the historic narrative.
We’ll hear more stories of heroes we haven’t previously heard of. Statues will be erected of women who changed the world without receiving their Nobel prize.
Death In 10 Minutes is an account of Kitty Marion, a militant suffragette and hero. In the book, Dr Fern Riddell removes the fog surrounding the women’s suffrage movement in the UK and shows its true face, terrorism, hunger strikes and all.
18. There’ll be a slump in animal tourism
People are more conscious than ever of how animals are treated in tourist destinations. I think we’ll see a slump in that kind of attraction whilst people consider how they can be sure that the animals they are seeing are treated with respect and dignity, because at the minute it’s hard to tell and easy to go somewhere with the best of intentions but still add to suffering.
Airbnb’s new animal policy is a great step forward, though.
19. Hotels and brands will take ownership of recycling
Government and NGOs can’t do all the work, tourist brands and hotels need to champion the circular economy. Predictions for 2020: the end of tiny bottles of shampoo, please.
20. Top Places to Visit lists will be read and ignored
Gorgeous photos, tempting food and cold drinks on hot beaches. These lists are inspiring, but sometimes they inspire us to the places they weren’t intended. They inspire us to find our own Top Destinations.
Find your own adventure.