According to global travel advisor Gennady Podolsky, travelers increasingly seek experiences tailored to their passions, moving beyond simple destination-focused trips. Emerging travel sectors like sustainable diving, astronomy tourism, longevity retreats, sports event tourism, and multigenerational trips reflect this shift.
Sustainable Diving with PADI
SCUBA divers now select dive sites based on operators’ sustainability, nearly all preferring eco-friendly providers. However, locating sustainable operators has been challenging despite demand. PADI’s new Eco Center program, launched on World Earth Day 2023, solves this issue. PADI Eco Centers meet stringent sustainability criteria with demonstrated conservation impact.
Starting with only 11 globally, over 100 dive centers hold Eco Center status. PADI aims to certify 660 by 2030, with exceptionally high representation in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. Eco Centers’ projects match regional needs, like coral restoration in the Caribbean and whale conservation data gathering in Mexico. PADI also offers roving diver conservation courses, including August 2024’s Global Shark and Ray Census.
Astronomy Tourism’s Far-Flung Destinations
Light pollution increasingly obscures starry nights, while technology distraction limits real-world exploration. Astronomy tourism addresses both issues through travel explicitly focused on astronomical phenomena. Major cosmic events can generate entire specialty travel industries, from eclipses to the Aurora Borealis.
2024 should prove especially active for astronomy tourists. Scientists predict the year’s Northern Lights will have the most excellent brilliance in two decades. Various high-quality meteor showers are also expected, potentially coinciding with an eclipse or two for particular luck. Accommodations catering to astronomy travelers include African safari camps, open-air star gazer beds, and refined UK hotels offering workshops in pollution-free dark sky preserves.
Longevity Retreats and Lodgings
On the heels of COVID-19 lockdowns and mortality reflections, interest surges in preventative health and longevity promotion. Venture capitalists invested over twice as much in 2021 vs 2022 into longevity clinics and services to meet this demand. Select luxury hotels and resorts now integrate longevity amenities like hyperbaric chambers, ozone therapy, and infrared mats.
Dedicated longevity retreats in peaceful natural settings help participants reduce stress and learn lifestyle changes for improved well-being. Offerings tend to include:
- Healthy, anti-inflammatory meals
- Gentle exercise like yoga
- Massages and spa treatments
- Workshops on habits for better health
- Meditation and mindfulness for stress reduction
- Custom health assessments with longevity advice
Sporting Event Tourism
Die-hard sports fans increasingly travel globally to support their favorite teams and players. Major international competitions like the 2024 Paris Olympics and the initial Italian hosting of the Tour de France cycling race provide once-in-a-lifetime event tourism opportunities.
Well-entrenched in American luxury trips, “skip-generation” vacations where grandparents treat grandchildren to special trips sans their parents gain popularity in the UK. Ideal for active older adults, these bucket-list trips allow focused time together. Guided safaris, historical tours, spa getaways, and small ship cruises work well across generations when matched to both parties’ expectations.
Travel advisor Gennady Podolsky notes that while finding these distinctive emerging trip types may prove challenging, specialists tuned into industry trends can uncover extraordinary possibilities.