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17 Innovative Tourism Business Ideas and Trends for 2024


Gig-Tripping, Bleisure, and Skip-Gen Travel: From eco-conscious adventures to immersive culinary experiences, what are some of the top travel business ideas likely to appeal to travelers in 2024? And how can tour businesses capitalize on them?

It’s that time of year again; when we take a deep dive into the research into travel and tourism trends for the year ahead so you don’t have to. As well as scouring the travel press, talking to our partners, customers and contacts, and racking our own brains here at Rezgo, we’ve picked highlights from several influential research reports into tourism business trends for 2024. 

Even if you’re getting into the tour operator industry, there’s a lot of reasons to be optimistic. Read on to learn the tourism trends you can use to start your tour business in 2024.

Reasons to be cheerful about tourism in 2024

great wall of china

These findings were backed up by UNWTO’s latest Tourism Confidence Index survey of travel professionals. It found that “67% of tourism professionals indicating better or much better prospects for 2024 compared to 2023.”

According to the UNTWO, reasons to be optimistic in 2024 include:

  • An uptick in the reopening of several source markets and destinations in Asia
  • An increase in Chinese outbound and inbound tourism
  • More travel to and around the Middle East and Africa through a unified tourist visa implemented by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries
  • Strong outlook for travel to Europe, for example for the Paris Summer Olympics, and from the United States, backed by a strong US dollar

On the flip side, according to UNWTO findings, “Persisting inflation, high interest rates, volatile oil prices and disruptions to trade can continue to impact transport and accommodations costs in 2024.” In addition, if you have been having difficulties finding staff, you’re not alone. Many tourism businesses continue to face challenges filling vacancies to help them meet the steadily rising demand from travellers.

Overall though, 2024 promises an exciting array of tourism trends that cater to diverse interests and preferences. Let’s take a look at travel and tourism business ideas for 2024, with a focus on ideas for tours, events, activities and attractions that your travel business could use to attract new and existing customers alike. 

1. Sustainable tourism and ecotours

According to the UNWTO report, many travellers will consider “sustainable practices and adaptability” when making their travel plans in 2024. They are not only interested in booking with tour companies that do business in a sustainable way, but they also want to travel in an eco-friendly way, seek out eco-friendly places to stay and book activities and tours with a sustainability element. This is backed up by Arival’s “The 2024 U.S. Tour Taker,” which found that nature tours and other “ecotours” are in high demand from US travelers in particular.’s trends report for 2024 prompted the online travel marketplace to predict that ”the world of travel is poised for a sustainable makeover,” as travellers seek out eco-friendly places to stay and activities and locations with a sustainability element. TravelPulse reported that many travelers increasingly look to travel off season and seek out less well-known destinations to do their bit to try to decrease overtourism.

So-called “ecotours” let tourists enjoy a vacation while also learning about environmental and sustainability issues in a particular location. Some enable people to do something tangible to help, such as volunteering to plant trees or help to restore habitats. Many travelers these days also seek out “small footprint” or socially-responsible travel. This may not be an ecotour as such; it could just mean they favor tour companies that take steps to minimize the impact of their tours or incorporate a social responsibility element.’s Sustainable Travel Report 2023 found that 76 percent of travelers want to travel more sustainably in 2024. 

2. Train travel

From the “Flying Scotsman” to the “Orient Express,” there are few more romantic ways to travel than by train. However, train travel continues to overlap with other trends in our list, as it becomes more popular as a way to travel more sustainably by reducing car and air travel, traveling slower (unless we’re talking train travel in Japan) and for longer, as well as traveling to more countries on the same trip. Train travel as both a means to travel and see more of a destination continues to increase in popularity. Euromonitor International found that in 2024, “the fastest growing travel category worldwide is rail transport at 35.6 percent over 2023-2024.”

Train travel can also offer scenic views, comfortable travel with spacious seats, sleeping accommodations for longer or overnight trips, the opportunity to socialize with other travelers, and convenient access to city centers. Again overlapping with other trends, train travel also offers more immersive travel experiences and lets travelers see more of a country while mixing with locals. Many countries and rail companies, especially in Europe, offer passes that let travelers visit multiple places in one trip without leaving the ground.

3. Food and drink experiences 

Food and drink experiences 

Many of the reports we looked at highlighted culinary experiences as a trend for 2024. After all, who doesn’t like a good meal or drinks with friends? Many travellers want to combine their love of food with their love of travel. Food tours allow travellers to savour the authentic flavours of a destination while discovering, and literally getting a taste for, its cultural heritage. Activities such as cooking classes let travelers enjoy an even more immersive culinary experience. 

While winery tours have long been a favourite travel activity for wine lovers, an explosion of craft beer, vodka, gin and other drink producers provides a multitude of other opportunities for drink-related tours activities. They can cater as much to enthusiasts looking to indulge in the finer things in life, as true connoisseurs. found that 78 percent of travellers want to experience new foods, and half go to the length of organizing trips around specific restaurants or dishes, including iconic dishes of particular destinations. And keep an eye on “wild-feasting”—a new trend where you not only eat locally-grown ingredients but forage for, and even cook, them in the wild.

4. Sports tourism

Sport is a passion for many people around the world, and travelers often like to combine their love of a particular sport or sports team with their passion for travel. In 2024, Europe hosts the Paris Summer Olympics and the soccer UEFA Euro 2024, while soccer lovers often travel to see their favourite team in England, Spain, Germany and the top European leagues. However, even smaller teams get a look in. The Netflix show Welcome to Wrexham has put the small Welsh town on the map after Hollywood stars Rob Mcelhenney and Ryan Reynolds bought the local soccer team.


As well as events like the Olympics, there are also annual events that attract global interest, such as the Super Bowl, the Tour de France and Formula One, which also has a hit TV show, Formula 1: Drive to Survive. A sporting, or other, event can provide a reason for people to visit a particular location, even if they don’t have tickets, to sample the atmosphere and explore the sights. 

5. Tours and experiences with locals


Immersing oneself in the local culture is made possible through tours or experiences led by knowledgeable locals. These insiders offer unique insights, hidden gems, and authentic encounters that enhance the overall travel experience. They help meet a growing demand for more immersive experiences that take travelers inside a location and culture and deepen their understanding of it. Hilton’s 2024 Trends Report found that many travellers will prioritize experiences (85%), exploring the unknown, trying local food, and learning about the local culture.

Indigenous experiences are still a growing trend. Countries around the world, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, are making an increased effort to reverse past wrongs when it comes to treatment of Indigenous peoples, while also empowering Indigenous communities to take a lead in areas like travel and tourism. 

6. Transformational trips

A buzz phrase you heard a lot of in 2023 was “transformational retreat,” and 2024 looks likely to continue the trend.’s 2024 travel trends report prompted them to label 2024 as a year that reinforced that “travel isn’t just an escape, but a catalyst for experiencing our best lives.”

relaxing activities

A transformational trip is a travel experience designed around a specific activity, personal goal, or mental or physical health need. They can include retreats that cater to people who want to undergo a significant personal or spiritual transformation, or at least get away from it all in order to return refreshed. Retreats and activities include meditation, yoga, therapy, workshops, and other experiential practices. Most promote self-awareness, personal growth, and positive change, typically taking place in a secluded and peaceful setting and led by experienced facilitators or coaches. 

Wellness vacations have been a growing tourism business trend for some time, with demand accelerated by the pandemic. Tours that offer people the chance to pamper themselves and generally recalibrate are likely to be extremely popular for the foreseeable future.

7. Quiet travel

Not everyone is looking for a transformational outcome from their vacation; many simply want to unwind and enjoy some quality “me time.” Continuing the 2023 trend, many people still want to unplug and undertake a “digital detox.” They could be seeking respite from “doom scrolling” through social media and news feeds on their digital devices, or they just want a break from the glowing screens so prevalent in their day-to-day. 

spa treatment

Trips that encourage travelers to leave their devices at home will be popular, whether to a wellness retreats that bans or discourages digital devices, or an out-of-the-way destination that makes electronic communication extremely difficult. As well as digital detoxing, an example of a trend that is still going strong is forest bathing. This involves becoming immersed in nature to enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It can be as simple as going for a long walk through a forest, or sitting by a lake and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural surroundings. Research has shown that forest bathing can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and even boost the immune system and reduce blood pressure and heart rate.

8. Skip-gen travel

Deloitte’s “2024 travel industry outlook” report found that the baby boomer generation is getting back into the swing of things when it comes to traveling. This could be a factor in the emergence of a trend towards “skip generation trips” or skip-gen travel. This is when grandparents take their grandkids on vacation as a way for these two generations to bond and create some memories. Boomers can have more disposable income and more time, and parents with kids that can travel in this way appreciate the chance to travel on their own or just enjoy a break at home. All-inclusive resorts and other places with lots of activities for different generations are popular skip generation trips.

9. Solo travel 

Of course, not everyone has a posse to travel with or wants to travel with others. Solo travel continues to be very popular and has moved from a niche to a mainstream market. A Skyscanner report found that 40 per cent wanted to travel solo for mental health wellness reasons, while singles and divorcees ranked highly for being ready to take a solo trip. The report concludes: “There is no longer any stigma attached to taking a trip on your own, and many tour companies cater specifically to this market.”

Arival’s 2024 U.S. Tour Taker report found that the preference for independent travel increases with age, with 38 percent of people over 55 preferring to go it alone, compared with 26 percent of the 18-34 group. ​This indicates that older, more experienced travelers, who are often more affluent, prefer small group and independent travel. ​Women travelling on their own or with other women also continues to be a growing trend, with a number of tour operators dedicated to women-only trips.

10. Frontier travel

people kayaking around glacier

While it may sound like something out of the script for the TV show Westworld, frontier travel is a new travel trend for 2024 that takes travelers into wilder, more unusual destinations off the beaten track. This could mean grand adventures like following in the footsteps of great explorers across the Drake Passage to Antarctica or up Everest. Or it could mean taking a guided group trip to hike to and camp in a remote location or journey down a river by kayak or canoe.

These trips need a certain element of adventure and excitement, challenging travelers to get out of their comfort zone. This ties in with the transformational trip trend above, as people seek experiences that they will not only remember forever, but that could change them forever.

11. Hush trips, workcations, and micro-cations

In our 2023 report we highlighted the trend toward “hush trips” (when remote workers take a workcation without telling their boss) and workcations, when people travel abroad with the intention of combining a vacation with work. This kind of travel continues to be popular, and accommodation providers—from hotels to Airbnb apartments—often boast of dedicated work areas and other facilities for remote workers.

Many such trips are “micro-cations,” short trips often taken close to home, often at the last minute. The micro-cation trend has continued to grow for the last few years, as people look for quick, convenient, and often budget-friendly getaways that don’t require a lot of planning. When you combine the acceptance of remote working among many more employers with a large number of people who left the office behind and didn’t miss it for a second, you have an opportunity to create workcation and hush trip experiences for digital nomads and remote workers.  

12. Traveling for “bleisure”

The tourism industry and travel press do love a good old portmanteau to describe the latest trend. Hot on the heels of workcations, the related trend of “bleisure” shows no sign of letting up. Bleisure is a name coined to describe the trend of business travellers tacking on some leisure time to the end of business trips or just taking their family along with them. Where a workcation is often a longer trip designed around work, the growth of bleisure trips reflects the fact that as business travel bounces back, people still want as much vacation time as they can get. 

Deloitte’s “2024 travel industry outlook” report found that corporations are more concerned with costs than COVID now, but “trips to build client relationships and support team collaboration remain key to business success.” In fact, the report found that “US corporate travel spend is still likely to finally pass the pre-pandemic line within the next year.”

13. Set-jetting

city by the ocean

If you’ve ever wanted to visit the set of your favourite movie or TV show, you’re not alone. A top travel trend for 2023 that is continuing in 2024 is “set-jetting,” when travelers visit destinations primarily because they were featured in a popular movie, TV show, or book. According to research, 39 percent of travelers have booked trips to places featured on shows or movies (Expedia). While people have long been drawn to iconic movie locations, perhaps the earliest example of mass set-jetting was New Zealand’s tourism industry getting a huge boost after the country played a leading role in the “Lord of The Rings” movies. Fans of the “Outlander” books and TV series have also been making pilgrimages to Scotland to see the country that provides the backdrop for their favourite show.

People don’t just want to visit the actual physical set and filming location, but also just the cities or countries featured in a particular production. Popular shows where the location is as much the star of the show as the actors, such as “The Crown” (England,) “Emily in Paris” (Paris,) and “The White Lotus” (Sicily), have been credited with triggering a surge in demand for particular locations and experiences relating to the shows, such as a themed tour. And tour companies like Black Tomato have jumped on the trend to offer set-jetting itineraries.

14. Destination dupes

The economic upheaval we saw through 2022 and 2023 looks set to continue through 2024, . Inflation and cost of living rises mean while the desire to travel is still strong, many travelers will still have at least one eye on their budget. This has led to a new trend called destination dupes,  when people seek out trips to locations that offer similar experiences to well-known or preferred locations, but that are more cost-effective. 

Hotel giant Marriott commissioned a survey of over 14,000 travellers, and over 25 percent said they were choosing destination dupes in 2024. Examples of dupes include someone who lives in the US choosing a Canadian lake resort over an Italian Lakes destination. Here’s a good guide to popular holiday swaps for 2024.

15. Coolcations

In the wake of rising temperatures and an increase in the number and intensity of wildfires in parts of North America, Europe and around the world, keeping cool is likely to be top of mind for many travelers in 2024—even among those who typically seek out the sun for their vacation.

Enter the “colocation.” Marriott’s survey found that over half of respondents would be considering climate change when planning their trips. Fifty-six percent said they were more interested in cooling down than baking in the sun. This makes areas like northern Europe a popular destination dupe as people look for similar attractions, such as culture, scenery, etc., to the hotter locations they might have chosen in the past but with a cooler climate.

16. Gig tripping

Just as the trend of people taking trips to sports and other events has grown, so too has this travel trend that is music to the ears of the travel industry. For example “swifties” from around the world are flocking to Taylor Swift concerts abroad, especially if tickets in their home country, especially the US, are hard to come by. CN Traveler called this the Swift Effect, as people travel to one-off gigs to see their favourite performer, as well as established (Glastonbury in the UK and Coachella in the US) and new (Untold in Romania) multi-day music festivals.

17. Sleep retreats

person happily waking up

As we highlighted in our 2023 trends, everyone likes a good night’s sleep, especially on vacation, and the travel industry is waking up to the opportunities offered by a rise in “sleep tourism.” This trend continues to grow. Some travelers simply want a relaxing holiday with a comfortable bed and in an environment conducive to getting plenty of rest. For example, the Park Hyatt New York offers a stay in their  One Bedroom Sleep Suite by Bryte. Others are taking advantage of a growth in technology geared towards helping people get their eight hours a night, and are booking “sleep retreats.” Swedish bed brand Hastens opened a branded Sleep Spa, and the HOTEL de LËN offers guests a “regenerative sleep experience.” Good night, sleep well.  

These are just a selection of travel business trends for 2024 that could open up new opportunities for your tour business. For example, we haven’t even touched on how technology is changing the travel industry. And don’t forget traditional travel experiences, or in-destination activities. The Arival report highlighted that sightseeing tours, “hop-on, hop-off” experiences, and other tried and tested travel experiences and ways of seeing the sights are still going strong.

How to take advantage of innovative tourism business ideas

In an ever-evolving landscape of travel and tourism, the trends for 2024 reflect a desire for authenticity, sustainability, and immersive experiences. From eco-conscious adventures to culinary escapades and everything in between, travelers are spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring the world in new and exciting ways. Embracing these trends promises to enrich the travel experience and create lasting memories for adventurers of all kinds.

The key to taking advantage of these innovative tourism business ideas and other tourism industry trends is to always be thinking of your next profitable business opportunity. Here are a few ways to keep on top of what’s new and interesting in the travel business:

Maintain an ideas file

Include those “out there” trends that seem absurd the first time you hear them. Think about some recent innovations that would have been dismissed with a laugh not that long ago: Self-driving cars, passenger space travel, drone deliveries… Even that Holy Grail of futuristic inventions, the personal jetpack, is getting closer to reality. All but the most outlandish trends are worth tracking in case there’s a germ of an idea for a new business opportunity in there.

Listen to your audience

Hang out in online travel discussion forums, on social media, and in other places where travelers gather to swap notes and ideas or express needs and dreams. You might uncover a new business idea no-one else has come across yet.

Follow your competitors

Monitor what your direct competitors and others in the tourism business are up to. Subscribe to every industry newsletter you can, including those of your competitors, to keep up with emerging trends and help with your business idea generation.

Solicit customer feedback

Be proactive in asking your customers for feedback. Don’t just ask them what they liked and didn’t like about their experience with your company; ask them if there’s anything they would like to do that they currently can’t. 

Invest in the right booking system

It goes without saying that every tour operator should offer online booking and take a mobile-first approach. Not doing both of those things makes taking advantage of the above trends very difficult. The customer experience starts the moment they enter your website. Online booking enables them to easily browse, book, and pay for tours anytime and from is anywhere. Learn more about how Rezgo booking software is tailor-made for adventure companies.

At Rezgo, we always have our ear to the ground when it comes to the latest tourism trends and business opportunities. The Rezgo booking system is a comprehensive platform that enables you to become a more


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