Three Travel Trends Will Drive the Industry This Year: The Kiplinger Letter

New travel trends like set-jetting, destination “dupes” and tour traveling will propel the travel industry in 2024.

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To help you understand the travel trends that are driving the industry in 2024, and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest…

Three relatively new travel trends will help drive the industry this year.

First is “set-jetting,” which is planning trips inspired by TV shows and movies. While not a new concept, set-jetting gained popularity during the pandemic, when TV became the best available substitute for would-be travelers grounded by lockdowns and other restrictions. 

According to one survey, more than half of travelers have researched or booked a trip to a destination after seeing it in a TV show or movie. These have a greater effect on travel plans than social media.

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Some of the most popular set-jetting locations include Thailand (as seen in the HBO series White Lotus), Romania (part of the Netflix series Wednesday), South Korea (the setting of Netflix’s popular Squid Game) and Scotland (whose rolling Highlands can be seen in the Starz historical drama Outlander).

Second is destination “dupes,” less expensive alternatives to popular places, a trend popularized by TikTok. The basic idea is for travelers to avoid big crowds and stretch their dollars. Popular dupes include Taipei and Taiwan (for Seoul, South Korea), Pattaya, Thailand (for Bangkok), Liverpool (for London) and Quebec City (for Geneva).

Third is tour traveling, which is essentially traveling for a concert. After last year, when fans of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift traversed the globe to see them in concert, the trend is poised for an encore. Nearly 70% of travelers are more willing than ever to attend a concert outside their hometown, a possible excuse to see a new place.

Look for domestic airfares to be slightly lower in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2023, already lower than pre-pandemic levels. Outside of peak travel seasons, no major demand swings will drive prices up.

January will be the cheapest month to book tickets, with airfares rising in the spring and summer before falling again in September, prior to the holiday surge. Airfare to international destinations will also drop slightly versus 2023, though in this case, prices are higher than prepandemic levels. 

The price relief is due in part to increased capacity among carriers and lower jet fuel prices. Around 4.7 billion passengers are expected to fly in 2024, an increase from 2019’s tally of 4.5 billion passengers, per the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Sean Lengell
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

Sean Lengell covers Congress and government policy for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in January 2017 he served as a congressional reporter for eight years with the Washington Examiner and the Washington Times. He previously covered local news for the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. A native of northern Illinois who spent much of his youth in St. Petersburg, Fla., he holds a bachelor's degree in English from Marquette University.