Get ready to know more about emerging worldwide travel trends which will soon disrupt like never before the way we travel.

Asia | The richer, the cashless

The undeniable growth of Chinese outbound tourism heavily contributes for the rise of Asian destinations. Seoul and Hong Kong are in the pole position at the moment. Both Samsung and LG companies have their base in Seoul where 5G network is highly expectable for 2018 Winter Olympic Games. A new trend is rising from mobile first to mobile only. At the same time, Hong Kong’s Octopus Card was one of the world’s first contactless smart cards. Singapore is also developing environment, health and mobility strategies under the Smart Nation programme. A smarter society is being build based on the growth of digital payment facilities, such as South Korea, which is considered already completely cashless. The future is definitely cryptic.

Europe | Turnin’ up startups

Despite the fact that terrorist attacks, the migrant crisis and Brexit affected Europe’s performance – especially France and Turkey – Europe is already being compared to Silicon Valley. Tech industry players are moving to Portugal and the growth in the startup world is pretty remarkable, side by side with Dublin, Copenhagen or Barcelona. Lisbon hosted twice the Web Summit in 2016 and 2017, planning to host it again in 2018. The big surprise go for the sharing economy models with short-term rentals from Airbnb in many cities booming from it. Overcrowding is however a real threat and something that the tourism entities should regulate and pay special attention to.

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UK | More than London

The UK suffered a few punches in his ego with terrorism, Brexit and the devaluation of the pound sterling. Some of the results resulted in the growth of UK residents traveling within the country but definitely less money to spend abroad. London is considered the 3rd largest city in Europe and the 27th most populous metro area in the world. Edinburgh, considered the second city, is growing from day to day, especially after the terrorist attacks in London. The government is improving the rail system aiming for a better connectivity and flow movement. Companies like Uber and Citymapper were game changers making ground transportation a lot easier in and around London.

MEA | Getting wiser and wider

Africa is mainly looking for joining forces and opening borders, despite of all the inherent challenges, while the Middle East is heavily dealing with border disputes and political-religious attacks. Ebola virus played a negative role on tourism in Africa. Johannesburg is the only Sub-Saharan Africa city in the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 2017 Edition. It’s in 3rd place, after Dubai and Mecca, respectively. Its Smart Access Programme aims to offer free wi-fi to everyone in the city by 2020. 300MB of free wi-fi per day is already available at theatres and bus stations. Dubai is developing the Hyperloop futuristic train system – up to 1200 kph – running from there to Abu Dhabi (150km distance) in 12 minutes. It might be ready in 2021.

The Dubai 2030 transport strategy aims to make 25% of all transportation in Dubai smart and driverless by 2030

Americas | Smart emotions

Trump might had brought uncertainty to the American future however ????. Short term rentals also played a big role in the economy development with Airbnb and HomeAway both in the pole position. New York leads the top 10 board of most visited cities in the US, followed by Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In Brazil, despite the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as the Olympic and Paraolympic Games, factors like President Dilma impeachment, Zika virus and economical instability, caused a slow down on the growth impact. Mexico is from day to day becoming a popular destination for both Europeans and Asians. Facial recognition at the airports is being improved resulting on better efficiency and higher security. On the other hand, voice will play a big role on the travel industry, through speech and emotions connected with personal assistance and convenience.

Source: Euromonitor International (Top 100 City Destinations Ranking WTM London 2017 Edition)