Travel TrendsSix trends we feel will make waves in the next decade

TWA editorial team’s picks for 2020 trends

TWA editorial team’s picks for 2020 trends
Photo Credit: Getty Images

SINGAPORE – A new year, a new decade. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, we’ve hand-picked six trends that we feel will impact the travel and tourism industry. Here’s a look at what they are:

Trend: Secret, off-menu experiences
“People will increasingly seek out food-fuelled experiences centred on the community, which are typically hosted in a cosy local home setting. The beauty about such clandestine spots is they offer a chance for travellers to dine like a local. In Singapore, for instance, Fat Fuku serves up Peranakan dishes taken from the chef’s family recipes. Even Bangkok-based acclaimed chef Gaggan Anand – four-time winner in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants – has recently joined the game by announcing a monthly supper club in his own home.”

- Lee Xin Hui, editor

Trend: A thousand ways to pay
“ Ping. You’ve just paid for your flight tickets with a new payment app. Services such as multi-currency mobile wallets to digital payment solutions are fast becoming mainstream ways to pay for that big-ticket hotel room to small items like attraction tickets and meals, which promise to ease pain points from cutthroat exchange rates to improved loyalty perks. Travel agents have an important role to assist their clients in understanding the best payment modes when they arrive at their destination.”

- Naomi Neoh, reporter

Trend: Will you be having the pumpkin or the kale, madam
“’Plant-based meat substitutes are finding their way into many restaurants across Asia-Pacific, says hotel group Accor.   The trend goes beyond reducing food waste and single-use plastics as the hotel industry seeks to create sustainability from the very source.  “Livestock farming is known to have a vast environmental footprint.  It contributes to land and water degradation, biodiversity loss, acid rain, coral reef degeneration and deforestation among many other negative impacts,’ Accor says”.

– Ian Jarrett, editor at large

Trend: #PictureTellsAThousandWords
“Image-sharing platforms like Facebook and Instagram will have a burgeoning influence on the habits and preferences of travellers. A recent survey of 2,000 millennials (18-34 year-olds) by WeSwap showed that 37% of respondents are influenced by social media when they are choosing a holiday destination. And 31% said sharing holiday images online is as important as the holiday experience itself. With millennials being the key target segment, we’ll see destinations and hotels racing to create “Insta-worthy” features on their properties as part of a major social-marketing push.”

- Stanley Ho, senior editor

Trend: The 'second city' traveller
“As per research by, travellers are increasingly open to exploring lesser known destinations if they knew that their action would reduce over-tourism and/or go towards protecting the environment. Countries like Japan have also been actively promoting their lesser known cities, shifting traffic away from typically tourist-heavy cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, towards regions like Kyushu and even Yokohama (30minutes by Shinkansen from capital). The same trend can be seen in Europe — Greece for example is seeing a jump in lesser visited yet equally gorgeous islands such as Folegandros and Nafplio. Lesser crowds is also a definite plus.”

- Natalie Joy Lee, Singapore correspondent

Trend: Wellness sabbaticals
“To counteract the chronic stress of daily life, burned out urbanites will increasingly extend overseas wellness retreats to wellness sabbaticals of a month or more, said CEO Susie Ellis at this October's Global Wellness Summit. Rather than digitally unplugging, laptops and smartphones will keep executives abreast of essential details back in the office, while time away offers space and support for transformation. For example, Amatara Phuket now offers a 30-day Bespoke Wellness programme, while in Koh Samui, Absolute Sanctuary’s Lifestyle Change Programs lasts 30-60 days.”

- Catharine Nicol, Hong Kong correspondent

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