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Intrepid Travel recently released its predictions for 2019 travel trends based on the company’s booking data from its over 350,000 global travelers. According to Intrepid the top five trends for 2019 include indigenous tourism enriches communities; extended layovers spiking short break tours; millenials popularizing conscious travel; vegans demanding more options; and travelers searching for female empowerment abroad.

1. Indigenous Tourism Enriches Communities

According to Intrepid, the industry has set a foundation for indigenous tourism to gain more popularity in 2019. With a growing international interest, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada announced its five-year plan to accelerate the growth of Indigenous tourism to Canada. New Zealand hosted its third World Indigenous Tourism Summit, which focused on cultural integrity and sharing pride for being indigenous.

Your clients can experience indigenous tourism through a few of Intrepid’s tours, some of which are community-based tours that empower indigenous communities through itineraries that are led by locals, and build education around First Nation people. The New Zealand North Island Discovery itinerary immerses travelers into the Aotearoa culture, and supports a local Maori family. The Russia Expedition: Footsteps of the Reindeer Herders journey was expanded from a limited edition trip to a full-range capacity itinerary after an increased growth in bookings in 2018. And, the Australia Expedition—Journey into East Arnhem Land gives travelers exclusive access to the wilderness where the Yolngu people have lived for a millennia.

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Visiting the Istanbul Blue Mosque while in Turkey. (Photo courtesy of Intrepid Travel.)

2. Extended Layovers Spike Short Break Tours

According to the data, Airlines have gained advantages on layovers in hub airports such as IcelandAir for Reykjavik, Turkish Arilines for Istanbul; and Emirates for Dubai. Due to this trend, Intrepid Travel is predicting a rise in extended layovers and short-break tours in these cities. If you’re wondering what you can sign your travelers up for while on an extended layover, Intrepid’s Short Breaks are a great way to explore a region in a short time. These new 3-day tours such as the Taste of Istanbul, offer guests immersive insights into Turkish culture and its cuisine. On the Dubai Discovery Short Break tour, travelers get to dive into the city’s heritage beyond the skyscrapers and Palm Islands.

3. Young Americans Popularize Conscious Travel

Young Americans have been trying to affect political and social changes by getting more involved in government and activism. Intrepid reports that their commitment is translating to how they travel, with a recent study from OnePoll, commissioned by Intrepid Travel, revealing that 58 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds would spend more on travel if they knew their money was going into the local communities they’re visiting, compared to just 32 percent of travelers 51 and over.

As a result of this trend, Intrepid Travel launched a dedicated range of Intrepid 18 to 29s tours, offering more than 80 trips focused on experiential, sustainable travel experiences.

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Enjoying vegan street food in India on an Intrepid Travel tour. (Photo courtesy of Intrepid Travel.)

4. Vegans Demand Options

There has been an increase of about 600 percent of Americans identifying as vegan in the last three years according to Intrepid’s data, and Emirates announced a 40 percent increase in in-flight vegan meal requests, which has caused the industry to start taking notice.

For travelers seeking vegan experiences abroad, Intrepid launched a new range of Vegan Food Adventures, which were designed by their food product team and top vegan influencers. These journeys are packed with full plant-based food experiences, ideal for these vegan clients. These tours completely sold-out in India and have almost sold out in Thailand and Italy. Intrepid has since added new departures for 2019, such as the 10-day Iran Real Food Adventure starting at $3,100 or the 10-day Armenia & Georgia Real Food Adventure starting at $1,985.

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On Intrepid’s female-only tour in Iran at the Shiraz Nasir ol Molk. (Photo courtesy of Intrepid Travel.)

5. Travelers Find Female Empowerment Abroad

The past year has had much talk around female empowerment. There have been protests around the issue such as the Google Walkout in November and the #MeToo Movement, which have sparked the need for a global platform where like-minded women from across the globe could connect with one another through travel, according to Intrepid.

As a response to these new conversations, Intrepid Travel developed a new line of women-only expeditions in Morocco, Iran, and Jordan. These itineraries showcase the traditions of the local women in each destination, are led by female tour guides, and break the barriers of traditional tourism in these locations, while offering a deeper understanding of the female culture in each Middle Eastern nation. These tours first launched as a limited edition offering, with trip departures increasing by 800 percent. Now, these itineraries are scheduled to depart 24 times in 2019. For example, on the 8-day Jordan: Women’s Expedition, staring at $2,100, the women will spend a night in Wadi Rum and learn the ancient art of henna with traditional Bedouin ladies, and they’ll discover how kohl has been used for years, not just as a beauty product, but to protect the eyes from the harsh desert sands. They’ll also spend an afternoon at a local ladies-only beach, discover the Dead Sea, and visit Petra, plus learn the art of Arabic cooking in a local home with the female host, and enjoy afternoon teas and talk with the local women, as well as meet a female shepard and help her milk her goats. Culturally, men would not be able to participate in many of the activities on this tour, and to help develop a better understanding of Middle Eastern women, while also respecting their traditional cultural values, Intrepid Travel created these women-only journeys.

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