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There are many reasons people love to travel, and the answer to this common question is typically something to do with personal development; to challenge yourself, to learn, to appreciate life, to expand your perspectives.

Of course, there are also many who travel for the pure enjoyment of adventure, or for the relaxation and rejuvenation that escaping the stresses of everyday life can bring.

There are many motivations for traveling the world, and being that travel is such a personal journey, there will always be an endless list. However some fascinating travel trends have recently emerged that have seen motivations for travel converge into three main categories. 

Wondering why people travel this year? Here are three of the biggest reasons! Let us know in the comments why you personally travel, and whether you find the following travel trends surprising.

3 Reasons People Are Traveling This Year

#1 Experiencing Nature Up Close

New Zealand Nature RF

In the wake of movements towards responsible travel, and awareness around global issues like Climate Change, nature based travel has become a massive trend, and travelers are being empowered to incorporate conservation into their itinerary.

Ecotourism has well and truly taken hold, and at the very least, even for those who aren’t drawn towards voluntourism, people are spending more and more of their vacation time outdoors, seeking out nature based adventures.

Related Post: What is Ecotourism and Why Should You Even Care?

There are a whole range of habitats that you can explore, and perhaps the growing awareness around the loss of habitats and environments is the main push behind this trend; people rushing to experience it for themselves before the ice melts, the forests burn, and whole cities are lost underwater.

Of course, developing a human connection with nature is ultimately what will make people care enough to put their time, money and support behind conservation initiatives, so regardless of the motivation, we wholeheartedly support this trend!

Whether you’ve dreamed of a chilly Antarctic expedition, a hot and humid tropical rainforest adventure, or sailing down the Amazon River, there are a huge range of options for nature based travel, and it’s easy to find something to suit your personal preference.

#2 Satisfying Your Inner History Buff

Angkor Wat Siem Reap Cambodia

Historic tourism seems to have taken a hold in recent years, even among those who might not normally identify with an undying and accentuated passion for the topic.

And perhaps this is because experiencing history is quite different than sitting in a classroom, or reading about it in a book.

Timeless destinations like London, Paris and Rome are starting to lose out to exotic, historic cities like Petra, Cairo, Istanbul, and Carthage, Tunisia. There is a renewed sense of interest in ancient history, and many travelers source their whole bucketlist from the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Many historic sites are starting to see a massive influx in tourism; ancient ruins, magnificent temples, and surreal places that literally transport you back in time to a different era.

This is a mentally stimulating form of travel, and many people report that they maintain the knowledge they learn when actually exploring a site, being able to run their hands over ancient walls, and physically be present in the space, more so than they do from reading a news article or book.

Of course, one of the best ways to understand the monuments and sites you’re visiting is to read up about them before hand, and having a base level of historic context allows you to truly appreciate what you’re experiencing.

#3 Finding Your Roots

Hagia Sophia Istanbul

Just to up the history ante, the tourism industry has seen a very big trend emerge the last couple of years, of travelers with a tremendous passion for discovering their ancestral heritage.

And why not? With the ease of travel these days, and an unprecedented level of access to information, people are traveling to all corners of the globe to trace their ancestral roots, and uncover their family history.

Destinations are taking full advantage of this trend; Ireland for instance has led many tourism campaigns which call upon the Irish diaspora to return to Ireland to visit the homeland and take part in events such as family reunions and gatherings.

Migration patterns over the last century having contributed to a patchwork of multiculturalism in most modern societies, so it’s really no surprise that travellers today now wish to come back to the place their ancestors called home to experience where they came from.

The first thing to square away of course, is from where your ancestral roots originated. Those with mixed or an elusive heritage can use an ancestry assessment that best fits their unique situation. The DNA test results will show from where your ancestors came.

Pair this information with tales passed on from generation to generation during your heritage trip. Maybe stop by a government public records office with this information to see what else you can dig up!

From nature based tourism, to traveling back in time, and tracing your ancestral roots, the tourism industry is constantly seeing new trends evolve as to why people travel. We’re interested to know – why do you?

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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