“The White Lotus,” “Wednesday” and “Gladiator 2” are among the TV shows and movies expected to fuel travel and tourism trends in the coming year, according to the annual forecast from travel giant Expedia Group.
Another emerging trend in travel is dubbed “Tour Tourism,” in which fans of top artists trek far from home to snag deals on concert tickets and hotel accomodations. Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Madonna, Metallica, Olivia Rodrigo, the Jonas Brothers and the Foo Fighters are among the superstars who inspire fans to head for the airport.
Expedia flagged these and other patterns in worldwide travel as part of its “Unpack ’24” report detailing consumer trends and tech tools relevant to the sector. The projections are based on Expedia Group’s vast data sets (the ecommerce travel giant is also home to Hotels.com and VRBO) as well as a global survey of 20,000 travelers.
Media and entertainment is an enormous driver of decision-making, as the report documents. Another contemporary trend? “Dry tripping” in which travelers seek alcohol-free settings and travel specifically to detox from all manner of substances.
“From ‘dry tripping’ to events like Taylor Swift or Beyoncé performances, and the rising allure of destinations like Perth, Palermo, and Paros, these trends begin to define the travel landscape in 2024,” said Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands.
The report noted that the first two seasons of HBO’s “The White Lotus” drove a 300% increase in “travel demand” for Hawaii and Sicily. The success of Netflix’s “Wednesday” was credited for a 150% spike in searches for Romania. FX’s “The Bear” spurred a 45% gain in searches for Chicago.
Given how influential TV and movies are in driving travel decisions, Expedia predicts a boost in visits next year to a number of locations with starring roles in buzzy upcoming projects, including:
- Thailand, inspired by “The White Lotus” (Season 3)
- Romania, inspired by “Wednesday” (Season 2)
- Malta, inspired by “Gladiator 2” (release date: Nov. 22, 2024)
- Paris, inspired by “Emily in Paris” (Season 4)
- Scottish Highlands, inspired by “Outlander” (Season 8)
- London, Bath and Windsor, U.K., inspired by “Bridgerton” (Season 3) and “The Crown” (Season 6)
- South Korea, inspired by “Squid Game” (Season 2)
(Pictured: “The White Lotus,” Season 2)