The future of tourism: trends and challenges for 2024

MADRID, 16 Dic.

The future of tourism: trends and challenges for 2024


The commitment to sustainability, business tourism and the emergence of artificial intelligence will be some of the most notable trends in the tourism sector for next year, according to CESAE Business

The year 2024 will be a key year for national and international tourism. After a 2023 marked by significant events such as the growth of the global economy combined with inflation and volatility, geopolitical tensions (Ukraine-Russia; Israel-Palestine), concern about climate change and the adoption of new technologies (artificial intelligence, blockchain , cybersecurity and 5G), the tourism sector faces a key year.

The forecasts are that in 2024 the growth of a sector that represents 13% of Spanish GDP will continue. At the moment, Spanish tourism occupies the top positions among the world's favorite destinations, despite the fact that prices have been raised as a result of inflation. With all this, tourist spending exceeds that registered in 2019 by 15%.

Compared to September 2022, the total spending of international tourists has increased by 22.6%. The average expenditure per tourist increases by 8% in interannual terms and the average daily expenditure by almost 9%, rising to 185 euros per tourist.

The main emitting countries were the United Kingdom, Germany and France, with 20%, 13% and 7%, respectively; while the destinations with the greatest weight in spending are the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Andalusia, with 22%, 19% and 15% respectively, with an increase in the respective annual rate also of 19%, 15% and 35%."

The future prospects, given the increase in the strength of the Spain brand and the efforts being made to digitalize and improve the value proposition, are very positive. In 2024 the behavior of the sector will be upward and the main indicators already indicate that pre-pandemic levels will be exceeded.

Next year, eco-sustainability will gain prominence as a travel trend, as well as the evolution of business tourism, which is experiencing continuous growth and record levels.

The latest evaluations mark Madrid as the preferred business destination in the world. It is expected that 12.1 billion euros will be reached in 2023, a record level compared to 2019, and its average spending per traveler rises to 335 euros compared to 319 euros in 2019.

And another element that has strongly emerged in the sector is Artificial Intelligence that will continue to advance and adapt to the sector. Its role is becoming more and more relevant.

Chatbots are improving and streamlining services. The impact of autonomous vehicles as a solution to tourism seems imminent, in addition to the reduction of the environmental impact they provide, since vehicles powered by AI are more energy efficient.

Airlines are using it to improve service to travelers, personalize it and focus it on their satisfaction by anticipating preferences and needs. Furthermore, the increasing application in smart cities is also greatly improving the traveler experience.

The business and tourism study center also highlights that the change in the marketing model will be accentuated. The pandemic has caused a change in the business model, with a notable loss of weight of the tour operation in favor of direct marketing by hotels, which leaves higher margins for the hotel.