What's Hot in 2020

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Written by
Louis Dhont

Published on: January 14th, 2020

Last modified: July 28th, 2023

It’s the dawn of a new decade, and along with such a change often comes an emergence of new industry trends.

The travel sector is no different, with everything from ancestry travel to ‘philantourism’ set to pick up this year.

Read on for our round up of what’s hot in 2020, including the best of 2020 travel trends.


Wellness Travel

The old adage of ‘New Year, New You’ is still ringing true and we’re looking for ways to relieve our bodies from the indulgence of the festive period. Enter wellness travel. Whether retreating into the mountains, digital detoxing or healing forest-bathing is your coping method of choice, there’s a whole host of wellness travel experiences emerging this year. 


For those in pursuit of mindfulness, the Maldives’ much-loved eco-resort Gili Lankanfushi reopened at the end of 2019. A front runner in barefoot luxury, this beachfront resort has recently launched three new wellness programmes. From Holistic Healing to Surf & Spa, guests are spoilt for choice. If you’re the type that favours healing in the forests, head to the Galapagos’ Finch Bay Hotel. This jungle retreat is making waves in the wellness sphere with the launch of the Galapgos’ first immersive spa, dedicated to the raw and rugged beauty of the wild archipelago. 



Travel that gives back, or ‘philantourism’ as it’s otherwise known, is on the rise too. One of the finest examples of this emerging travel trend is Resplendent Ceylon’s new Giving Getaways programme. Nestled amongst Sri Lanka’s verdant hills and sitting pretty on the island’s coastline, Resplendent Ceylon’s three unique properties are leading the way in purpose-led travel. 


At Ceylon Tea Trails, guests can take part in a reforesting programme whilst at Cape Weligama, there are opportunities to volunteer at the local MJF centre. Offering educational classes and creative workshops for children from nearby fishing communities, the MJF centre is involved in a number of worthwhile projects. For families staying at the resort, children being able to strike up a friendship that can be continued cross-continent via the Resplendent Ceylon PenPal programme is particularly special.


Going Green

It’s no surprise that sustainability is a hot topic for 2020, and adventures seem to be going green across the globe – a particular focus for this year is the idea of ‘slow travel.’ From epic train journeys across Australia to cruising the Ionian seas, the emergence of luxury alternatives to taking to the skies shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 


Continuing with the theme of responsible travel, 2020 also seems set to be the year of the eco-lodge. One of our favourites set to open this year is AndBeyond’s Punakha River Lodge in Bhutan. With Bhutan named the top destination to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet, it pays to visit now before tourism picks up. A true Bhutanese escape, Punakha River Lodge will be an experiential, activity-based property, offering guests everything from white water rafting to champagne lunches on suspension bridges above the river. 



Ancestry Travel

With DNA testing kits taking the world by storm, it’s no surprise that ancestry travel is an upcoming trend in 2020. Taking the adage ‘finding yourself,’ rather seriously, DNA-mapped adventures allow travellers to go in search of their roots. As a result, many travellers – particularly those from the US – are keen to retrace their links to the Old World in places like Scotland and Ireland

It’s never been easier to access information remotely, and with 23% of long-haul visitors to Scotland travelling there to retrace their Scottish heritage, ancestry travel is here to stay. Once in destination, travellers can delve into local museums or carry out their research amongst the country’s many archives. In Dublin, the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum tells the story of the 10-million Irish emigrants who crossed the pond all those years ago. In Scotland, those with a clan kilt attached to their name can experience Highland life from 1700 onwards at Inverness county’s open-air Highland Folk Museum. 


Feeling inspired? Our expert travel designers are always on hand to help you plan the most up-to-date adventure.