Sneak peak at 2014 travel trends


The travel experts at have gazed into their crystal ball to offer thoughts on the upcoming year’s travel agenda.

And while they think many of 2013 travel trends — such as multi-generational travel, social media travel planning and digital detox — will still be in play for 2014, they have also revealed some new developments.

The following are some highlights from’s top travel predictions for 2014:

!!! The Rise of the Super Airline.

One of the biggest stories of the past year is the rise of the super airline. With United, Delta and the new American all truly super-sized, look for an increased focus on more than just where an airline flies. Established players will be looking to one up one another with new fleets featuring larger planes, longer flying time and fancy amenities. Witness Air Canada’s new Dreamliners that will be treating passengers to non-stop flights to Tel Aviv and Tokyo with modern comforts like universal power outlets, touch screen infotainment consoles and, in the forward cabin, flat beds with built-in massage features.

While power airlines battle especially for big budget passengers and long-haul flights, there will likely be more room down market for those competing on base price. Perhaps this is opportunity knocking for the WestJets and Porter Airlines of the world in the same way that it is for many regional and low-cost airlines in the US.

!!! Travel Hot Spots.

Canadians chase the sun, that’s a well-known fact. However, it’s not all Miami and Fort Lauderdale anymore. In 2013, Canadians went for the Florida Gulf Coast too. Fort Myers, Fla., in particular had a big jump in popularity with 32% more travel searches than in the previous year.

Further south, Jamaica really took the spotlight. The relatively new Ian Fleming Airport in Ocho Rios, which opened in early 2011, replacing a smaller, more local airport, captured a lot of attention from aspiring Canadian travellers. Searches were up 33% in 2012. The island’s other airports also showed big gains in traveller interest with Montego Bay registering 24%, Kingston 21% and Negril 14% increases in searches.

For 2014, see signs that Canadian travellers will keep chasing the sun, looking for new bargain destinations and travel for events. Watch for the following:

!!! The year of Brazil. With the Olympics on the horizon and the World Cup coming this summer (June 12 to July 13), Brazil is working hard to be a welcoming host country to sports fans and tourists in general. Already a popular destination, especially during Carnival, Brazil is building out infrastructure for its major upcoming events. Even so, capacity is tight. Those planning to visit during the World Cup are advised to act now. Even during the offseason, it’s advisable to book four months in advance.

!!! Paying homage in Europe. 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I so this may be a year for history buffs and family members to visit the battlefields to reconnect with and remember loved ones who sacrificed across Europe in the “war to end all wars.”

!!! Caribbean distinction.  Images of crystal blue water and white sandy beaches are the ubiquitous daydream of the Caribbean. However the islands have a mix of cultures, climates and currencies that make it worthwhile for travellers to do their homework before they book. Some recent changes, especially in the Dutch Antilles, mean some key island countries have new-found autonomy. As a result, they have – and will – continue to ramp up how they market themselves. Be prepared to see an increase in other parts of the Caribbean pushing what makes them stand out. Price will be one point, but so will ease of access (direct flights, passport requirements), travel style (nightlife versus beach views, family versus adventure, chic versus laid back) and activities (diving and bare boating – or cruise ships and shops).

!!! Staying ahead of the crowds. As deal destinations get popular, they lose their unique appeal-of-the-new charm – and their bargain status. The challenge is to spot the next wave of alternatives and beat the growing crowds and climbing prices. This year’s list: Instead of Costa Rica, try Nicaragua. Skip Malta and head for Albania. Swap Bulgaria for Estonia. Opt for Laos over Vietnam.