Is ‘Travel’ Your New Year’s Resolution for 2018? Here are some industry trends you need to know

Petra Barbu

Petra is a content marketer passionate about social enterprise, impact investing, and microfinance.

It’s no secret that New Year’s resolutions experience a huge drop-off throughout the year, with about a 92% failure rate. But what if you could work on your personal development without making it something you just can’t motivate yourself to do?

Your next holiday might just be an amazing opportunity for you to work on you growth in the coming year. New reports this year from the World Travel and Tourism Council, Travel + Social Good, and Airbnb show that the industry is changing rapidly. Your travel experience can make you a more productive employee, a better storyteller, and a force for good in the developing world – in other words, your vacation can do more than just improve your Instagram feed. It can be used to help others, and yourself.

Taking time off could actually make you a better employee in the long run.
Taking time off could actually make you a better employee in the long run.

1. The right holiday experience will make you more productive

Travel can make you a better employee, and there’s significant evidence your boss should be paying you for extra time off. Vacations have been shown to improve leadership, innovation, learning, engagement, and productivity. There is a wealth of data about how volunteering internationally simply makes better employees. The opposite is also true: not using time off is actually bad for employees, companies, and the economy. Pooled together, the evidence is convincing and difficult to ignore. People that take vacations are better employees:

  • 90% drop in employee turnover
  • 87% of employees feel more loyal towards their company if it supports a cause

These opportunities also make employees more productive. According to Realized Worth,

“For companies where employees were more engaged than not, their profitability jumped by 16 percent, general productivity was 18 percent higher than other companies, customer loyalty was 12 percent higher, and quality increased by 60 percent.”

Finally, it simply makes employees happier, which contributes to the long run success of an organization. 53% of professionals said making a difference at work is essential to on-the-job success.

Travel with intention to minimize your global impact.
Travel with intention to minimize your global impact.

2. Become a conscious part of the community

Travel’s impact is growing, but with this increasing demand comes an increasing burden on local communities and the environment. In 2012 alone, travel’s indirect impact on the world economy totaled to a staggering $1.2 trillion, and employed 1 in 11 people. These numbers are only growing, and at an exponential rate.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, by 2025, one in eight households will travel internationally, and the number of trips taken by people over 65 will more than double to over 180 million annually. Travel organizations have started to make communities the focus of their business, whether it’s by hiring locally, encouraging employees to travel internationally, or forming travel groups focused on themes or sustainability areas. Travel that doesn’t positively impact local communities is ultimately unsustainable at the rate that international travel is growing. Thus, more and more trips abroad are including some form of community involvement. If you’re one of the millions that can travel the world every year, you are privileged. The vast majority of the world’s population doesn’t get to travel. As you’re packing for your next adventure, keep this mind: you’re fortunate, and you’re not engaging in a very earth-friendly activity. So you better be thinking about how to give back. Here are 10 things you can do to make the world better while traveling around it.

Expand your professional network through international travel.
Expand your professional network through international travel.

3. Travel can help you build your professional network

It’s no secret that the internet changed everything. The 2017 Global Economic Impact and Issues Report showed that over 80% of travel planning is through the internet, and 33% of users use travel blogs for advice. You have the power to connect with millions of individuals across the world, and if you’re getting advice from someone, it might not be a bad idea to help contribute and offer your story. The narrative is being shaped by travelers themselves instead of major travel companies, so more niche areas are being put in the spotlight, including sustainable and responsible tourism. One only need to look at the rapid growth of Airbnb’s experiences to see this in action. Find your niche, and share your story with the world – it’ll help you build global connections that can help you in your personal and professional aspirations.

As you develop your stories, share them with @Experteering and #TravelEnjoyRespect – the latter is an inspiring campaign from the United Nations.

Make a positive impact on the global community on your next holiday.
Make a positive impact on the global community on your next holiday.

4. Your holiday can be a force for good

A new report from Airbnb shows that global tourism is occurring at a rate twice as high in developing nations. By choosing to travel in a developing nation, you can contribute to sustainable travel and help boost growing economies. This can help lift individuals out of poverty and help local communities build wealth. Airbnb Experiences are a great example of this. Airbnb reports that hosts of “Experiences” keep about 97% of the prices they charge overnight guests, indicating that when done right, tourism can drive local revenue and boost economies.

Your next holiday could be a life-changing experience. If you’re traveling this year and expecting the same old, you could be in for a huge shock. Whether your holiday makes you a more productive employee, a more conscious community member, or a better storyteller, you can work towards bettering yourself on your next trip. For extra accountability to reach your travel goals, considering joining a MovingWorlds Impact Team to connect with like-minded peers using their travel, skills, and careers for good.