Squaremouth has predicted that rising travel costs, adventure tourism, flight delays, and the enduring popularity of European destinations will be a significant influence on the travel market in 2024.
Rising travel costs – and the travellers willing to pay them
Squaremouth noted that travel prices have continually risen over the past three years, with the average international trip costing $6,574 in 2023, up 21 per cent from 2022, and 30 per cent from 2021.
They argued that this trend ‘shows no signs of stopping’, with ‘many travellers’ also expecting to pay more. It highlighted a recent survey it had conducted, which found that 82 per cent of travellers expected their travel spending to either stay the same or increase in 2024.
Squaremouth recommended that in response to this, travellers should only insure pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses, such as airfare, hotels, and tours.
European destinations continue to be popular
In 2024, Squaremouth expects the popularity of European destinations in countries such as France, Germany, and Spain to continue.
It noted that in 2023, Italy dethroned Mexico as its customers’ most popular international destination – the first time this had happened in a decade. Additionally, in 2023 nearly 40 per cent of customers purchasing travel insurance were doing so for a European trip – the highest percentage Squaremouth has ever recorded.
However, the company recommended that before booking a flight, international travellers should research the specific entry requirements for their destination country – it added that ‘certain countries require travel insurance, and it is recommended for many others’.
Flight delays will continue
Squaremouth noted that approximately one quarter of flights in 2023 were late arriving at their destination – with roughly 25 per cent of all paid travel insurance claims being due to flight delays or missed connections, at an average claim payment of $485.
These delays are expected to continue into the new year, alongside other travel complications, which offer a potential for significant financial loss.
Squaremouth said that in light of this ongoing issue, it expects more travellers to specifically seek out Travel Delay coverage going forward.
Travellers are seeking adventure
Adventure tourism has seen a significant increase in popularity in the past year – with growing interest in activities such as safaris, hiking, snorkelling, and skiing. Squaremouth reported that over 40 per cent of travellers were ‘looking for adventure’.
The company expects 2024 to be another big year for adventure tourism, but recommended that travellers should search specifically for a policy with Sports and Activities coverage if looking to participate in such an activity. It warned that many standard travel insurance policies exclude adventurous activities.