The year 2023 was all about revenge travel and reaching new horizons – but what does 2024 have in store? According to Conde Nast Traveller, who just released their top 20 predictions for 2024 travel trends, travelers might be slowing down and seeking out immersive experiences more than anything else come next year. From ditching the high-season crowds to seeking out the stars, here are some of Conde Nast’s top travel trends, including, as always, how to best explore them in Belize.
Embracing Astro Tourism
Putting a focus on the cosmos – from eclipses and meteor showers to the increasingly hard-to-find starry skies – Astro tourism is on the rise. In fact, there’s even a non-profit organization, DarkSky International, that’s dedicated to conserving the dark skies that make viewing astronomical events possible. In August 2023, DarkSky announced a new certification program for campsites, glamping resorts, and lodges that are perfect for stargazers.
More and more, says Conde Nast, wellness-centric hotels are creating the space for guests to gaze upward, uninhibited by blinding lights. In Belize, though, considering that much of the country is still wild, untamed, and undeveloped, admiring the cosmos is almost second nature.
Where to go: Head inland to the forests of western and southern Belize to enjoy the night sky free of light pollution. Seek out jungle resorts like Copal Tree Lodge in Toledo or Blancaneaux Lodge in Cayo. Don’t mind roughing it? Plan a back-to-basics camping trip in Belize’s pine forests with San Miguel Campgrounds.
Taking the Plunge: Eco-Diving
Beyond just enjoying the beauty of the underwater world, more travelers are committed to conserving that world, too. The concept of eco-diving revolves around travelers choosing their dive destinations based on the sustainable, ethical, and regenerative practices of dive shops and resorts. Travelers hoping to embark on eco-diving adventures in Belize are in luck – the country is already a giant in conservation, often praised for its marine conservation efforts.
Where to go: In southern Belize, Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort is all about walking the eco-travel walk. Dedicated to leaving places better than before, the mantra of this regenerative resorts shines through its many green initiatives, including many of its tours. That includes Hamanai’s Regenerative Package, which allows guests to embark on conservation-centered adventures like hunting for the invasive lionfish.
Ever flown to a different country to see your favorite artist perform? This is what’s known as gig-tripping, and it’s set to be one of the biggest 2024 travel trends alongside destination concerts.
New music festivals…are introducing travelers to undiscovered destinations,
-Alexandrea Padilha of Fischer Travel
“Hotels and travel companies have taken note and are creating the equivalent of backstage VIP experiences for guests,” said Conde Nast. Just this year, guests at The Belize Collection’s Belize Songwriter Festival had the chance to get up close and personal with some of country music’s biggest stars, including Paul Overstreet and Lindsay Ell.
Where to go: If you’re a fan of all things Caribbean, set your sights on Belize’s International Music and Food Festival in the summer of 2024 to witness some of the region’s musical heavy-hitters. Or, look out for your country music favorites (Paul Overstreet anyone?) at Jaguar Reef’s Belize Songwriter Festival in spring.
Ditching the High Season
Gone are the days when most tourist arrivals are concentrated in what’s known as “peak season”. On many occasions, when travelers inquire about the best way to experience a destination, the go-to piece of advice is “visit during shoulder season.” And it seems that travelers have been taking heed. Shoulder season travel numbers are expected to continue on an upward trend in 2024.
When to go: In Belize, the peak tourism season coincides with the country’s dry season – from December to June. There are, however, some sweet spots for shoulder season travel, particularly right after Spring Break (March/April) and from late September to early November.
Private Group Trips
Whether for multi-gen vacations or bucket-list-worthy group trips, many travelers continue to seek out shared experiences with those closest to them. The allure of private group trips is unmistakable: being able to forge stronger bonds, make new memories, and enjoy new experiences together. And, from vacation rentals to resort buyouts, the options for group travel in Belize are plenty.
Where to go: Able to accommodate up to 40 guests, Ray Caye Island Resort is the perfect place for that grand group getaway. You can even rent out the entire island (or half) for just you and your nearest and dearest. Meanwhile, luxury vacation rental options like Gecko Vacation’s Valley Stream in Southern Belize make private group trips as hassle-free as they are intimate.
Disconnecting from the hustle and bustle takes on a whole new form with the concept of silent travel. Travelers are looking for quiet and finding it in everything from far-flung nature resorts to silent meditation retreats. It’s a travel trend that’s reflective of the times. In an age of overstimulation and information overload, many of us simply crave stillness.
Where to go: It doesn’t get much quieter than Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. A vast expanse of lush greenery, the sounds of nature – from birdsong to rushing water – replace those of the modern world. Embrace the silence at Gaia Riverlodge, where the tumbling waters of the Five Sisters Waterfall can be the only sound you hear if you so desire. For a truly secluded retreat opt for the Private Riverside Villa.
Exploring New Frontiers
Travelers will be going far beyond the ordinary in 2024 with the travel trend that’s been dubbed Frontier Tourism. Think adventure tourism but make it a bit more off-the-beaten-track and, in some cases, extreme. “Travelers are seeking more individual, less obvious experiences that combine thrill-seeking with more meaningful self-empowerment,” notes Conde Nast. This can look like anything from camping in a remote location to navigating far-flung destinations.
One person’s frontier is another’s backyard, of course, so frontiers are entirely subjective
-Conde Nast Traveller on Frontier Tourism
Where to go: Though not much has been revealed as yet, the Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant will soon be offering intrepid travelers a new way to experience Belize’s forests. Recently unveiling a new tented camp, the Belize Collection resort wrote, “Our luxury tent sits on the bank of the Sibun River with unobstructed views of the sleeping giant himself. Who’ll be the first to experience tented luxury in the Belizean rainforest? “