These Global Travel Trends Will Define 2013

 @MarkJohansonIBT on November 05 2012 6:26 PM
Middle East Megamall
Megamalls in the Middle East are booming in the UAE, Lebanon, Egypt and Qatar. Reuters

The glitter of Nollywood, the allure of forbidden lands and heaps of shopping by the nouveaux riche are all in the forecast for global travelers in the coming years, according to a new report on travel trends released by Euromonitor Monday.

The market research firm issued its global outlook at the World Travel Market, the leading event for travel and tourism worldwide. The report accesses “how the global, regional and national political, social and economic situation is shaping the travel industry.”

Here’s a look at six highlights by region:

Americas: The Lure Of Forbidden Lands

All paths are soon to be beaten if we’re to believe Euromonitor’s new report. Americans, it says, are increasingly drawn to once-forbidden lands like Myanmar, North Korea, Cuba and Libya. "It's a small but growing market,” said Caroline Bremner, head of travel and tourism research at Euromonitor. “Most U.S. visitors to previously banned countries are expected to come from the Baby Boomer generation." Myanmar alone, she said, could see a 71 percent increase in American arrivals by 2016.

Europe: BRIC Shopping

The BRICs are coming! Residents of Brazil, Russia, India and China will flock to Europe in the coming years as they experience dynamic economic growth and increasing disposable income levels. Consumers in these countries, Euromintor points out, are keen to spend more on travel and can find their favorite brands at cheaper prices in Europe due to high import taxes back home. Paris will likely remain the top destination, but London, Frankfurt, Milan and Madrid are all competing for BRIC shoppers.

Middle East: The Dawn of Shopping Hotels

From Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, big spenders with plenty of cash are driving the trend for hotels in the Middle East built within shopping malls. Megamalls are booming in the UAE, Lebanon, Egypt and Qatar, while associated hotel developments, Euromonitor notes, are key to the recovery of tourism in many nations that saw a tough year after the Arab Spring in 2011. Even with a slow year, the Dubai Shopping Festival drew 3.5 million visitors last year and saw hotels at 90 percent occupancy. It expects numbers to grow exponentially over the next decade.

Africa: The Allure Of Nollywood

Shocker alert: Nigeria produces more films than any other nation on the planet, save India’s Bollywood. After two decades of rapid growth, the film industry has gained such a following that Nigeria is attracting avid fans from throughout the continent, driving regional development in the leisure sector and a boom in hotel openings in Lagos from the likes of Radisson Blu, Four Points by Sheraton, Ibis and Legacy. Hilton, Accor and Intercontinental, too, have hotels in the pipeline for Lagos.

Asia: Car Brands Take On Hotels

With Tonino Lamborghini opening 40 luxury hotels in Asia in the coming years, Euromonitor figures others are bound to follow suit. Vietnam is expected to lead the way with a 15 percent growth rate in hotels through 2016. So, on your next trip to Vietnam or China, don’t be surprised if you stumble across a Porsche Resort and Spa, Bentley Bungalows or Ferrari Inn (all fictional ... for now).

Global: Digital Detox

What would it feel like to live in 1999 again when mobile technology was not an intrinsic part of our everyday lives? Hundreds of hotels have emerged offering just that: a chance to check in and check out. Several of these spots going against the tide offer special “technology-free” packages as an escape for busy travelers who want to get rid of their “leash” and simply relax.

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