Surveying the Travel Landscape in 2024 with Expert Ulla Hefel Böhler

by | 1 Feb 2024

Travelers in 2024 are seeking certainty and reassurance, for which a guided tour is uniquely placed.

Every year brings new travel trends and challenges, and few know as much about travel in 2024 as Chief Operating Officer for TTC, Ulla Hefel Böhler. From the understanding the key decision-making concerns at the forefront of travelers’ minds, to 2024’s hottest travel trends, Ulla shares her expert insights, and how guided touring is uniquely placed to reassure the curious traveler.

Portrait of Ulla Heffler Böhler

Interest in travel remains at an all-time high, but it is mixed with uncertainty

“We know people are very keen to travel in 2024, interest remains extremely high across all channels,” Ulla explains when we ask what is at the forefront of travelers’ minds. “But sometimes we’re seeing a reluctance to complete their booking right away. When asking what travelers want in 2024, it’s reassurance. If you just take a step back and think about the reasons why I think it kind of makes sense.

Today’s challenges

“There is so much uncertainty right now on many fronts. The rising cost of living is seeing the price of essentials such as food and fuel go up, which puts pressure on disposable income. Last year we saw some pretty severe weather events, including wildfires, flooding and extreme heat. We’ve also seen political uncertainty about some destinations. With two wars sadly taking place, in Ukraine and in Israel and Gaza, this can make people less inclined to travel to what they perceive to be nearby areas.

“But at the same time people are absolutely looking to travel in 2024. They’re keen to dream and research, but they’re just a little hesitant to book further out and we’re seeing an influx of last-minute bookings.”

You may also be interested to read: Revealed: where our global travel experts want to visit in 2024


a close up shot of a brown bear’s face, with shaggy brown fur

Egypt was ranked in the top 10 most-searched countries to travel to at the start of 2024.

Why a guided tour makes sense at times of uncertainty

“Because of these reasons, I think a guided tour is more relevant now than ever,” says Ulla. “We take care of all of the details, know how to craft the perfect tour with insightful experiences and of course we take care of making all of the arrangements based on our extensive network and local connections.

“You won’t need to figure out how to get from A to B or how to get tickets to some sought after attractions nor spend time researching which local restaurants to dine in. Also, if there is a problem somewhere, whether its nature related or a strike for example, you don’t need to worry about how to deal with it. We have you covered because we are the experts, through our knowledge and local connections. So, all you need to do is sit back and relax.


Secure pricing, and value for money on our guided tours

“I think the other beauty of a guided tour is that once you put your deposit down, your price is locked in. We’re not going to come back to you and say for example, due to inflation in this country we’ve added another 5%. You’ve got the pricing guarantee in your local currency.

“Because we have been around for so long and, with our combined portfolio of brands, we have outstanding buying power, this benefits our customers through the rates that we can negotiate and contract.

Touring with Insight is worth every penny and more

“With so many exclusive experiences included, you know you’ll have a great time. Even if those flights might not be quite as cheap as you’d like them to be, once you get on tour the things that you’re going to be doing and seeing are worth every penny and many you couldn’t’ possibly arrange on your own. It’s also better value for money than if you followed a similar itinerary alone, thanks again to our industry knowledge and buying power.”

Learn more about the Insight Difference: Seamless, stress-free travel

Insight Vacations Travel Director shows guests around inside the Munichh Residenz

The cost of flying is a key factor when choosing travel in 2024

“Another factor which is particularly relevant for travel in 2024 is the cost of air fares,” Ulla says. “Post pandemic a lot of airlines reduced capacity. Now they’d rather fly fewer flights, but at a higher capacity, so the costs of flights has been recalibrated.

Truthfully, pre pandemic a lot of flight were too cheap which was ultimately not sustainable – the numbers wouldn’t have stacked up long term. With this pricing recalibration though, air travel has generally become more expensive.

My advice – book now, don’t miss out

“The advice I would give is that if you see a reasonably good air rate, I wouldn’t wait to see if prices are going to come down. Given capacity and everything that’s happening I don’t think that it’s going to happen. Even from personal experience of recent flights I’ve taken, which were full to the last seat. The airlines are filling their planes, so I am not expecting many discounted tickets to come on the market.”

Bookmark for later: Insight investigates: how the future of air travel is shaping up

a close up shot of a brown bear’s face, with shaggy brown fur

Norway’s electricity is 98-99% derived from hydro-electric power, more than any other country in the world.

Northern, Central and Eastern Europe are calling

“Europe continues to be our number one destination and playground for travel in 2024,” Ulla tells us. “In particular we’re seeing increased interest in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. Last year we saw some high temperatures and heat waves in southern Europe, so the more temperate northern climates might be more appealing to many.


A vastly versatile continent

“The history and the culture of Eastern and Central Europe is incredibly fascinating. And I’m not just talking ancient history. Countries like Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, along with being beautiful destinations, have a fascinating story to tell. You also see value for money as prices tend to be lower.

“I have never met anyone who hasn’t come back from Vienna going oh my god, that is incredible. I am Austrian so I obviously I’m a little bit biased in that regard! We’re also seeing a lot of interest in Germany and Switzerland. Scandinavia in Northern Europe is also a sought after destination with its wide-open spaces and incredible scenery. In winter you can travel into the Arctic Circle to chase the Northern Lights. In summer, it’s fascinating because you’re so far north, the sun hardly sets. It’s a very unique and different experience depending on when you travel.

You may also enjoy reading: The fascinating history of Sarajevo you’ll discover with Local Expert Samra


Northern Lights over Mount Kirkjufell, Iceland


South America is also inspiring wanderlust

“We are also seeing a growing interest also in South America. Following past year’s political unrest, interest in Peru’s is growing again. Machu Picchu is top of so many bucket lists and doesn’t disappoint.  Spanning both Chile and Argentina, Patagonia has an unbeatable rugged beauty, while Uruguay with its beautiful beaches is a destination on the up.”

We’ll see you with Insight in the off season

“Social, economic, and environmental factors are driving the trend for shoulder season travel in 2024.,” says Ulla of this, one of the biggest travel trends of 2024. “You get less crowds, milder temperatures and the opportunity to see destinations in a whole new light. The impact on the places you visit is more sustainable too. If you crave authenticity, and travel in the lower season gives more opportunity to connect with your space.

“At Insight we’re extending our trip windows and placing an increased emphasis on shoulder season destinations. Due to increased demand, we are now running our Country Roads of Portugal itinerary throughout the year, and Spain and Italy are also incredible year-round destinations.

When considering what are the best destinations to travel off-season, my favorite time of year to visit Venice is January! Strolling across St. Mark’s Square with hardly anyone around you is incredible. And did you know that the famous Seville oranges are in season from December until mid-February, so during this time of year you’ll see the over 30.000 orange trees in full fruit. It is quite a sight to behold.”

You may also be interested to read: Shoulder season, explained: when (and where) to travel in 2024


An empty St Mark's Square, Venice


When it comes to sustainable travel in 2024, everyone needs to challenge the status quo

“Climate change is real, we’ve seen it last year,” says Ulla. “It is having a real and visible impact on the places that people want to travel. So, taking sustainability seriously is not an option, it’s a must for everyone.

“TTC started back just over a century ago in 1920. As a travel company we have to protect the places that we visit if we want to continue taking people around the world in 100 years’ time. There’s an ever-growing awareness amongst travelers and our guests. It’s becoming quite evident that climate change isn’t something which is going to blow over.

You can read more about our sustainability journey: Measure, Reduce, Restore and Evolve: Our journey to hitting Net Zero by 2050

Big bold moves on our journey to Net Zero

“At TTC and Insight Vacations we’re proud to be industry leaders on many sustainability initiatives. We’ve been on our sustainable travel journey for a long time (our TreadRight Foundation was established in 2008) and there is still much for us, and everyone in the industry to do. This involves us continuously looking at how we can advance our sustainability journey, looking at every aspect of our business.

“At the end of 2023 we took a hard look at the branded merchandising we give to consumers and asked is this really necessary. And when we crunched some numbers, it was quite fascinating/surprising to see that there were over 2.5 thousand tons of emissions that went into producing the branded merchandise every year. To make that more tangible, it equates to six and a half million of car driven miles worth of carbon emissions.

“We asked is this necessary. As a result, we said no to ‘more stuff’ and are repurposing the funds and investing in nature-based solutions. A big, bold move that has been positively received; this will have a significant impact on our journey to net zero by 2050. I hope we inspire other companies to make similarly big bold moves towards protecting our planet.”

To find out more about how we say no to more stuff read: My 2024 Travel Resolutions, by Sustainability Expert Shannon Guihan

To find your perfect 2024 premium tour take a look at our worldwide collection

I'm a writer, editor and interview specialist with a lifetime's love of travel. There’s nothing more inspiring to me than meeting, and writing about, the world's leading destination experts and travel industry insiders. The thing I love most about writing for Insightful is that I'm always learning something new.