Trends in tourism

The Tourism industry traces is planning back to the early 1950s, when most of the tourism based activities focused on economic, social and urban development. Since then the tourism world has been ever changing and evolving to suit the needs of the generations that follows.

For our blog this week, we will be introducing some of the latest trends of the 21st Century!

  • Flashpacking

Over the past couple of years, we often heard of the term “Backpackers” or people saying that they are going on a backpacking journey. However, have you heard of “Flashpackers”? If not, then you’re reading the right blog 😀

To clear out your misconceptions, A Flashpacker is actually a new type of Backpacker, which resembles and relates to this generation. Basically, we may think we are backpackers when we’re actually flashpackers.


  • International
  • Independent (often)
  • Low-budget travel
  • Longer travelling time



  • New type of Backpacking
  • Expensive travel
  • Higher living standards
  • Doesn’t need to save up for the travel
  • Uses up money more on drinking and parties

Basically, the main difference between a backpacker and a flashpacker, is that the flashpacker seeks more comfort, is in style and carries around the latest technology, while still maintaining the same adventurous and exploring attitude as a backpacker.

If you’re still lost and confused, here are some concrete examples between the two.

  1. When getting to a destination
    Backpacker ⇒ would choose a 12-hour bus ride
    Flashpacker ⇒ chooses a 1-hour plane ride
  2. When deciding where to stayBackpacker ⇒ chooses a bunk-bed hostel, where things
    are cheaper
    Flashpacker ⇒chooses a more comfortable hostel/guesthouse

Here are also 5 successful tips to become a “FLASHPACKER”

  1. Your Roots shouldn’t be Forgotten
    Not so long ago, you may have been a backpacker too, sleeping without a pillow and on a hard mattress. Thus, don’t let these little things bother you. Always remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination.
  2. Do not Over-plan your trip
    Now that everyone is normally busy working. When they have time to flashpack, they tend to plan every minute of the activity. Avoid doing that and just try to do things spontaneously, as that is where the fun and adventure steps in.        
  3. Don’t feel Guilty about the Shortcuts
    If you come across some other backpackers, that will be travelling by land from place to place, rather than by air. Don’t feel guilty. They may have more time or a different route and plan.
  4. Don’t be Ashamed when Spending Money
    Flashpackers normally have more disposable income, due to being older, having stable jobs or even saying up way beforehand. Thus, spending to buy more expensive food or gourmet items shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. In a way you do deserve it.
  5. Remember your Technologies
    If you cannot travel without a laptop, iPad, phone…and other sorts of technology, then you are definitely a Flashpacker.
  6. Don’t Forget to Give Back
    Since, you are travelling and have both the cash as well as the ideas. It would be great to help communities in mere ways. For example, buying groceries from local vendors at the market rather than the   supermarket.

To sum it up, those were some of the interesting tips of becoming a successful Flashpacker.

  • Working holidays

Working holidays is getting popular now and people would have different reasons to apply for this program. For example, they may want to think of their career path during the working holidays or some of them may want to gain cultural experience.


Working holidays is a kind of extended travel experience and short-term working experience (Havenhand, 2000)[1]. People having working holidays visa would be called “Working Holidays Makers” (WHM) that is different from backpackers who do not have working holidays visa and thus do not have right to work in the foreign countries(Brennan, 2014)[2].

Different types/purposes of working holidays (Uriely, 2001)[3]

  1. Working Tourists

A. Working-holidays tourists

Being tourists is the focus during the working holidays and work is just recreation. The middle-class young adults usually have unskilled work or even unpaid work.

B. Non-institutionalized working tourists

Being tourists is the focus during the working holidays and work is the financial support for longer trips. The middle-class young adults also have unskilled work and usually the jobs are not pleasant but the pay may be low and the work may be not prestigious.

2. Travelling workers

A. Migrant tourism workers

Working is the focus during the working holidays. Usually these people are the working class, lower middle class or people unemployed in their home countries for a short period of time. They usually have skilled or semi-skilled work and the pay would be low and unsecured.

B. Travelling professional workers

Working is the focus of the working holidays and travelling during the short vocation. The adults who from middle class or even upper class would be the professionals and the job is considered as prestigious so they would get high pay.

Impacts of working holidays

  1. Economy & work force

Working holiday makers may bring the positive economic impact to the countries. Take Australia as an example, they would spend money on accommodation, transportation, food and beverages and recreational activities when they are working in the countries for several months[4]. Also, they could improve the situation of labour shortages in some areas, e.g. horticulture[5]. After they go back to their home countries, they may promote Australia so it could attract more people to travel to Australia and attract more business opportunities[6].

2. Companies

It is good that sometimes WHM could fill the shortages and provide short-term labour force so the employers would have more flexibility to do business[7]. Some employers may rely on the work force of the working holiday makers as Austrians may not want to work as unskilled workers[8].

3. Personal

Working holidays could help people to experience the cultures of other countries, make a living and have happiness by working, travelling and living there for a period of time[9]. They could learn to be independent, confident and have a sense of fulfillment[10].


Working holiday workers may get low-pay jobs and the employers may extort money from them. Also, the living environment may not as good as their expectation when they search and pay advance for renting the house[11].

  • Voluntourism

Another rising trend that not only requires people to go to another country to sightsee but also to help out the community there in various ways without a salary is called, “Voluntourism”.

Voluntourism has been rising and becoming more and more popular, that in 2008, a study from the Tourism and Research Department was able to find out that a total of 1.6 Million people volunteered internationally each year.

Some of the most popular reasons for this include;
♠ Cultural Immersion
♠ Give back to society
♠ Camaraderie
♠ Educational

Need to Pay for Voluntourism?
Since it’s volunteering, people normally wonder whether they need to pay for such trips or not. Sadly, yes they do, especially when it comes to spending on airfare and lodging. However, since more of these trips are normally held through NGOs, they include other benefits, such as language, orientation, a clearer expectation…etc. Also, since they normally include a vacation too, they are short and flexible. Volunteers that go for Voluntourism normally do not need special skills as the jobs are mostly of general difficulty.

Popularity Group

This type of travel is mostly of interest to baby boomers, retirees and mature travelers. This is mostly because of their disposable income. However, it is also steadily increasing amongst graduates and students as well to make their travel more meaningful.

Voluntourism Good or Bad?

Actually for Voluntourism, there can be both good and bad points.

For example, regarding the teaching of children (the more educational projects), normally schools will low operating costs may prefer to recruit temporary volunteers to save the costs as well as to fill the talent gap. However, that too has proven to be an issue because it may affect the emotional attachment the child has with the volunteer. They leaving the child to go back to their home country could also have a serious mental influence on the students, which may affect them.

To add on, if volunteers were recruited to keep beaches clean or the city clean, volunteers would most likely do it for free, due to their disposable income at hand. However, the negative reaction to this is that jobs originally held for the locals at the country may be taken away by recruiting volunteers instead. For the employers, they are able to cut costs by recruiting the volunteers and at the same time the locals may become jobless because of it.

Nevertheless, voluntourism does help people and the society in some aspects, as well as increases the purposefulness of traveling in the 21st Century.

I hope you enjoyed our latest tourism trend updates. Hope to see you around 🙂 ¦⊃


[1] Havenhand, B. (2000). Working Overseas: For Australians and New Zealanders. Global Exchange: Newcastle

[2] Brennan, C. 2014. “Backpackers or Working Holiday Makers? Working Tourists in Australia.” Qualitative Sociology Review 10(3):94-114. Retrieved 20 Sep, 2015, from (

[3] Uriely, N. 2001. ‘‘‘Travelling Workers’ and ‘Working Tourists’: Variations Across the Interaction Between Work and Tourism.” International Journal of Tourism Research 1(3):1-8. Retrieved 20 Sep, 2015, from (

[4] Australian Government Publishing Service Canberra, 1997. Working Holiday Makers: More Than Tourists. (1997, August 1). Retrieved September 20, 2015, from

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] Ho, C., Huang, S., & Li, P. (n.d.). An Investigation of Working Holid ay Experiences: A Means-End Analysis Approach. Retrieved September 20, 2015, from Investigation of Working Holiday Experiences A Means-End Analysis Approach.pdf

[10] Ibid

[11]「工作假期」興起小心陷阱. (2014, August 24). Singpao. Retrieved September 20, 2015, from

[12] As We Travel,. (2014). What is Backpacking? And who is Someone called ‘Backpacker’?. Retrieved 20 September 2015, from

[13] Flashpacker Family Travel Blog – Travel with Kids Around the World,. (2015). What is a Flashpacker? – The Definition of a Flashpacker. Retrieved 19 September 2015, from

[14] Kendle, A. (2013). I Wanna Be a Flashpacker: When Backpackers Grow Up or Get Rich – Vagabondish. Vagabondish. Retrieved 20 September 2015, from

[15] Yang, L., & Wall, G. Planning for ethnic tourism.

[16] ABC News,. (2009). Good deeds or guilt trips?. Retrieved 19 September 2015, from

[17]Fritz, J. (2015). Should You Pay to Volunteer?. Money. Retrieved 21 September 2015, from

[18] Horoszowski, M. (2013). 9 Facts Most People Don’t Know About International Volunteering. MovingWorlds Blog. Retrieved 19 September 2015, from


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