Predicting Travel Trends? Count Suitcase Sales

It’s becoming easier to stop referencing the pandemic. Travel is a case in point. Finally, 2024 looks as if it will be the year international travel reaches and exceed the levels of 2019. And it’s the exceeding that matters. Finally, we can hope for period of organic growth instead of catch-up. But finding the most useful metrics to make accurate predictions can be a challenge.

Rising Trends in Travel

Booking numbers, airline capacities, and cruise itineraries all look to increase. Other measures indicate the same. For example, the U.S. destination management service market is set to hit $6.9 billion by 2032 – a CAGR of 6.8%​​. A significant part of that growth reflects the importance of sustainability in vacation choice. More travelers want to know their “experiences” do not come at a cost to local populations, flora or fauna.

This growth isn’t speculation; it’s a trend underpinned by reliable insights from Amadeus, the booking system giant. Their report on new trends for 2024 indicates development of earlier favourites in 2022 and 2023. They also highlight music tourism (note the very measurable impact of Taylor Swift concerts), the influence of…erm, influencers, the impact of AI on booking systems, and continued increased demand for business class seats on planes.

However, finding a concrete measure of real intent can still be difficult – unless you look at something so simple as to be easily ignored.

The Luggage Indicator

Real evidence of travel’s resurgence is the dramatic increase in luggage sales, particularly in the last eighteen months. Well-known UK suitcase brand Antler saw a 43% increase in global sales in November and December 2023, compared with a year earlier. They expects sales to grow by 41 per cent to £40 million by the end of February. That’s after a  427% per cent leap to £27 million the year before. Other big brands such as Samsonite are also seeing strong growth globally. There’s no quirky coincidence here. Consumers don’t buy suitcases unless they intend to use them. And these are global sales, not local, so the trend is far-reaching.

How to Meet the Surge in Travel Demand

This boom is an important opportunity for travel retailers and associated services. They must be primed to meet this demand, and that includes providing reliable and well-priced travel money options.

This is where services like Money 4 Travel from Essiell come into play, offering convenience and efficiency to the consumer, and ease of adoption for banks and credit unions, Money 4 Travel represents the kind of forward-thinking solution that aligns perfectly with the current travel surge. After all, for credit union members, what’s not to like about booking travel money on a smartphone and collecting it later from your branch? And at the branch, Money 4 Travel very efficiently automates back office processes and has an easy-to-use POS interface – all for a very competitive price. It really is win-win.

The Role of Financial Services in Travel Growth

All signs in the world of travel point to a busy and profitable year in travel in 2024, and beyond. For banks, credit unions, and travel money services, this is a call to action. It’s time to align with reliable partners and gear up to meet demand. Doing so is not just capitalizing on a thriving market. It also enhances the travel experience for countless consumers – quite a lot of whom seem to have new suitcases!


By Declan Morton, staff writer at Money 4 Travel and Essiell.



United Nations sees international tourism fully recovering in 2024, Reuters, January 19, 2024

US destination management service market to hit $6.9B by 2032, boasting a 6.8% CAGR, Travel and Tour World, January 22, 2024

Travel Trends 2024, Amadeus

Antler luggage sales jump after rebound in global travel, The Times newspaper (London, UK), January 22, 2024


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