As we emerge from the cloud of Covid-19, travel priorities and habits have evolved considerably, creating significant changes within the tourism sector. In this article, we look at six emerging travel trends for 2021.
In recent years, with the impact of climate change being felt more acutely in locations all over the world, many tourists have re-evaluated their priorities. They are seeking out destinations that focus on environmental awareness and emphasize sustainability.
Sustainable tourism seeks to protect all that is precious in this world, safeguarding stunning landscapes, rare wildlife, history, and culture for future generations. It can be used as a catalyst for growth in communities, creating quality jobs and funding for local enterprises and conservation programs.
Covid-19 has forced employers all around the world to embrace teleworking, and people are taking longer trips for business and pleasure. The “workation” is expected to become more common, as more companies are releasing employees from the rigidity of a 9-5, five-day workweek. Experts have long touted the benefits of providing staff with greater flexibility in terms of enhancing job satisfaction and increasing productivity.
No longer confined to the office, an increasing number of travelers are extending their stay at resorts, spending an extra week or so working remotely. Travel industry insiders suggest that laptop bags will become an increasingly common sight in overhead bins, with Wi-Fi topping the list of must-have resort amenities.
3. Remote Locations
According to a recent VacationRenter survey, demand for geographically isolated vacations has risen sharply, with almost half of vacationers staying in a cabin off the grid; with 83% lacking Internet access and nearly 75% without cell phone coverage.
Respondents showed a preference for remote venues for a myriad of different reasons, one of the most common being a desire to spend time in nature. Others sought out locations where they could enjoy peace and quiet, while many people simply wanted to escape their daily lives and routines.
4. Enhanced Safety Measures
Despite national vaccination programs being well underway in most countries and international travel opening up once more, many travelers remain nervous, with increased expectations that travel providers will help to keep them safe. Some businesses and destinations will need to do far more than they did prior to the arrival of Covid-19 to regain the public’s trust.
Many vacationers will only book accommodation once they have seen the owner’s health and hygiene policies, with travelers favoring those that offer sanitizing and antibacterial products.
Covid-19 has not only changed where we want to go, but how we want to travel, with vacationers demonstrating a clear preference for private travel, driving their own car or a rental, and avoiding public transportation.
5. Late Bookings
For many people, the annual vacation is the highlight of their year and is something they typically like to have penciled in on their calendar months in advance, counting down the days to departure. Nevertheless, in this new normal, having witnessed so much uncertainty over local stay-at-home orders, travel corridors, and arrival entry requirements, the vast majority of travelers are reluctant to commit their cash in advance.
Karl Thompson, the managing director of Unique Caribbean Holidays, a corporate representative for Sandals, explained that in the UK much of his company’s business in 2020 consisted of late bookings. He pointed out that even as we move through 2021, with travel restrictions easing all over the world, travelers remain keen to snap up last-minute deals and are reluctant to commit themselves months in advance.
6. A Preference for Outdoor Adventures
With little to keep us busy during lockdown except to walk, hike, run, or cycle through the countryside, vacationers have rediscovered a fondness for the great outdoors, with many embracing a healthier and more physically active lifestyle. The same trend has translated to vacation preferences, too.
EMEA Managing Director of Intrepid Travel Zina Bencheikh explains that cycling vacations have proven particularly popular in 2021. For those with safety concerns, cycling not only offers plenty of time outdoors, but also natural social distancing, as well as serving as an eco-friendly way to see the world.
Cycling trips to Morocco, Jordan, and Vietnam are attracting vacationers from all over the world. For those keen on immersing themselves in nature, excursions to Costa Rica, Nepal, and even Antarctica are also proving popular.