TRAVEL IN 2021: KEY TRENDS TO KEEP IN MIND

Andrea Hausold, Tourism Review (https://www.tourism-review.com) • 5 December 2020

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How will people travel in 2021? Without a doubt, this has turned into one of the great questions in the travel and hospitality industry. How can we reach guests in this new era of travel? What are they going to look for in our accommodation? What are the key trends?

The pandemic has drastically changed our way of life and customs, including our choices when it comes to traveling. Even so, there is no doubt that people continue to dream of discovering new destinations and experiences. There are some forecasts and trends for the world of travel in 2021, some already observed in 2020 that have come to stay.

In general, travelers won’t stop traveling, and while they’ll only do so following the established health measures, renewed methods and schedules, their hunger to find new places never ends, even close to home.

Staycation
During the lockdown, and the subsequent regional closures, many opted to see the bright side and discovered that their own city or municipality could also be an option to enjoy the holidays: sometimes we make an effort to explore the outside without knowing the inside, like parks, natural areas and local experiences for which we never had time.

Workation
Working remotely does not necessarily mean having to set up a desk or sitting at the kitchen table with your notebook. In fact, remote work or teleworking has allowed many to carry out their working day from their second homes or rental apartments while enjoying the countryside, sea or mountains. Thus, the concept of digital nomad, which only seemed possible for the privileged few, is increasingly available to everyone. Since teleworking has proven effective for companies and workers alike, this way of traveling will grow throughout 2021.

Support Bubbles
Travel in 2021 will no longer be about where you go, but with whom. In the new post-COVID era, more importance will be given to the people who accompany us than to the destination, even if it means to set aside the hunt for ‘likes’ on social media. Next year, we will see many more group holidays for adults only or with selected family members. Multi-generational family travel will also be popular and people will make up for a lost time. Something that we learned in 2020 is that it is not about where you go, but who you enjoy it with.

Extended Stays
After the health emergency was announced, many plans were postponed until 2021, such as weddings and bachelor parties. It seems that next season will not only bring those plans back to the table, but people will also seize opportunities to immerse themselves in the experience, either by extending the duration of the trip or by organizing more activities within the destination.

Last-Minute Reservations
Although in recent years travelers were divided between those who planned their getaway months in advance and those who left themselves be carried away by the moment, since the end of the lockdowns there has been a massive surge in users who go for the second option, with the addition of having had all this time to carefully look into searches and find the best deal. This trend, fueled by uncertainty, will continue throughout 2021.

Green Tourism
Faced with the need to maintain social distancing, there is nothing better than getting lost in natural spaces to avoid crowds and not having to worry about the two-meter distance rule. However, a remote place doesn’t have to mean traveling very far. In fact, the natural areas in many countries are endless and more and more packages are being offered to embark on this kind of experience: from savoring the rich cuisine of a destination or its wine-making tradition to sustainable and wellness plans to fine-tune the body and mind.

Slow Travel
For the world, 2020 has meant a slower approach to life. Many travelers have discovered that there is no need to rush. This kind of travel in 2021 will make travelers spend more time discovering a destination and visiting fewer places during the same trip but enjoying more experiences, cultures and traditions that make the journey unique.

 

This article first appeared in Tourism Review 30 Nov 2020

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