The first four months of 2021 have been a difficult state of affairs for travel providers. However, as the coronavirus pandemic starts to be brought under control across the world, more people are booking trips abroad. But what trips are they booking? What are their priorities? We’ve explored a few travel trends that are expected to dominate 2021…
Short-haul old favourites
It’s no secret that millions of people around the world are itching to travel again. Summer holidays are a key event for many individuals and families. In the UK alone, it was reported that nine out of ten people travelled abroad from July 2018 to July 2019. 2020 saw non-essential international travel was banned in many nations due to the pandemic. Now that the pandemic is slowly coming under control in several countries, many of us are now desperately hoping to book a trip away.
Despite this, traveller trust is still low; it will take time for confidence to rebuild to 2019 levels. For this reason, many travellers are booking holidays to their old-favourite short-haul destinations. They want to travel to places that they know and love. ABTA’s ‘Six Trends for Travel’ report found that destinations such as Spain, France, and the USA ranked in the top overseas destinations people plan to visit in 2021.
Rural self-contained escapes
For those not yet vaccinated, or those who are, but aren’t quite ready to face crowds, rural travel in household bubbles will be appealing this year. An increasing number of self-contained cottages, villas and retreats are popping up all over the world, appealing to people wanting to holiday in their household or support bubble. Travel providers will need to ensure that they are drawing attention to their hygiene processes, as this is a key priority for many travellers. Similarly, individuals who choose these types of escapes will trade day trips to busy beaches and city centres for evenings in their accommodation where there is a minimal infection risk.
Industry commentators seem sure that self-contained holidays are going to dominate the travel space for the rest of this year. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky recently said that he thinks “there’s going to be a travel rebound coming that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen”. As a result, Airbnb is currently seeking millions more hosts to list their properties on the platform to meet growing traveller demand.
Appetite for outdoor adventure
While many travellers are keen to visit their old-favourite locations or embrace seclusion in self-contained accommodation, some are hoping to tick off a few destinations from their bucket list. Younger travellers, in particular, are looking to locations that encapsulate outdoor adventure, such as Iceland, Vietnam, Costa Rica, the Lake District in the UK, Mount Everest in Nepal, and more. Trekking and biking tours are expected to see increased demand as they offer “natural social distancing and lots of time outdoors”, according to Zina Bencheikh, Managing Director of Intrepid Travel. We love the sound of a trek through the Icelandic wilderness!
Industry recovery will take some time, but travel has seen some promising signs since the beginning of this year. Consumers are certainly looking to travel again. As the vaccine rollout continues worldwide, we are hopeful that more people will feel comfortable packing their suitcase and venturing out into the world once more.