Monday 25 October 2021

Six trends shaping the travel industry in 2021

DUBAI, November 17, 2020

Euronews Travel, a new vertical  dedicated to tourism and travel of Euronews, has published a Trends Report on the future of tourism post 2020, and has identified the six trends that will shape the industry from 2021.

While health restrictions have considerably limited travel in 2020, severely affecting the industry, tourism and travel is at a crossroads. The Covid situation has not reduced audiences' desire for travel, quite the opposite. It has even allowed for consumer habits to shift and for new travel and tourism trends to emerge.

The report, which has been developed by Euronews and in collaboration with travel trend forecasting agency Globetrender, has taken a deep dive in to what travel and tourism will look from next year, and has named the six main emerging trends  within travel and tourism post 2020 to be, Wilderness tourism, Ecotourism, Nomadic tourism, Wellness tourism, Authentic tourism and Mindful tourism.

With co-working camps named a key trend in Mindful tourism, Dubai is a city that has already harnessed the trend, with the launch of its latest initiative that offers digital nomads and people working from home for the foreseeable the opportunity to work in Dubai with its new one-year remote working visa.

The ‘long stay travel’ phenomenon will indeed be a key way for countries to sustain tourism post 2020.

Dedicated to researching, reporting and sharing the latest in travel and tourism around the world for the past 25 years, Euronews has worked with the biggest players in the travel and tourism industry, from airlines, hotels to tourism boards, countries, regions and investment agencies. The Trends Report shows Euronews’ commercial division’s commitment to its clients and prospective clients, by offering insights into the future of tourism in 2021 and beyond.

Carolyn Gibson, Euronews’ Chief Revenue Officer said: “We have worked in close partnership with the travel industry, whether destination brands or travel services, to showcase the most exciting opportunities through immersive content series, destination films or digital hubs. This trends report is a continuation of that partnership, offering further insights to the travel sector about the audiences that we serve and their fast-evolving needs.

“We hope to add new insights for marketers wishing to engage with these audiences as they start to plan their travel for 2021 and beyond. Our new dedicated vertical will offer unique sponsorship opportunities. We look forward to working with partners across the industry to connect them to the European traveller in light of these exciting new trends in travel for 2021 and beyond.”

Six trends shaping the travel industry in 2021:

Wilderness tourism

After months of cabin fever, there is a universal hunger for wide-open spaces. In the US, for example, state and national parks have experienced huge influxes of visitors post-lockdown, and the trend is set to continue in 2021 and beyond as time spent in the wilderness is felt to be an antidote to modern urban life.  With constant “noise” from our cities, as well as the news and social media, the search for silence will be a top priority. Non-profit organisation Quiet Parks International will be leading the way with its mission to protect places of natural peace – in 2020, Yangmingshan National Park in Taiwan became the world’s first Urban Quiet Park. With ever-greater numbers of tourists, the number-one priority will be to preserve wilderness locations, imposing immediate caps on visitors if necessary.

Eco tourism

According to the International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people and involves education”. It takes many forms, and has been a type of travel that has grown  in popularity over the past decade. In the wake of the pandemic, people will be thinking far more carefully about the way they travel, and seeking out hotels and companies that are doing everything they can to minimise their impact on the planet. We can also expect accreditation to gain prominence, as consumers look for reassurance from legitimate “eco tourism”  and “carbon negative” certifications.

Nomadic tourism

The point-to-point holiday, whereby travellers fly to  a single location and then return home, will be rivalled  by an emerging trend for trips that take in multiple domestic locations, occur at a slower pace, and are  as much about the journey as the ultimate destination. Connected to the trend for digital nomadism that sees  people able to work from anywhere, annual leave  allowances will become far less restrictive, allowing  holidays to last longer. In the future, being “on the go” will be a far more common state, be it among untethered Gen Z singletons, millennial professionals who can earn a living from a laptop or free-from-responsibility retirees. Health concerns are also motivating more and more people  to buy cars to replace public transport – although  worse for the environment, this will give way to a boom in road trips.  

Wellness tourism

Travel has, for centuries, been seen as a gateway for personal betterment – from accessing the healing powers of water in European “cure towns” to signing up for yoga retreats in India. In the viral age, the quest for improved health and immunity will be a powerful motivation for tourists globally, who will be seeking out places that boost their wellbeing. In 2021 and beyond, we can expect beachgoers to be swapping sun and pina coladas for shade and coconut water. Even if visitors aren’t specifically travelling for a detox or bootcamp experience, they will want to book trips that leave them feeling better than before when they return home. Some will also be willing to go to extremes for radical physical overhauls.

Authentic tourism

In the Instagram age, authenticity has become an ideal to be aspired to, particularly when so many aspects of Western people’s lives are curated and seemingly flawless online. When it comes to travel, visitors don’t want to visit identikit resorts that are disconnected and sterile. They want to immerse themselves in destinations and experience something “real”. Engaging with local communities in a safe and respectful way will be an important aspect, with tourists keen to learn and form human connections. When it comes to authentic tourism, travellers also want to leave a positive footprint – to give something back – whether that is paying direct or volunteering.

Mindful tourism

Mindful tourism is about forging deeper connections with the places people visit  and travelling with an attitude of “less is more”, eschewing itineraries packed with “the highlights”. Having a bucket list has been  a way of building social prestige, but as travel as a consumerist act falls out of favour, more humble trips to less glamorous destinations will be what the Conscious Traveller seeks. As the idea of the “holiday” starts to feel anachronistic, simply “being” abroad will be the mindful alternative. This will manifest in the rise of workations, where visitors combine work with vacations, embedding themselves for longer periods of time in a certain place. – TradeArabia News Service


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