The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected almost every country in the world and areas of our lives, including travel, which will be forever changed by these exceptional circumstances. Innovative travel solutions will begin to emerge faster than ever to meet changing user expectations and behaviors.
and travel safety will become an even more important factor when choosing a destination. In the future, the importance of conscious pastime will increase and preferences regarding who and where to go will change. Interest in exploring the surroundings will continue, but the desire to see distant lands will also not disappear anywhere. In addition, people will also continue to look for new ways to combine work and travel. All of these trends will drive demand for more meaningful value travel.
Digital company Booking.com has compiled nine predictions about the future of the industry based on its more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry, survey results of more than 20,000 people in 28 countries around the world*, and accommodation search data. Almost half (44%) of respondents from Russia say they are not ready to travel until there is a vaccine or cure for coronavirus. We may not be able to move around the world as freely as we did before the pandemic, but the travel industry will continue to adapt to current circumstances to quench our thirst for new experiences when it becomes safe again.
The list of travel trends is presented in the video. Read the full text below.
To view, click on the play icon below or the logo in the center of the video player (depending on your device):
1. Travel anyway with us
Despite the restrictions and ongoing uncertainty, our love of exploring other places hasn’t gone away. In addition, 32% of respondents want to finally celebrate an event postponed due to the coronavirus during their vacation (for example, hold an anniversary or wedding), while a third (33%) are going to rebook a property that had to be canceled earlier. Responding to this demand .
the travel industry will begin to offer new, more unusual itineraries and recommendations in 2021 to make dreams come true – no easy task given that lost opportunities in 2020 will make many want to make a long-awaited trip for real. unforgettable.
However, value is not the only priority for travelers: 82% of Russians surveyed said they expect online booking platforms to be more transparent about cancellation, refund and travel insurance policies. Moreover, 60% of survey participants indicated that a refund upon cancellation of a booking is an extremely important option for them, while 28% want to be able to change the dates of their stay for free.
While travelers are willing to support the recovery of the industry (75%) and want their future bookings to help local communities around the world (44%), they will expect much more from the travel industry in return. The hospitality industry will have to work together on new solutions that are more profitable, convenient, flexible and transparent, as well as more balanced, in order to interest tourists, for whom the opportunity to save money will be extremely important.
2. Domestic tourism
The coronavirus has forced people to switch to domestic tourism: it is easier, safer, and often more environmentally friendly.
Domestic tourism saves money and time, so travel companies, along with hotels, will strive to attract travelers with great deals, organizing educational and entertainment tours to get to know the local historical and cultural heritage. There will also be rivalry in more traditional ways.
such as attracting guests with gourmet dishes from guest chefs and tasting unusual cocktails. In addition, since the introduction of travel restrictions, the number of uses of the “Pets Allowed” filter on Booking.com has more than doubled**, so it is clear that in the future the travel industry will need to pay more attention to the wishes of travelers traveling with pets. . All of this will lead to a renewed interest in road routes, through which people will discover forgotten sights, support local businesses and communities, and re-experience pride in nature and the history of their country.
Despite these trends, travelers will not give up on long-distance travel dreams. Interest in domestic tourism will be combined with a desire to go to distant countries: almost a quarter (21%) of those surveyed plan to go on such a trip by the end of 2021 (only 5% of respondents have such plans for 2020).
3. Inspiration in search
The desire to find more information for travel planning and the desire to share travel dreams with each other will continue to grow in the coming year. During quarantine, everyone wanted to take a break and think about something good, so it is not surprising that 96% of those surveyed from Russia spent their time looking for new travel ideas,
and more than a third (37%) explored potential travel destinations every week. As the situation with restrictions is constantly changing, we can expect interesting ways to capitalize on the growing desire of people to escape from reality and dream of new experiences. For example, now hotels publish photos and videos of influencers who stayed with them before the quarantine, and local travel companies use computer graphics to create content to promote a particular destination.
At the same time, social networks are not the only source of inspiration for new trips: 43% of respondents also noted that a simple conversation with friends and family helps to get motivated for future trips. In addition, 44% of respondents feel a surge of nostalgia when looking at old photos from memorable places.
which helps them decide on plans for the future. Perhaps pictures from the past will often appear on our social networks. People will also begin to place more value on how, where and when to share experiences, and this sharing of travel stories will lead to new social media trends. For example, it could be reposting old vacation photos, or new ways to share tips or even entire travel itineraries with friends and family.