TOP 2021 TRAVEL TRENDS
Social distant travel
Before COVID-19, exploring a crowded city would have been exciting and invigorating. Wandering through bustling markets, enjoying dinner at a bistro brimming with locals and visiting tourist hotspots were often the hallmarks of a fulfilling holiday. In a post-COVID-19 world, travellers will be much more cognisant of the need to travel to destinations that make it easy to maintain social distancing practices. This may take the form of itineraries focusing on more remote locations or even the increased popularity of niches such as birding tours and biking tours, where travellers are less likely to encounter others.
Travel and tourism need to be sustainable for the planet, the community and the industry in general. Taking the principles of sustainable tourism into consideration, socially distant travel is even more important. Travellers from all generations are more conscious of the impact that their travel has on the environment, and even on the local economy. In a new effort to lessen one’s personal footprint when travelling, travelers are now embracing more eco-friendly, carbon-neutral methods of getting from one place to another. Not only that, but the types of hotels stayed at, if any at all, local transportation choices, and food that is eaten while at that destination are all being looked at as well.
Travelling in a group can be an appealing way for people to meet others, enjoy a unique experience or simply to save money on travel. However, in 2021 this option is likely going to become increasingly unattainable. Travelling with strangers widens everyone’s ‘bubble’ and increases the reliance on others to practice safe behaviors.
Perhaps mixing business and travel is not such a new concept to many people in the workforce today, but it is becoming quite the permanent trend within the travel world, with even higher bleisure travellers expected in 2021. Many companies are opting to mix business with pleasure when it comes to travel to conferences or cross-country meetings, allowing employees more time to enjoy themselves while away and even adding more recreation opportunities themselves. There are options for family members to join the trip as well. There are several benefits to bleisure travel, both for the employees and the companies, such as higher in-office incentives, better attitudes, and more productivity overall.
Medical and Wellness Tourism
Medical tourism has been growing over the last few years. While the sector has been halted by the pandemic, travel restrictions and closed borders, it is presumed that the industry will get quickly back on its tracks. Wellness holiday is especially becoming attractive in times of stress never experienced before. This type of tourism has become increasingly popular as the concept of mindfulness spreads and as society becomes aware of the importance of preserving health.
Sports can be experienced in two ways: by being a fan or being an athlete; and sports tourism involves both. The main reason for this type of tourism is the celebration of sporting events beyond the borders of the country where they reside. Among the most popular are World Cups, Major League Baseball, Basketball, and the Olympics. Generally, this type of event demands spaces and infrastructure that contribute to local tourism and that continue to attract more tourists in the future.
Cultural tourism provides great benefits to the economy since it attracts travellers at all times of the year and promotes the development of the local identity of the destination. Among the main activities that the traveller looks for are visits to museums, attending festivals or tasting the local cuisine, but it also includes more intimate local celebrations or even learning the language.
More and more travellers seek to taste the local cuisine promoted by the rich culture as well as popular movies. Culinary activities include the tasting of the largest number of dishes and drinks possible and the experience of all the activities related to them. Similarly, many destinations have food tours or culinary festivals scheduled at different times of the year. These events attract many tourists and generate significant revenues in the area. Also, the culinary experience can be as passionate as the traveller wishes and ranges from visits to restaurants to enjoying personal cooking classes taught by locals.