What are the travel trends for 2021 now that countries are opening up again? More and more people are getting vaccinated, so the idea of travelling again this summer is becoming more of a reality. The tourism industry is changing after the pandemic and people are looking forward to having unique experiences. Here are 10 travel trends we should be aware of to be prepared for the 2021 summer holidays.
1. Planning ahead to travel again is causing price increases and overbooking
Planning a trip can be half the fun than the actual trip itself. Dreaming of white-sand beaches while browsing through Instagram profiles and travel brochures make people want to plan ahead. They are even willing to book and pay for their holiday with still a risk of it getting cancelled. But as demand increases, so do the prices. The tourism industry is getting prepared for a busy 2021 summer and accommodation options are getting more scarce.
Many people had to put their travel plans on hold last year, resulting in many reservations from 2020 being changed to 2021. This could result in overbooked places, because people have more savings now and a bigger urge to travel again this year. To not miss out on having their dream holiday, people are planning their trips ahead.
2. Travel needs to be uplifting and healthy
Thinking about a vacation makes us feel good and hopeful for the future. Who doesn’t dream of finally sipping on that well-deserved margarita while gazing at the sunset? But this year we want our trips to also be uplifting and healthy. We are looking for holidays that contribute to our well-being and our health and are looking for stays who can provide just that. Hotels that are focused on wellness and feel-good experiences are popular this year.
3. Vaccine passports could be the new normal
France, Belize and Thailand are amongst one of the many countries that now make it easier for travellers to enter their borders when they are vaccinated. People who can prove they have a vaccine don’t have to show a negative PCR-test or quarantine anymore, making it more likely that vaccine passports could be the new normal for future travel soon and becoming one the major travel trends this year.
4. Food travel is getting more popular
Does your mouth water too when thinking about a real juicy Italian pizza in a cute restaurant in Rome? Or do you prefer to try all the local street food flavours that you can’t find in your own country? You are not alone. 62% of the respondents of the Global Travel Trend Report conducted by American Express say that food is their main reason to travel. Popular foodie cities like Singapore, Tokyo and Mexico City are high on the list and many travellers say that eating food would be their top activity on holiday.
5. Responsible and ethical travel is on the rise
A great new travel trend that we love! Holiday-makers want to support the country and the local community of their chosen destination. A lot of developing countries have taken a big beating while tourism stopped last year and responsible travellers want to contribute something positive while on holiday. 59% of the respondents of the Global Travel Trend Report pursue ‘philantourism’, the act of choosing a vacation or experience in order to support a destination through tourism. They prefer to support local, small businesses to make their money end up in the right hands.
6. The digital nomad lifestyle is gaining popularity
Most of us were forced to work from home when the pandemic hit. We realised that in most cases it is very possible to work remotely, so why not do that from your lounge chair in the Caribbean? Digital nomads are people who work online and are location-independent. Now that many people have adopted the remote-work lifestyle due to COVID-19, dreams about becoming a permanent digital nomad are increasing. 54% of the respondents say the digital nomad life is more appealing in 2021 than before the pandemic.
7. The idea of luxury travel is shifting
Where luxury travel before Coronavirus hit was mostly about high-end resorts and ultimate hygiene, now it is more about privacy and personalized service. People are more likely to book off-season to ensure privacy and don’t mind spending big bucks on it. A lot of people have seen their savings rise last year and are willing to spend it on luxury trips to create meaningful memories.
8. ‘Second cities’ are winning over main tourist destinations
More people try to avoid the crowds this summer and are more interested in visiting the lesser-known counterparts of popular tourist destinations. They choose Florence instead of Rome, or Porto over Lisbon. Many people also just choose a ‘safe destination’ rather than a crowded city.
9. Travel needs to be a unique experience now
After being a year without not being able to travel, tourists seek that unique experience more than ever. Many of us took on new hobbies and sports during the pandemic which we now want to continue doing during our vacation. Adventure travel is booming and people are more driven by passion these days to book their holidays. From mountain biking on the trails in Slovenia to a sailing trip around the Galapagos, travel needs to be a unique experience this summer.
10. Travellers are getting more aware of sustainable travel options
Everybody knows that flying is not the most sustainable option to get around. More and more people want to offset their carbon footprint and choose alternative transport options or choose airlines that are carbon-neutral. 68% of the respondents also stated that they would only support brands and companies that are in line with their own values and morals. Travellers get more aware of their own environmental footprint and will choose more eco-friendly trips. Many tourists want to travel more consciously and expect travel companies to offer more ethical trips.
Sustainable Stays As One of the New Travel Trends
“Over half (55%) of global travelers report being more determined to make sustainable travel choices than they were a year ago, but barriers include a lack of knowledge and available or appealing options when trying to put this into practice”
This proves there is a demand in the travel market to make more sustainable choices, but there is a lack of resources and knowledge. The report also reveals that the majority of travellers want to stay in eco-friendly places:
“Consistent with overall intentions to make more sustainable travel choices, sustainable stays are growing in popularity, with almost three quarters (73%) of global travelers intending to stay at least once in an eco-friendly or green accommodation when looking at the year ahead.[…] Additionally, 70% of global travelers say they would be more likely to book an accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were looking for a sustainable stay or not.”
The lack of trustworthy information about sustainable stays is why Sustaying was developed. We recently published an article with 20 ethical travel questions you should ask before booking your accommodation.
We hope this helps travellers to book more sustainable stays!