The pandemic has changed the way we perceive traveling and meeting others. The idea of danger has become part of our reality: masks, social distance, lock-down have been the tools used until now to avoid spreading Covid. The tourism sector has had to face the changes in the ways of traveling to make the journey safer and easier for all passengers.
Despite the need to go back to some sort of reality, we have to face the fact that traveling will not be the same anymore. Maybe the pandemic has accelerated new forms of tourism, greener, more sustainable, and responsible but also focused on well-being. Wellness seems to be at the center of new tourism trends and it is estimated to grow 7.5% in 2022.
1. More conscious travels
A post-Covid-19 world requires changes. More conscious and less senseless travel. This is the way traveling will change. The pandemic has taught us the appreciation of what is closest to us and more importantly, that we have to choose trips that are most meaningful. It is not art for art’s sake and just following the trend of traveling for the sake of traveling cannot be done anymore.
People started to appreciate long travels where there are not many people and they can enjoy big spaces. In addition to this, consumers are also aware of the responsibility they have towards nature and the planet. So they will prefer flight companies that pay attention to pollution reduction and sustainable policies.
There will be a wider shift towards more meaningful travel, centered around giving back to the planet. Out with the weekend getaways and in with family-focused itineraries for longer periods of time. There’s one key reason as to why this is important. There are many communities and conservation projects around the world that are completely reliant on tourism. Their income has completely halted due to the pandemic and many are concerned it will get to the point of no return.Henry Cookson, founder, Cookson Adventures
2. Wellness traveling
In addition to all this, new emergent travel trends are beginning and tourism is changing, focusing on the personal and intimate version of the journey. The Wellness Tourism Association (WTA), ‘wellness travel’ describes this new trend as, “travel that allows the traveler to maintain, enhance mindfulness retreats or a physical-activity focused on healthy lifestyle, and support one’s sense of well-being.”
There are two types of wellness travelers: the “primary” traveler that organizes his/her journey on the basis of wellness; on the other hand, the “secondary” prefers leisure or business trip in which there is a part of wellness experience. There will be also the need to combine the work and the vacation together, creating the so-called “workation”.
During the pandemic, smart-working has been the normality and it showed how important is to take a break from the daily routine and taking time to rest. In the future people will probably have the chance to work and relax in the same place.
Longer stay holidays are more popular in 2021 as travellers choose to ‘work from holidayRebecca Masri, founder, Little Emperors
One of the most important aspects is the adaptation that Travel Industry will have to enact since consumers’ needs are changing. New spaces, new activities but fewer people at times. To a new reality, we have to answer with new and more conscious tools.