Ashley Nault - Nov 16, 2020

Due to the current health crisis, many passionate travelers consider staying at home next year. Others explore different options than usually and plan specific kinds of holiday that they have never tried before. Studies show that people plan to travel once it is safe and with as few restrictions as possible. Tourism Review presents the top 10 tourism trends expected in 2021.

Urban Tourism – The Quick Getaways

While cities lost some of its glitter to travelers in the time of social distancing, urban destinations will still be attractive to many in 2021. City destinations offer numerous sights, activities as well as comforts like large airports with direct flights to any part of the world, extensive hotel infrastructure (adapted to meet all needs) and a wide range of restaurants.

Rural and Nature Tourism – A Breath of Fresh Air

Rural tourism, also known as community-based tourism, has recently emerged as an alternative to conventional urban tourism. More and more people travel to small communities, usually located in rural destinations, in order to learn about their lifestyle and culture or, in some cases, disconnect from the city. Nature trips, focused on wilderness and relaxation in nature, are also growing in popularity immensely.

Domestic Tourism – Passion for Short Trips

One of the largest trends of the moment is domestic or national travel. A recent tourism trends report by the IDITUR research center highlights the ‘live like a local’ option and making contact with the local aspects. “Just as third-millennium tourists tend to choose less-visited destinations and attractions, they also tend to prefer certain closeness to locals and host communities. This trend offers the authentic flavor of experiencing local culture and living like the locals”.

Business and MICE Tourism – Business Must Go On

As globalization and technology advance, business tourism and MICE is gaining ground in the industry. The changes in business and event tourism over the pandemic have generated new relationships and forms of organization such as hybrid and online events, although face-to-face events are expected to return eventually.

Medical and Wellness Tourism – A Healthy Alternative

Medical tourism has been growing over the last few years. While the sector has been halted by the pandemic, travel restrictions, and closed borders of some countries, 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. Among the popular destinations for wellness tourism are India, Spain, Singapore, Malaysia, California, Bali, Italy and Hawaii.

Sports Tourism - Excitement and Adrenaline

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 - Experience above All

Cultural tourism provides great benefits to the economy since it attracts travelers at all times of the year, and promotes the development of the local identity of the destination. Among the main activities that the traveler 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.

Food Tourism - Smell and Flavor

More and more travelers 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 traveler wishes and ranges from visits to restaurants to enjoying personal cooking classes taught by locals.

Family Tourism – An Old-school Trend

Family trips have always been there. Families require specific features of the accommodation facilities, often looking for recreational activities that would entertain every one of the members. Hoteliers and destinations targeting families need to consider that. Similarly, destinations must have the technology and resources necessary to make it easier for a large number of people to move and stay, since the trip should be a reason for relaxation for the family and not for added stress.

Educational Tourism – Look and Learn

This type of tourism includes exchange programs, summer courses or guided visits to laboratories or institutions. The activity within this sector has been diversifying more every day as the ties of international cooperation in education are fostered. Many times, the tourists, who are mainly students, are invited to go on educational trips to discover the learning options in a country other than that of residence.

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  1. Hi,
    On which studies the trends presented in this article are based?
    For example, the quick urban getaways.
    Based on surveys, some researches are mentioning that people might still look for more rural vacations in 2020.
    Also, they might increase the length of stay.

    Sophie Monnier (Canada)

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