Pat Hyland - Jan 11, 2021
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Tourism in 2021 will most certainly be different. While waiting for the end of the health crisis, and the greater recovery of travel, the Amadeus company has tried to identify a few trends to follow closely in 2021. The experts were inspired by the undeniable and powerful human desire to travel, and by the conviction that in 2021, this desire will remain intact - perhaps even reinforced - by the Covid-19, and will act as a driving force to push the travel industry and local, regional and national governments to innovate quickly and make travel safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable. Tourism Review presents the 5 travel trends to follow closely this year.

Longer Trips

This is, unsurprisingly, a trend that has developed since the beginning of the health crisis. Being able to travel less, and sometimes having to face very strict health protocols at their destination, tourists, therefore, wish to leave for longer stays and thus fully enjoy their trip. Amadeus' surveys revealed that 55% of travelers said they would travel for 14 days or more, and 60% expected to make only a few trips a year - suggesting that if people travel, they may want to do it all. This is an invitation to professionals to offer different, longer and more authentic products to their customers.

Working on the Other Side of the World

Teleworking, which has been implemented on a full-time basis in many companies since the beginning of the pandemic, is also prompting many travelers to consider going to work on the other side of the world. A great way to discover a destination without taking too much time off! If all we need is a Wi-Fi connection and enough time in the day to do the work, we can work from anywhere.  To meet the growing demand, destinations such as Barbados, Bermuda, Anguilla, Georgia, Dubai and Estonia already offer visas adapted to this new type of traveler.

The Loyalty of Tourism Companies

Faced with health risks, travelers will also need to be reassured in the future. This is why tourism companies will have to demonstrate their loyalty by strengthening their health, hygiene and safety systems, the new currency for gaining customer confidence. 40% of tourists say they would give greater preference to airlines, airports and hotels that have implemented stricter health and safety standards.

The Future of Contactless

One of the travel trends of the new normal is the fact that customer security will also be achieved through technologies that will allow the customer to limit the risks. A recent census wide survey showed that more than four out of five travelers believe that technology will increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months. Among the most anticipated technologies are contactless payment (with e.g., Apple, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo), but also mobile applications that would provide notifications and alerts along the way, for example in case of localized epidemics or changes in government directives.

The Importance of the Travel Agent

While the year 2020 has been complicated for travel agents, the pandemic has only highlighted their crucial role. Those who didn't have them in 2020 probably regretted it. Tourism professionals could indeed attract a large number of new customers, wishing to rely on their expertise to obtain better advice, better offers, reliable information on health and safety standards, and above all adapted assistance in case of interruption, cancellation or postponement of a trip. All in all, real skills to be put forward by the agents.

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