These are the top travel trends for 2021, according to experts
From being more conscious about travel to an uptick in staycations, Laura Hampson chats to leading travel experts about their predictions for 2021
Ringing in the 2020 New Year, it’s likely you had big travel plans for the year ahead. Perhaps you were counting down the days until you’d fly and flop onto a Portuguese beach, or perhaps you wanted to finally tick spotting the Northern Lights in Norway off your bucket list?
Yet, in late January a global pandemic came along and subsequently quashed all of our grand travel hopes for this year. So we’re looking to 2021 instead.
Next year, travel is set to make a triumphant return. Think luxury trips, spending longer in each locale and making the most out of every day spent exploring a new country. Travel will no longer be taken for granted.
So whether you’re looking to tap into the sustainable travel beat, reconnect with your loved ones somewhere exotic or tick off that bucket list item, the travel industry’s leading experts predict what to expect in 2021 below.
Travel priorities will change in 2021
“Travel will bounce back next year and it needs to, with so many jobs and communities dependent on it, but it will be smaller, no doubt. Some of the reduction in travel and flying is very welcome as we have now proved that we can work well and efficiently via video technology so we don’t need to fly to do business,” Tim Williamson, Director of Marketing and Content at Responsible Travel, says.
Williamson hopes that the communities we’ve fostered during the pandemic will translate into how we perceive travel as well, gearing our priorities towards slower travel with a focus on local communities and the environment.
He continues: “This may result in us wanting to travel to places for a little bit longer, rush around less and try to get under the skin of a place. I believe and hope that travellers will demand this from their holidays but I also hope that local communities are consulted on the type of tourism they want to see coming back.”
Expect an uptick in staycations and journeys to lesser-known locales
As lockdown laws begin to ease, travellers will be able to explore their own backyard a little more. Luckily, in the UK, we have plenty to see. From the Scottish Highlands to the English moors and the Welsh beaches , there’s a wealth of beauty not too far from home.
Jean-François Ferret, Chief Executive Officer of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, says: “Initially, travel will be predominantly domestic and staycations. Travellers are also more likely to venture out to lesser-known and less-populated locales to avoid crowds, hence small boutique properties like ours offering standalone accommodation and private islands will generally be preferred. Spa resorts will be popular too as people focus on improving physical and mental health.
“We believe that our guests want to continue to be inspired and to feel that they will travel soon again. More importantly, we believe that the major change will come from the fact that people will certainly travel less, but better and with a purpose – a world where people explore the world with intention, experience its intensity and protect its integrity.”