Amadeus has conducted a survey to find out how people tend to travel in the upcoming year of 2021. The report results show that the pandemic has truly changed the global tourism and travel industry from now on.
The “Covid” year of 2020 is about to end with a volatile world situation due to countless health crises over the globe since the beginning of the year. Having broken out on all continents, the Covid-19 pandemic certainly has an enormous influence on the sentiments and decisions of travelers in planning and going on trips permanently.
The major tech provider for the global tourism and travel industry Amadeus recently conducted a survey to capture the tourism market situation next year. From the survey, it has drawn to destinations and businesses in the industry a few prominent travel trends that are likely to be focused on by travelers next year.
1. Quality over quantity
Among the surveyed by Amadeus, 55% said they would travel for a minimum of 14 days, and 60% of travelers surveyed said they would travel less next year. This truly means that people have the tendency to “go big or stay home” as they either choose to go on long trips, regardless of whether the destination is close to their home or not, or decide to completely stay at home without traveling anywhere. After a year of travel being halted and frozen, people are more likely to seek unique experiences in exotic places that they have never experienced before. So once they decide to travel, they will stay at their destination longer to invest more in the quality of their trips.
In addition, travelers will also have higher expectations for the quality of services, including hygiene, safety and health especially, they receive during their trip. 40% of the respondents said they would choose airlines, airports and hotels that have higher health and safety standards and offer better service than other providers. Therefore, many hotels like Hilton, Accor, Marriott or IHG and many airlines such as Lufthansa, Etihad or Emirates have set their own policies to improve service quality as well as ensure customers’ safety and health during the experience.
2. Technology to promote international tourism
In the Amadeus survey, 80% of travelers said that technology, especially technologies that help improve communication and transparency, and support seamless payment, check-in or boarding, will increase their confidence in travel within the next 12 months. Currently, many airlines and airports, notably London Heathrow Airport, have adopted touchless check-in technologies and there is a high possibility that this will continue in 2021. Amadeus has also partnered with Avinor airport operator to pilot touchless technology at 44 different airports, allowing passengers to check in, drop baggage, go through security checks and board the aircraft without contact with too many people.
Moreover, with increasingly ideal remote communication technologies, bleisure travel and nomadic travel will also become more popular. As more and more businesses implement a “work from home” policy, this will be an opportunity for employees to work remotely from any location. Therefore, they will take advantage of the upcoming time to enjoy life while ensuring their workload is still completed on time. Destinations also see the potential of this tendency. For example, Barbados has implemented a special visa policy called “digital nomad” visa for those who want to come to the country, staying and working from there for a year. As another example, Airbnb has also almost shifted its business model to long-term rentals to focus on the upcoming long-stay trends.
3. Travel in a sustainable and responsible way
In 2021, travelers will pay more attention to the way they travel, seek to minimize the impact their trip places on their destination and shift towards creating positive values in their trip. 68% of the survey respondents said they would prefer the money they spent on their trip to be invested or returned to the community at the destination. Therefore, the tours that actually generate revenue and promote local development have a greater tendency to increase in the coming year.
Some organizations and destinations have also found since the beginning of 2020 that the rate of responsible tourism chosen by travelers is quite high. For instance, despite announcing the closure of the border as “closed for maintenance”, the Faroe Islands remains open to passionate “voluntourists”. In addition, the European Commission also declared that the European railway system will promote sustainable travel across the continent in 2021 and support the delivery to meet the criteria in its European Green Deal objectives. As travelers’ awareness of the environmental and societal impact of travel is increasing, businesses in the industry also need to shift to a more responsible direction, not only to gain profits but also to develop in a sustainable way in the long-term future.