Sunday Times Travel published an article entitled The Future of Travel. In the article industry specialists shared their thoughts on how the travel industry would be affected by the covid-19 pandemic and the lifting of lockdown restrictions. Personally, I believe nations might be suspicious of each other post lockdown. Those who took precautions early may be weary of nations that didn’t. I could be wrong but it is my feeling that the developing countries have been on the ball dealing with the pandemnic. When the virus came to UK shores we were in the throes of Brexit transition. I wonder how British travellers will be treated in a post-Brexit post-pandemic world. From the article I gleaned a few trends based on the specialists’ comments. Three trends to expect in travel post covid-19 lockdown: regional, ancestry and bucket list travel.
Jules Ugo, Manging Director, Lotus PR and marketing company, stated in the Times Travel article that domestic travel would open first. While Noel Josephides, Director of AITO and Chairman of Sunvil stated ‘… while the UK may not want us to send clients to certain destinations, the destinations may not want British clients because of the state of the virus here.’ Be that as it may, on a national level, as people look for wide open spaces, the English countryside and coastal towns will become attractive to those who may not have considered it before.
On The Tiger Tales we have championed UK staycations for years . The picturesque Channel Islands each have their own beauty; Isle of Man’s glens , Guernsey’s cuisine and culture and Isle of Wight’s sea and sand to mention a few. Granted, some of the smaller older English and Welsh towns could do with regeneration which would further enhance their visitors’ experience. It’s been many years since we have travelled to Northern Ireland and Scotland but we’ve enjoyed the lake views of Inverness. Northern Ireland was a city break we went on for our first wedding anniversary.
According to rail expert Mark Smith (founder of seat61.com) in the same article, the rails will not be badly affected. I would not be surprised if there’s a return of the glamour and luxury of train travel around the UK and overseas when restrictions relax. You must know I’m a fan of Agatha Christie, right?
Ancestry travel is well known to expats. When international travel opens up, many of us will want to visit the land of our (grand)parents. Those with children will introduce them to family and friends; ignite cultural passion. However, there is another segment of travellers who well be delving into the ancestry travel market. Back in December 2019 Jamie-Lee Abtar, The Travel Marketer called it, when she listed ancestry travel as one of the trends for 2020 due to the rise in home DNA ancestry testing kits. I had mine done earlier this year. It was such fun!
Jamie-Lee mentioned that Ghana and Barbados were well positioned to benefit for this type of travel. She also touched on the collaboration between Airbnb and another company to help customers track their roots. The company is a biotech firm called 23andMe. Basically the customer would take a DNA test, then the results would be returned along with suggestion of Airbnb rentals and experiences to suit their ancestral DNA makeup.
Bucket List Travel
Who hasn’t heard about bucket lists? The phrase has been a thing since the early noughties. Well, this type of travel will not suffer. People will still continue to save for those once in a lifetime trips. It could very well be that there’s an intersection between ancestry and bucket list travel; this is a sweet spot for personalisation. Personalisation is a trend in its right and was a hot topic at WTM London 2019 . It can create niches within the three trends I am focusing on in this post.
Bucket List travel will be where the luxury travel companies can continue to excel. Family and friendship groups may opt for villas via a big chain or Airbnb. Although, some say Airbnb may suffer because they can’t compete with big chains on the cleanliness score. I beg to differ. As seasoned self-catering travellers, we always give our accommodation a once over before unpacking due to our allergies. Other travellers may be so inclined. Of course, that doesn’t mean rental agencies should shirk their responsibility. Above all, safety first because travellers will expect assurances that their accommodation is clean and virus free. They will want to know where their food comes from, if they are not self-catering. Hotels that cater to vegetarian diets will do well.
Conclusion on Travel Trends Post Covid-19
In the new normal, travel will include holidaymakers seeking destinations with wide open spaces (be it regional, ancestral or bucket list); personalisation; luxury and exclusive packages; villa stays; self-catering; emphasis on deep cleaning and continued social distancing. It’s not an exhaustive list but I chose to focus on regional, ancestry and bucket list travel trends.
I hope you find this post helpful. Whether your are in the travel business or planning a trip, I would love to hear from you. Comment in the box below.
To see our UK staycations search hashtag #tttonstaycation on Instagram.