Tourism is changing at pace. The last few years have made people consider travelling locally and more thoughtfully, leading to new priorities and considerations. The good news has until recently been that the travel sector is slowly rebounding. And even if there is to be a pause in that regrowth, it is likely that in time it will begin again, such is our collective wish to go abroad.
In 2019, Travel & Tourism was one of the world’s largest sectors, accounting for 10.4% of global GDP, but dropping to 5.5% in 2020 thanks to the impact of C0vid. So, how is the sector evolving? Here are a few trends to watch out for:
The UK’s domestic tourism industry is booming as people are increasingly embracing local areas of beauty. A survey in August 2020 showed that just 32% of people said they would be likely to visit a country they had never been to before in 2021, compared to 45% who said so the previous year.
With sustainability and the environment on many people’s minds, the move toward exploration of wildlife, coral reefs, and pristine undisturbed natural areas presenting unique experiences instead of mass tourism. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the ecotourism market size was $181.1 billion in 2019, and is projected reach $333.8 billion by 2027.
Holidaying in a clean, Covid-safe hotel in one’s own country, known as a staycation, is a combination of the words stay and vacation. According to Simply Business, Google searches for staycations have been rising steadily over the last two years, between June 2020 and June 2021 the number of searches for ‘staycation’ increased by 83 per cent.
Simply explained, a workcation is when you take a work trip somewhere and then combine it with working remotely while you’re there. UK holiday company TUI has responded to this trend, and launched dedicated “workcation” packages, promoting stays of 21 or 28 days at 50 all-inclusive hotels and resorts. Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority conducted a nationwide survey in 200 which showed that 84% of working Brits would love to switch their Zoom background work with a real tropical island one.
Defined by the Guardian as “travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal wellbeing”, GlobalWebIndex reports that global wellness tourism is growing at a much faster pace of 6.5% annually more than twice that of conventional tourism growing at 3.2%.
Holidaying with the whole family is a growing trend, with UK holiday rental bookings for the Christmas week are already five times higher than they were last year, says accommodation company Guesty. The likes of Cornwall, Devon and Pembrokeshire and the summer honeypots are the most popular destinations.
In summary, it’s clear we’ve become more discerning about not just where we travel but also with the why, who with and what we do. This theme looks set to continue into 2022 and beyond, and positive and ‘mindful’ travel is becoming a reality.