After more than a year of changing travel restrictions and many still safely in quarantine, global lockdowns are only improving the appetite for adventure as local staycations boom in popularity. Many key travel destinations remain off-limits to those seeking the thrill of a new journey, so those grounded are left to discover inspiration locally, but are nonetheless setting travel plans for the future. Yet, forecasting the future, one of the more likely outcomes of the global pandemic is how it will change travel altogether.
One consequence so far has been the shutdown on international tourism, which is a major industry for many established and emerging countries that rely on the annual influx of travellers from afar. Whilst it seems uncertain how the future of travel might unravel, many will no doubt look to maximise their experiences through thoughtful adventure, while minimising the risks involved.
Affluent travellers, who relish in the luxury of new and foreign cultures, will likely crave more meaningful and purposeful (as well as sustainable) experiences from their journeys. The future of luxury travel will change, but with safety as a key priority, just as these experiences are likely to become even more personal. From quiet getaways, or family and group travel, to weekend city stays, what will be the big trends? Importantly, what will travel look like in the future?
Local Communities Will Matter More
From the quiet solitude of a balmy beach, to the freedom of a mountain range, uncharted locales far and wide can enchant us. In the past, travel felt interchangeable with tourism. But, looking ahead, those jet-setting beyond their country may find more solace and retreat in local settings.
As global lockdowns compelled many to live and thrive on the resources form their local communities, this role of this will only grow. In travel forums and blogs alike, the theme of supporting local business is quickly becoming a larger, more international force. Many travellers want to bypass the trap of mass tourism, which is typically busy and crowded, and settle for slower, more meditative, journeys through lesser known, local parts of a country.
Re-Focus On Quality
There was, perhaps, a time when the quality – not the quantity – of travel prevailed. Yet, as jet-setting become more available, at lower costs, the focus on multiple trips and, sometimes, destinations became the new norm. This has allowed mass tourism to flourish economically and gain a reputation for convenience over exploration.
A new focus on quality will mean that travellers prioritise travel as a passion project, carefully research and opting to journey to locations that resonate, and excite, personally. With so many quartered to their homes, travellers have had spare time to rethink bucket-lists and reprioritise their most desired destinations. There will likely be a boom in the years to come from travellers with an appetite for more personal, meditative experiences from their journeys. The reliable industry of tourism is unlikely to remain the only popular travel trend once the market reopens.
Sustainability Is Key
One of the few, albeit key, positives from the global pandemic was the revival of sustainability as a popular theme. The environmental bounce-back caused by grounded flights, limited traffic congestion, and emptied streets, has brought wildlife back into focus.
With many confined to their backyards, the clear blue skies overhead and the chirpy birdsong will have likely warmed many into the lullaby of sustainability. Many have converted into more conscious green citizens aware of the roles of the natural world in their travel habits. Many predict travel will become a form of advocacy – those who travel will likely demand more responsibility from policies, peoples and places they come into contact with.
The arrival of green hotels and other wilder accommodation alternatives, such as geodome glamping, is likely to establish a new favourite trend. Travel accommodations will play more of a role in the natural world around them – whether you’re looking at Cumrbia’s deep night skies, or the long blue oceans from the cliffsides along the Italian Riviera.
Travel For Isolation
It may seem like many will travel to escape isolation. Yet, isolation during the pandemic has enabled many travellers to reflect and meditate on their goals. Whether it’s about reprioritising bucket-lists, or opting to become a more concerned global citizen, travel and isolation can both become helpful resources in helping to address personal goals.
From mountaintop retreats, to riverside hideaways, holiday and travel destinations will become more personal, thoughtful and stimulating. This quiet space can help many refresh recharge, and more thoughtfully absorb their travels. Whether it’s from a boutique hotel, a bed and breakfast, or a stately countryside manor, the places we go have the power to change us.
The article was produced in collaboration with Elvetham Hotel, a historic country house hotel set in 35 acres of beautiful gardens in Hook, Hampshire. Offering hotel accommodation, superb business meeting facilities, The Elvetham is the perfect venue for conferences, corporate training, team building and activity days, as well as private dining and weddings of any size.