June 8th 2020
journalist, tech entrepreneur
1. Domestic and regional travel
Forced to stay within the borders of their own countries, travelers will start exploring their surrounding regions and cities. As soon as it’s more or less safe to leave the house, people will want to make up for the downtime and look for domestic travel opportunities. For example, go on road trips, visit family, escape the town by travelling to the countryside, and so on.
Domestic and regional tourism is one of the main trends in the post-coronavirus travel world, and we described it in detail in the article below
2. Booking windows
- Domestic flights. The proportion has barely changed: advanced booking to 15 days for business trips and over 91 days for family trips are still widespread. In the meantime, the departure window for solo travelers and couples moved from 31 to 60 days to either advanced booking (up to 15 days) or over 91 days.
- Domestic hotels. For business travelers, advanced bookings up to 15 days are still the most popular, with other departure windows bringing similar volume. Family trips moved from advanced bookings to a departure window over 91 days, while solo travelers and couples booked hotels up to 15 days before departure.
3. Travel purpose
4. Mobility trends
Flights might first open up between safe corridors, such as Germany to Austria, for example. While some travelers canceled their vacation plans for at least six months, others are seeking low airfares for existing flights and are ready to travel as soon as the current restrictions are lifted.
Ground transportation has also experienced up to a 90% drop in major cities around the world, as people are being asked to avoid crowded places and maintain self-isolation. Operators have to comply with strict hygiene protocols, limit the number of passengers, and consistently check their health.
What kinds of products will see a surge in the coming months and years?
- Vacation rentals. For social distancing reasons, hotels and resorts are seeing a large decrease in bookings. Heightened guest turnover makes it hard for people to stay isolated and for hotel staff to disinfect rooms. Thus, private accommodations will find greater favor, as their owners are now enhancing safety measures, such as automatic locks, contactless food delivery, and space out rental periods. For example, the insurance company InsuranceMyTrip has already seen a 6% increase in vacation rentals in comparison to 2019, as well as drop in hotel bookings.
- Car rentals. As people are increasingly opting for close to home and drive-to destinations, demand for car rentals is expected to increase. Cars simultaneously allow travelers to stay isolated and move around as they please, thus more and more people will opt for driving over flying.
- Flexible bookings. To encourage people to book trips, companies around the world are introducing major changes to their policies, such as last-minute cancellations. Stronger demand is expected for the winter season, with reservations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year being up by 38%, 40%, and 23%, respectively, compared to 2019. This, naturally, will affect the budget allocations of travel companies, as they’ll need to be able to reimburse canceled bookings and preserve cash at all times.
- Travel insurance. Thanks to the rising health and safety concerns, travelers are increasingly aware of the importance of travel insurance. Up to 30% tourists are expected to buy travel insurance before hitting the road, say industry experts. Furthermore, some companies have upgraded their insurance policies and included “cancel for any reason” and medical evacuation options.
- Travel advisors. Canceling a trip and obtaining reimbursement has proven difficult and time-consuming, so travelers are now turning to the services of travel agents. Not only are agents able to help savvy tourists plan a trip and better navigate cancellation policies, but they also support travellers to reassess their personal finance and travel goals.
Types of trips
According to industry experts, travelers are more likely to opt for these types of trips during the remainder of the year:
- Close to home trips and drive-to destinations.
- Multi-generation trips. Many families haven’t been able to meet up because of quarantine for a few months and travel agents are expecting multi-gen trips to rise significantly once travel is safe again.
- Longer trips. More and more travelers now prefer to book up to nine-day stays instead of the average three-and-a-half to five-day rental periods from before the pandemic.
- Vacations requiring advanced planning. Travel agents report a rise in vacations that require booking a year or more in advance. For example, African safaris, honeymoons, etc. People have been put on hold and want to have their dream vacation happen as soon as possible.
- Trips to remote places. Tourists will also be likely to open up to more isolated and less populated destinations. For example, traveling to a country with high population density, like India, will be more dangerous than travelling to Italy, for instance. Remote destinations like Africa should expect an increase in tourist inflow, according to Jessica Nabongo, founder of the travel firm Jet Black.