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With the world slowly recovering from the pandemic, tourism is also picking up with people already setting the trend how they want to travel in the coming year. Various travel solutions and technology companies too are closely keeping a watch the trends to build and adapt their products or help their clients to be prepared for the changing demands from travellers.
Writes Daniel Batchelor, Vice President, Global Corporate Communications & Social Responsibility, Amadeus, “The last two years have been a roller-coaster for most people around the world. With vaccines and digital health passports now making the rounds, we can finally begin looking forward to new adventures, both near and far.”
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip
One of the most common trends revealed by queries and bookings on portals is that many travellers are keen to take their once-in-a-lifetime trip now rather than postpone it to later. The pandemic and the lockdown have made people realise that the future can be uncertain indeed. Amadeus calls it ‘savoring the now’.
Writes Batchelor, “Amadeus is seeing substantial increases in searches for travel to epic destinations or experiences. Searches for Tanzania—where travelers can see the Big Five in the wild—are up by 36%. Bookings to the Peruvian cities of Lima and Cusco, near Machu Pichu, are up by nearly 50%, and flights to Petra in Jordan—of Indiana Jones fame—are up by 22%. All of these signs suggest this trend will continue to grow, with the IndianâÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¯Ocean islands and even Antarctica showing increased demand for travel.”
#News: We’ve just released our latest traveler research with Censuswide! The global study of 9 markets looks at traveler attitudes & sentiment around restrictions, digital health data & sustainable travel. https://t.co/dC79FJIJ7X #RebuildTravel— Amadeus (@AmadeusITGroup) October 14, 2021
Interestingly, many people are keen to travel within the country or to short haul destinations. If there is any chance of a global lockdown, they would not be stuck far from home. Besides, travel restrictions, including testing requirements and quarantine, are also forcing people to opt for domestic travel or within the same region. The media quoted Prashant Pitti, co-founder, EaseMyTrip, as saying his company found that people are making the most of long weekends where bookings are up by nearly 60% such as during Dasara. He also pointed out that bookings to and from cities such as Kolkata, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi and Gujarat have seen a rise of 50%-70% while tourist destinations such as Kashmir, Leh and Rajasthan reported a rise in bookings.
Vacations with Friends and Family
Another key trend noticed by Amadeus is that people are keen to travel in large groups consisting of their extended family or close friends and their families. One, because after living a digital life for almost two years, most are hankering for that personal touch, in person interactions. Second, because travelling with a group of people who are known to each other creates a safety bubble. Hence ‘friendcations’ are on the rise.
Also Read: Girl's Own Getaways: 5 Inspiring Adventures
Travel by Chartered Planes
Another noticeable feature is that the demand for travelling by chartered planes from the well-heeled is also on the rise. The Hindu quoted Sachit Wadhwa, co-founder, BookMyCharters, as saying that his company has seen a rise in inquiries now compared to pre-Covid times. He also pointed out that wedding charters are also in demand, especially between November and March.
According to a recently commissioned Amadeus survey, ‘two-thirds of consumers consider sustainable travel a priority, and 37% of respondents think opportunities for travellers to be involved in the preservation of tourist destinations will help the industry to become more sustainable in the long-term’. With the pandemic bringing the world economy to almost standstill has made people realise that sustainability is key to survival with its benefits spreading through the society. Community tourism, eco-friendly holidays, lowering the carbon footfall are some of the areas which are seeing increased interest. According to Amadeus, searches for travel from the US to the eco-paradise of Costa Rica are up by 234% year-on-year, and in Europe visitors to carbon-neutral Iceland are up 11%.
Also Read: 6 Green Learning Holidays To Go On
Another interesting trend noticed by Amadeus is what they call ‘wanderlust streaming’. Did you know that in 2020, the town of Porthgwarra, Cornwall, UK, saw 50% more tourists owing to the success of the TV show ‘Poldark’. House-bound for months, people took to watching streaming media and other digital content to beat the boredom. This has in turn influenced people’s travel wish list too. According to Batchelor, “Thanks to smart speakers, AI, and targeted online advertising like Amadeus Media Solutions, tourism boards can make Hollywood-inspired travel fantasies come true faster.”
The day is also not far, according to Amadeus, that speedy futuristic travel will decrease travel time, leaving the traveller more time to explore. Think hyperloop, space travel and hotels, and new supersonic airliners.
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