by Seth BUTERA May 24, 2021
Although it might not look like it now, the travel industry has a future. A bright future indeed.
Hard to believe that, with the travel industry reeling from a coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak has hit the travel industry hard, canceling flights, hotel reservations, and cruises. Before coronavirus is contained, the travel industry will lose jobs and there will be bankruptcies and consolidations.
The travel industry does have a future. By 2030, there will be 1.8 billion worldwide tourists a year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization — 400 million more than last year. That’s a lot of people clamoring for cheap airfares, affordable hotel rooms, rideshares, and whatever the next big thing in travel will be.
Although nobody knows exactly what will happen, one thing is clear; we won’t be able to travel as freely (without consideration for our health) as we used to…at least for the foreseeable future.
As people think more carefully about the way they travel, they will seek out hotels and travel companies that are doing everything they can to minimize their impact on the planet. We can also expect accreditation to gain prominence, as consumers look for reassurance from legitimate “eco-tourism” certifications. We can expect beachgoers to be swapping sun and Pina Coladas for shade and coconut water. Even if visitors aren’t specifically traveling for a detox or Bootcamp experience, they will want to book trips that leave them feeling better than before when they return home. Wellness tourism will be increasingly popular.
Engaging with local communities in a safe and respectful way will also be an important aspect of trips in the future, with tourists keen to learn and form human connections. We will also want to leave a positive footprint – to give something back – whether that is paying direct or volunteering.
Finally, as the idea of the “holiday” starts to feel anachronistic, simply “being” abroad will be the mindful alternative. This will manifest in the rise of ‘workations,’ where visitors combine work with vacations, embedding themselves for longer periods of time in a certain place.