Since the emergence of the pandemic, travelers are taking different routes to get out and explore. There has been nearly a 93% decrease in air transportation, resorts are down in attendance and cruise ships have essentially been canceled. Food service and lodging industries have been hit harder than most. According to Larry Muller, a digital marketing specialist who works with companies in the travel and hospitality sector, the food service industry is expecting a $128 billion loss in revenue.
With so many of the typical vacation methods no longer available, what are some of the travel trends to expect in 2020?
Travel to Regional Locations
Since travelers are now forced to stay within their own countries, more people are looking to explore their surrounding areas and explore nearby cities. Seeing the countryside, road trips, family gatherings and small escapes are the new norm. With air travel, domestic flights will likely be the first to open up, but travel using this medium will still be way down compared to pre-pandemic times.
The Purpose of Travel
In the past, business travel has made up a large portion of hotel stays and airfare. In today’s landscape, business bookings are down with the loss of physical tradeshows and business meetings in person (rather being pushed to Zoom meetings and other remote meetings). As the purpose of travel changes, so do the number of hotels and flights that are able to operate efficiently in those areas.
Change in Trip Types
Where vacations of the past have largely been cross-country or international, they are changing in 2020. Travelers are much more likely to opt for a vacation that is closer to home that they can drive to. With families feeling safe in their own cars, it makes sense to travel using this method. Camping trips, national parks and small towns are all the rage. Campgrounds have been overflowing and national park lodging is booked out for months. Not to mention RV sales are through the roof.
As time goes on, multi-generational trips are also likely to be on the rise. Since families haven’t been able to properly meet up in months, travel agents are expecting these types of trips to increase.
Instead of short, 3-4 day trips, travelers are going to be looking for longer stays in locations. With many dream vacations having been put on hold during the lockdowns, people are going to be chomping at the bit to get out and spend some significant time away.
Trips to more remote locations will also see an increase. Whether it’s locally or internationally, people will still be wary of highly populated areas where the risk of contracting the virus is high. People will be looking for lesser-known places to try and escape the day-to-day of their lives as well as crowds of people.
Lastly there will likely be an uptick in different kinds of vacation products. For instance, travel insurance has now become a mandatory product to help protect your investment in the event that you or someone you are traveling with gets the virus. Travel advisors that can give inside information on lesser traveled areas and risks associated with activities that can be done there will be in higher demand.