A new framework for holiday
The framework of what a holiday is, and when, where it is enjoyed, have blurred.
While the pandemic limits us to domestic travelling, remote working could enable many to pursue a get-away at their own convenience.
Most of us will eventually return to the office, but agile working is here to stay.
From a short term perspective, this means:
· Travelers might not necessarily have to take time off work
· Reservations are made later than before
· Flexibility allows for longer weekend stays at ‘untraditional’ times
From a long-term perspective, the traditional framework of a holiday is likely to stay changed with the institutionalisation of agile working – driving a permanent need for products that offer more choices beyond the traditional seasons and holiday breaks.
Nomading is the new jet-setting
This year, people are reevaluating the types of trips they take and how they travel, in order to minimise risk (GWI).
Short term, the desire to social distance from strangers will drive a preference for self-catering (including transportation)and rural, coastal accommodation over crowded cities.
According to Pinterest, people are in the phase of researching for their getaways in 2021. Based on user data, the platform predicts that Pinners are planning road trips and exploring the great outdoors.
According to GWI, holiday trips in 2021 will be characterised by being short, outdoors and closer to home.
…and loyalty is more important than ever
While Gen Z is still yearning for new experiences, older consumers are craving familiarity in 2021.
According to GWI 32% of vacation planners in the U.S./U.K. say using a travel provider they already trust is important to them when booking a trip in these times of uncertainty.
Loyalty programs are reassuring their members that they still value them, because now more than ever, vacationers are ready to turn to them for support.
Age doesn’t matter...that much!
Not surprisingly, we uncovered in our study that Baby Boomers were the highest percentage of respondents to identify holidays as their most desired big-ticket item for the next 12 months.
Initially these older age groups have ‘vaccination confidence’ to plan ahead and travel before those of younger age.
Another factor that will trigger holiday spending in 2021 will be a question of value and having the financial liberty to travel in the COVID-19 climate.
This means that the travel industry will need to look beyond basic demographics and traditional holiday buckets, and offer clear value tiering, in order to capture the available demand this year.
A looming mental health crisis and a pursuit of wellbeing... beyond physical health
Our study demonstrated that consumers were patiently constrained in 2020, but with continued lockdowns imposed across Europe, a dawning frustration and restlessness are building up (GWI).
Financial uncertainty, loneliness and a perceived loss of safety, are likely to drive mental health challenges beyond2021.
Covid has strengthened the case for a life of preventative wellness and is fueling healthier lifestyle changes.
Our respondents perceived wellbeing to be an extension of physical health, primarily linking it to the idea of fitness, a healthy diet and mental health.
The travel industry must continue to embrace wellbeing as it already offers the easiest escape from normality and home pressures.