The year 2020 will be remembered by many as the year of the pandemic, lockdowns and the closure of many borders. This year radically changed the way of life that many people were used to and spawned many trends in tourism.
Today the COVID pandemic is still going on, and many restrictions for travelers are still in place. But have people given up traveling? Not at all. It’s just that the pandemic has pushed people to travel to other places, sometimes very strange places (which in other circumstances we might never have visited). We tell you how else travel has changed lately.
How has tourism changed after 2020?
With closed borders and limited travel, many people have rethought the value of travel. In response to this “retreat” there is a trend to visit what is literally “around the corner” from home. It’s a kind of “microtourism”, such as:
- Going away for a couple of days to see a farmstead, a museum;
- Trips out of town to participate in a craft or culinary master class organized by local producers;
- Simple trips to the fresh air and visiting places, which are a few hours away by car.
This concept fits well with the current ideas of moderate consumption and general environmentalism. Travellers are increasingly involved in the preservation of the ecosystems they visit. Tourists plant trees, nurse wild animals, participate in building infrastructure for local people, share their knowledge in a certain area and pass it on to the locals.
Another trend is medical tourism, which is related to health care, both preventive and restorative.
A concept called “Bleisure” is also gaining momentum. It is an English neologism formed from the words “business” and “leisure”. This trend involves combining work and vacation, where the only condition is, in fact, the availability of fast and stable Internet. This idea is especially close to those who work remotely.
What travel trends are gaining momentum right now?
After self-isolation mode, many people have an understanding of how boring it is to stay long in four walls, they have an increased need for recreation in nature. In this regard, the great popularity gained “glamping” (short for “glamorous camping”), where you can live on the one hand in the most natural environment, but on the other – in a very comfortable in comparison with the traditional tents.
In general, the tendency to live in non-standard facilities around the world is only increasing. So, just recently in England began to gain popularity concept, called “champing”. This area of tourism involves overnight stays in abandoned historic churches. The rent includes a bed, candles and lanterns and for an extra fee you can even order breakfast.
The idea was developed by The Church Conservation Trust, a British charity that donates money from tourists’ stays to maintain churches. There are already 14 church complexes as campsites.
This type of travel has become very popular with tourists today. The reasons for its popularity are also clear: slow tourism was born as an extension of the slow food movement, which opposes fast food. The idea of slow tourism is about the same: to feel the vacation time, enjoying every moment of it. To do this, it is important to abandon the race to visit all the “must-see” places, taking as a basis the motto: “look less, but better”.
All travel industry experts agree that this trend will develop in the future. Because tourists have embraced slow tourism even before the pandemic, when they began to practice the philosophy of conscious travel. It includes careful attitude to the locations, the importance of supporting the local community, the responsibility in choosing travel companions, the need for total immersion in the culture and traditions of the place.
Another travel trend after the start of the pandemic is the shift from classic package tourism to individualized author’s tours. This is confirmed by figures: this year the number of searches for “author’s tours” has increased by 20%. In many countries the concept of small group adventure travel has become a powerful alternative to the standard tour offers and is very popular with travelers.
Thanks to photo and video tours, you can go anywhere on the map right from home. Virtual travel services allow you to do it for free, and some of them mimic conversations with fellow travelers and play sounds.
For example, you can look at some of the best paintings in the world with the help of Art Project from Google. And you can watch the lives of people from around the world at Earthcam.com. And yet the experience of virtual reality is, as a rule, short and not comparable with a real two-week vacation.