Updated: Jan 12
Well, it’s 2021!
The predictions we all made this time last year seem tragically laughable, don’t they?
2020 was shaping up to be the best year on record for travel. We were concerned about “overtourism”; too many people traveling, unsustainable momentum, environmental concerns.
As we all know, that came to a swift halt on about March 13, 2020.
The pandemic underscored just how massively important the travel industry is for economies around the world. Millions of people depend on travel and tourism for their livelihood.
At the same time, millions of travelers around the world have just come to realize exactly how important travel is in their lives. In 2020, we all deeply missed creating cherished memories through travel.
So what’s next for travel?
While I can’t speak for the entire industry, after 20 years working in travel I do have some thoughts on what to expect in the year ahead.
Here are 3 big changes I predict we’ll see in this New Year and how this will impact you as you plan travel in 2021 and beyond.
2021 Is Going To Be Big for Travel
For months the media has been talking about 2021 as the “year of make up vacations.” And this is exactly what we're seeing right now.
If traveling was previously considered a luxury, it’s now likely to become a necessity post-pandemic as travelers look to travel as a way to reinvigorate a fresh and positive outlook on life.
Destinations like Italy, Peru and safari camps in Africa are already looking quite booked up for 2021 thanks to travelers rebooking postponed 2020 trips.
What this means for you: If you are thinking of traveling in 2021, book now! Most airlines and hotels have very flexible change and cancellation terms so booking now comes with very little risk and ensures you will be able to find space at the most in demand destinations.
And it's definitely not too early to plan for 2022.
If you have a flexible schedule, consider traveling in traditionally off-peak times. By now we know that working remotely has irreversibly entered the mainstream during the pandemic. Travelers are more effectively combining work and pleasure than ever before. If you can make this work for your family - go for it!
Travelers Turn to Travel Advisors When the Stakes Are High
The pandemic exposed some serious flaws in the business of travel. This could be (and probably will be!) the topic of a book or two in the coming years.
But in our small corner of the global travel industry, here are some changes I see coming for the Travel Advisor community.
The trend towards specialization will most certainly continue. For example, at Videre Travel we specialize in complex family and group itineraries. For these big, bucket list trips, the stakes are high and our clients don’t want to mess up. Now more than ever it is important to our clients to have a trusted travel professional to turn to for support before, during and after travel.
At the same time, our clients are also booking VRBOs, flights and city hotel stays online on their own - and that’s perfectly fine! It’s no longer financially sustainable for high touch, bespoke Travel Advisors to be booking lower dollar value and "transactional" items such as this. Either the commission compensation is not enough, or the fees charged to the client outweigh the convenience value.
What this means for you: Your time and money are valuable. Now more than ever it’s important to hire a specialist Travel Advisor to plan and book your high stakes travel.
Relationships and Collaboration Are Everything
If we learned anything in 2020, it’s that relationships and connection are everything. At Videre Travel we pride ourselves on our global relationships and expansive network. Every single day we tap into our curated network of like minded travel professionals. It’s this network that allows us to be on the absolute forefront of trends, experiences, and opportunities for our clients.
In 2021, we expect the importance of community and relationships to multiply, and with this some really fun and creative collaborations to emerge. Watch this space!
What this means for you: Consider your Travel Advisor an arrow in your professional quiver and use their network to your advantage!