2021 points the tip of its nose and already all the lovers of long journeys and the fans of unusual escapades are asking themselves a question? How can one imagine travelling again after these uncertain months under the seal of the Covid-19? Whilst at least a good part of 2021 will still be impacted by the pandemic, the world of tourism will obviously still be disrupted. So what will tourism look like this year? What will be the new reflexes to adopt before booking a stay or boarding a plane? Le Petit Futé looked at the new trends in tourism. For this year... and certainly the next
Long live last-minute plans!
Border closures and openings, confinement, deconfinement, the famous "stop and go", obviously the time is not right to plan a faraway trip six months in advance. Peaks of contamination, changing rules in each country, it's better to be careful and make last-minute bookings. In 2021, it will therefore be necessary to be reactive and ready to pack in a few days! And, if a few months ago, last minute rhymed with good planning, this could change in the years to come. Between airlines struggling after a significant drop in air traffic and hotels faced with unprecedented maintenance expenses between each traveller, it is not certain that the price trend will be downward.
In France or abroad, finding your destination
In 2021, France will have the wind in its sails more than ever before. While the summer of 2020 has reached unprecedented scores, with nearly 95% of trips scheduled in France, the trend for short trips will remain strong, between the legitimate fear of booking a faraway (and uncertain) stay and the desire to give a boost to local addresses
But we can also bet that the desire to escape thousands of miles away should titillate some people. As soon as the second deconfinement was announced, faraway bookings multiplied before the end-of-year holidays. The Maldives, Dubai, the Dominican Republic and Mexico received their share of French travellers. Obviously, one will have to carefully follow the various restrictions (quarantine, negative PCR test required, etc.) to choose one's destination.
And, before making any reservations, the "travel advice" page on the diplomtie.gouv website is more than ever a must.
Submitting to the new formalities
If having a passport with six months validity at the time of the return ticket or a valid visa on landing will remain the obligatory passage for all travellers, other formalities will be added to the departure checklist. First of all, the famous negative PCR test (carried out from 48 to 72 hours before the flight) often required, even quarantine for the most courageous, "Covid insurance" which is sometimes compulsory, the application of tracing during the stay or soon a possible proof of vaccination will all be new obligatory passages for globetrotters eager to discover the sights
Flexibility and insurance, the new reflex of travellers
For all those who were confined during the last Easter holidays, when they had booked a road trip to Malaysia or a getaway in London, it now makes sense: insurance above all! While all insurance will now be considered more at the time of booking, a "Covid insurance", offered by most policies, may even be required for some stays. In short, insurance, a new reflex!
And, even before insurance, we will be moving towards flexible bookings. A hotel night that is refundable up to the day before (beware of the conditions!), a (at least) exchangeable flight or a cancellable excursion will certainly be the new conditions for tourists when planning a trip
Major airlines and travel agencies at the center of the game
And, to ensure that they benefit from these conditions, the major airlines and traditional travel agencies should do well. Indeed, it is these institutions that have, in general, ensured the best follow-up of their customers during the first confinement. The quickest flight refunds were made by the major national airlines, while the low-cost airlines often stuck their tongues out. And the customers of travel agents, present at all stages of the planned journey, were certainly pleased with their choice with the fastest refunds.
The growing importance of technology
As society evolves, technology will become more and more important in the daily lives of travellers. While many destinations will increasingly ask their visitors to download a tracking application to prevent any risk of contamination, ask for an application to present the results of their PCR tests, contactless payments and check-in at the airport or online reservations to organize excursions to avoid human interaction will also become widespread
The trend of ethical destinations and the call of nature
The global pandemic we are all facing will inexorably change attitudes. If the trends of ecotourism, those famous nature-friendly trips, and solidarity tourism that makes local populations work, were already getting stronger and stronger, this should become even more pronounced in the coming years.
More prosaically, the call of nature should be felt above all. How, at a time of the pandemic and repeated clusters, can we not give priority to hiking in the Andes rather than parties on crowded beaches in Ibiza? Sunbathing on deserted Asian beaches rather than around a popular Marrakech swimming pool? For sure, distancing yourself and returning to nature will be part of the road book for future holidaymakers!
And even on the airline companies' side, communication should focus in the coming months on reducing their ecological impact
The advent of the nomadic worker?
The major trend of the year 2020 was undoubtedly the recourse, often compulsory, to teleworking. A new way of looking at one's job that could well become a reality over time. More ecological, offering more time to workers who save on travel time, the advantages are numerous. And could mark the beginning of the era of "nomadic workers". While many jobs are obviously not affected, many will be tempted by this new way of living and working. This year, after the famous "exodus" of Parisians to the provinces during the first confinement, many have also gone into exile much further afield since the summer. The Canary Islands or Dubai, which has introduced a visa for "digital nomads" (such as Croatia, Portugal, Georgia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Barbados, Bermuda ...) for example, have seen many French people putting down their suitcases and ... computers in their holiday rentals. The beginning of a new era?