COVID-19 put a stop to the travel plans of people and in turn putting a pause on the thriving travel industry.
Once the new normal sets in, it will not be business as usual for large and small travel businesses, which will need to redefine, refocus, and change their game plan going forward. And it’s clear that the way ahead will digital.
With countries ready to open up and people keen to travel once more, travel businesses will need to place protocols for safety and hygiene, and offering holidays and vacations that reduce any risk to a minimum. Here are few things you should keep in mind while marketing your travel business in 2021 and beyond.
1. Spotlight on health and hygiene
With traveller preferences and behaviours shifting towards the familiar, predictable, and trusted, it is important that all offerings by travel SMEs ensure the utmost hygiene and sanitation.
Tourists are looking for transparent and timely measures that will guarantee as safe a trip as possible, and it is essential for hotels, motels, restaurants, and travel operators to implement enhanced health, cleanliness, and safety measures.
2. Focus on local tourism and hospitality
Most countries across the world are trying to now balance public safety and economic recovery. The first step towards this is by encouraging domestic tourism so that travel happens alongside growth for local businesses.
What could Incredible India do better? Fringed by the Great Himalayas in the north, the country tapers off into the Indian Ocean in the south. India is extremely rich in culture, history, faiths, crafts, arts, crafts, music, and more.
The diversity of nature – changing landscapes, varied flora and fauna, and shifting seasons – means that no region is the same. A vivid combination of the old and the new, India has something for everyone – mountains, beaches, deserts, plains, tea gardens, and more – and it’s vital for small travel businesses to promote these.
3. Shift to experiential tourism
Also known as immersion travel, experiential travel is a form of tourism in which people focus on “experiencing a country, city, or place by actively and meaningfully engaging with its history, people, culture, food, and environment”.
The types of experiential travellers may vary, but their goals are the same: immersing themselves in travel to discover, and gain insights or inspiration.
As we continue to deal with the aftereffects of the pandemic, a range of experiential tourism options will become popular. These include:
- Health & wellness Everyone has realised the wisdom of the age-old saying: “Health is wealth.” As people continue to put health and wellness first, many are expected to combine this will holidays. Wellness, restoration, healing, will be the aim, and people will look for yoga retreats, spa treatments, Ayurvedic sanctuaries, and other pro-health vacations.
- Heritage & culture Since domestic and nearby locations are likely to see a surge in popularity, people will explore the destinations and places they visit much more deeply. Instead of just a flying trip, they will focus on the heritage and cultural experiences via museums, places of historical importance, local restaurants, heritage tours, and much more.
- Outdoors & adventure Social distancing and isolation will remain the mainstay of our lives in 2021, which means that holidays that offer these will be in high demand. What could be better than vacations that are outdoors and adventure-based. Safe and relaxing destinations amid nature will attract travellers for all things adventurous: camping, hiking, trekking, walking, cycling, water sports, and more.
4. Meet-ups with family and friends
Festivals and celebrations had to go online in 2020 as people stayed away from their family and friends to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Now that vaccination schedules are being drawn up, chances are that 2021 will be the year of revisiting relationships.
Having stayed away from each other in a crucial and tough year, people will be game for more reunions this year – families, friends, cousins, relatives, and more will either choose to visit in other in their cities or meet at a new destination so as to spend time with each other.
5. Rise of in-city, nearby, and driving getaways
Time was when vacations meant taking the train or plane to go off to a destination that was hundreds of kilometres away from your city. But with the COVID-10 threat still in the air, choosing someplace nearby seems to be a much safer option.
It gives travellers more control and the chance to enjoy a break without wasting too much time on the journey – which may be risky at this point in time. This brings to mind more “doable” trips – staycations in good hotels, small and boutique, in the city or on the outskirts, along with driving holidays to motorable destinations.
The idea is to get out and spend time in a new environment – and both these options allow that.
6. Popularity of ‘workations’
With a number of companies directing employees to work from home till the middle of the year (if not more), people are getting used to working from almost anywhere.
Instead of heading for a café or coffee shop, professionals will now choose to take a break when they want – they don’t need to wait for a long weekend.
They can head to a resort or hotel in a city (or even outside) of their choosing, work amid beautiful surroundings and enjoy room service during lunch break. By evening, they can explore the area – combining work and leisure through the week instead of waiting for the weekend.
Tourism in the post-COVID world will be small. So small hotels with limited rooms and private transportation may score over large five-stars and cruises. The present may seem challenging, but the future seems bright in 2021.
But to get ahold of that bright future, small travel businesses need to go online with a website that offers information, lets customers book and pay online. This is where Boost360 comes in.