Travel Made Its Come Back Post Pandemic
Last year was all about “revenge travel” as the world opened back up for travel and tourism. Everyone you knew was either headed to the Caribbean or over to Europe for a quick vacation or two… or three. Spur-of-the-moment trips and last-minute bookings was the name of the game. Cancellation policies for the most part still in flex mode. The TSA ended the year having reported record numbers for the most passengers traveling again since the start of the pandemic. All good news for the travel world.
Destinations worldwide saw travelers make a return to vacationing. Travelers were excited to experience everything a destination has to offer and eager to make up for lost travel time, with over-the-top vacations and often taking trips to reunite with family and friends. This is what travelers wanted and the hospitality and tourism industries delivered, despite their challenges. Travel came back with a vengeance.
The Era of “No” to Normal Travel
So, after a year of revenge travel, it’s more than okay to be a little selfish with this year’s travel plans. Travelers are ditching the usual standard experiences and saying “no” to normal travel experiences. Whether it’s an educational itinerary, a transformative wellness retreat, healing holidays, or an immersive culinary escape, “this year is all about travelers doing what they want to do, not what everyone else is doing” said best by travel expert Expedia.
Changing the Way We Experience Travel
While our love for travel will never wane, the way we choose to experience travel has changed. This is a natural step forward given the travel landscape has drastically been re-designed over the past few years, and in part accelerated due to the pandemic.
Take note, today’s traveler is looking for immersive experiences no matter the destination. Every interaction and experience across the travel and hospitality ethos needs to be an experiential one. Gone are the day of, here is a great restaurant serving local dishes, try that. Or head over to the hotel spa for a fantastic massage. That is simply not going to cut anymore for a traveler in this era of saying “no” to normal. While a quick generic destination tour or activity will appeal to the masses, true travelers (aka high-yielding consumers) will demand more from their destination experiences. Today’s traveler wants to be influenced and experiences new ways.
Exploring the Unassuming
Think, immersive culinary food tours, sustainable eats, and in some countries even cannabis-infused cuisine. Travelers today seek hands-on experiences, learning or growing in skills they would otherwise not have encountered had it not been for their travel, and of course destination of choice. Today’s traveler demands a multi-sensory dinner experience. Touring the farm with the chef, who in the process will educate travelers on how to make the dish they are about to eat, but also teach them how to grow the produce back home should they wish. Not exaggerated. These are the experiences travelers crave and will pay extra for.