New Normal Travel Trends: 7 Things to Look Out For in 2021

We’re halfway through the first month of the year and you must be curious to know what the New Normal travel trends are for 2021.

With a decline in COVID-19 cases and eased restrictions, one can’t help but daydream about their next adventure away from home. It has been, after all, an overwhelming year, and we deserve a break, don’t we? Let’s have a look at 7 trends that we will be seeing in 2021.

1) Flexibility for Last-Minute Changes

In the last year, the rate of rescheduling flights and accommodations has gone up. This is a trend that we will be seeing more of in 2021. Because of the uncertainties of COVID-19, flights are likely to be canceled, delayed, or rescheduled at the last minute. Regulations in every airport/seaport also change from time to time depending on their local government orders. To accommodate these perpetual changes, airline companies and hotels are being flexible with their booking terms and conditions.

2) Health Passes or Passports

The good news is that pharmaceutical companies have released approved vaccines that are now available to the public. The bad news is that procurement has proved to be slow as mass production is not able to accommodate the entire world population within the first quarter of 2021. This means that we won’t be COVID-free anytime soon.

Travel analysts predict that we will soon be required to bring health passes or passports when traveling, confirming our vaccination, although not everyone will have the opportunity to get vaccinated in the first half of 2021. Temporarily, we will continue doing rapid tests to ensure the spread of the virus is controlled. So for the New Normal, travel will surely require us to bring necessary health documents.

3) Continued Notable Hygiene Measures

Social distancing will continue to be implemented in most if not all places around the globe. Digital is the way to go, with all these “touchless” transactions. Establishments have shifted to cashless payments, and hotels have given the option of mobile check-in and check-out. Masks are also still a staple with private establishments implementing No Mask, No Entry schemes to protect their businesses. Now, you don’t just see disposable masks. The fashion industry has also taken advantage of the demand by coming up with designs that are both effective and stylish.

4) Revenge Travel

After being locked down for over a year, households have saved up on the trips they missed to take this year. Some countries already allow non-essential travel and avid travelers have pounced on the opportunity to get away. We will be seeing more of this in 2021, especially that the vaccine is continuously being distributed globally.

5) Local Experiences

The pandemic has unfortunately sent the economy into a downward spiral. But with eased restrictions and fewer COVID-19 cases, leaders are imploring their people to support local businesses to help give the economy a boost. There will be redirection from international to domestic travel. National parks are seeing an increase in their volume of visitors. Local hotels are offering staycations. Tourism is now more experience-driven. More wellness programs are also in place for the health-conscious.

6) Increased Sanitation for Accommodation

Safety is paramount and is the first thing travelers consider when booking accommodation. Hotels, BnB’s, homestays, and hostels, are expected to be on top of their safety and sanitation measures. They are to disclose their efforts in mitigating the spread of the virus. Reduced capacity is also a plus since travelers feel more comfortable with fewer people around. Guests may also opt to book longer stays as some will be required to self-quarantine at accredited hotels when coming from another city, that is. Some simply need time away from home. Some are adapting to a flexible work-from-home (WFH) arrangement and are eager for a change of scenery.

7) Fewer business trips, more leisure travels.

The same observation from 2020 still holds true this year that most travels will be for leisure. There will hardly be business trips due to companies cutting down on cost. But individual travelers are not holding back. With many enticing and often cheaper offers in the tourism sector, vacationers are grabbing deals left and right to make up for time lost from home quarantine.

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About Asia Travel Club

Asia Travel Club (ATC) is a social media agency focusing on China digital marketing, influencer, and social messaging marketing. ATC is the Official Sales Partner of Tencent(WeChat), Weibo, and Bytedance (TikTok, DouYin & TouTiao) with 100+ verified and managed WeChat and Weibo Official Accounts since 2016.

ATC social connects brands with over 3,000+ influencers across China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The platform sits within Facebook Messenger, WeChat, LINE, and Kakao in 7 languages. It connects our travel partners with Chinese consumers through direct booking via ATC WeChat Booking Engine.

Asia Travel Club (ATC) is a member of Digital 38 Group.

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