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2020 and 2021 industry forecasters never saw what the pandemic would do to worldwide holiday travel. From grounded planes to added safety and security measures required by law, it slammed the proverbial brakes on planned vacations.

Though many industries have suffered as a result of the pandemic, one of the hardest hit was and is the travel industry. The silver lining behind all of these travel letdowns is that the industry can properly reassess its sustainability and re-emerge in a new way. As our world attempts to get back to its new normal, we’re wondering what it means for luxury travel.

As the economy is hit hard by inflation, many people are choosing to become selective in their travel plans or simply put, travel less. Fortunately, it appears that when people do plan holidays, they’re willing to splurge on unique luxury experiences.

Maldives luxury travel
Maldives, the ultimate in luxury travel

This means that tourists will likely choose large roomy resorts with plenty of space as well as places where hygiene is of utmost importance. In most instances, this aptly describes luxury resorts.

Luxury travel expert Carmen Edelson who runs a luxury travel blog, predicts that for now, luxury travel isn’t going to diminish or suffer in any way due to the economic downturn. In fact, she believes that it’s very likely that hotels and resorts will start to offer a more customized and personalized experience.

Consumers Are Becoming More Sustainable

The pandemic has been an unprecedented global event that has allowed many consumers to reassess their personal beliefs and values. A recent survey has shown that on a global scale, consumers are willing to make the necessary changes to become more sustainable. In an effort to help the environment, of the 3,000 individuals that were interviewed for the survey, 68 percent are aiming to reduce food waste while 54 percent are choosing to shop sustainably. This means that these modern habits are likely to transfer into the travel industry as well.

A UK survey that was conducted to assess the effects of the pandemic on travel has revealed that many people are changing their outlook on the travel industry.

Travelers care about sustainability
Travelers care about sustainability

As more and more consumers care about how their holidays impact the environment, it means many are searching for eco-conscious holidays thanks to self-reflection during lockdown. This shows a trend in consumers willing to place more money on experiences that align with their personal values. Most experts predict that accommodations and destinations that align well with these modern consumer values will bounce back better and faster.

Reduced Carbon Travel

The need for reduced carbon transportation is likely to increase in the coming years due to eco-conscious travellers. As consumers are wanting more green modes of transportation, aeroplanes are becoming lower on the list of priorities.

Though trains were once viewed as obsolete, they’re gaining recognition as a greener, faster, and more spacious mode of travel than traditional planes. In fact, travelling by train reduces a consumer’s carbon footprint up to five times in comparison to one plane ride. Sleeper train plans are being revealed in Europe where 13 popular destinations will get interconnected to offer a luxurious and immersive travel experience. This means catering to a crowd willing to pay more for first-class tickets that offer fine dining options and stunning landscape views.

Comfortable modern train travel
Comfortable modern train travel

Outdoor Nature Travel

After being cooped up during lockdown, many travellers want to experience the great outdoors once again. The rising trend in people wanting to invest in nature travel is thanks to consumers wanting to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives.

Travellers want to have breathing space and social distancing even after the pandemic, which is why remote travel destinations are highly sought after. Surveys and growing trends are suggesting that in the years to come, travellers will place emphasis on nature-focused luxury experiences.

Wet Forests in Canaima Park
Wet Forests in Canaima Park. Venezuela

Virtual Live Tours

Tourism is also becoming more technology-oriented and that means offering live-streamed virtual tours that consumers can enjoy from the comforts of their own homes. Using augmented reality and immersive live streaming experiences, many companies are taking advantage of the “armchair” travellers looking to enjoy the world from a safe distance. Though online virtual travel is ideal for those without funds for travel or those with disabling conditions, it also helps enhance a future travel experience for those looking to visit a certain destination in person.

Working From Home Changes Travel Plans

Working remotely has become the new normal, but the travel industry is learning to adapt and capitalize on what people truly define as working from home. People have proven that they can work virtually anywhere in the world as long as they have a decent Internet connection, which is why the travel industry is learning to adapt.

This means professionals are likely to reconsider where in the world they work remotely, and that also means an increase in people choosing to staycation over vacation. One way the industry is seeing this change is through travellers booking long-term monthly rentals. Whether staying longer at an Airbnb accommodation or booking a chalet for months, guests want luxury.

Work from anywhere
Work from anywhere

Having the ability to enjoy both the indoors and the great outdoors is becoming more important than ever before. For the future, it’s likely that many will embrace living in the countryside versus the heart of the city.

The travel industry is going to change and evolve to accommodate eco-tourism that’s at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. From having a nicer and cleaner environment to enjoying a sustainable way to travel, the tourism industry is going to bounce back bigger and better than ever!

As consumers are starting to see the damage that’s been done to our environment, they’re working to reverse the damage by caring about how their travel plans impact our planet. From travelling to greener destinations to enjoying modes of transportation that reduce their carbon footprints, the world is taking a step in the right direction. Fortunately, the travel industry is dynamic enough to see us through this change.

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