The global pandemic turned travellers plans upside down in 2020. Looking ahead at 2021, the impact of the pandemic is changing not just our choice of destination but also the type of trips were most likely to take in the coming year. New research from Booking.com reveals the five emerging trip types for 2021 to motivate and inspire travellers to take a trip (or five) to best fit their newfound travel preference.
1. Solace in Solo
The solo travel trend is likely to gather even greater momentum, as travel was stymied by the pandemic, which will likely nudge them to take the plunge to travel on their own in 2021. Booking.com data pre-pandemic saw only 18%* of Indian travellers planning a trip on their own, while 54%** of Indian travellers now say they will be planning a solo trip in the future. With 49%** of Indian travellers saying they would want to travel more in the future to make up for travel time lost in 2020, this mentality is no doubt encouraging travellers to plan a solo trip of a lifetime, to get back out in the world!
2. Breakaway Bubbles
In 2020, most travellers have had extended time apart from friends and family. For many it appears that distance has made the heart grow fonder as 67%** of Indian travellers plan to use future travel as an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones. In fact, while being apart, 49%** of Indian travellers have revealed that talking to friends and family about travelling is one of their main inspirations to travel again.
3. Weekend Wonders
With many travellers feeling apprehensive that future travel plans could be disrupted again, there will be an increased demand for a quick trip as 59%** of Indian travellers would want to take more shorter breaks in 2021 than they did in 2019 to minimize any disappointment. A further 35%** Indians travellers also revealed their preference of a weekend break for their first trip once restrictions are lifted, showing travellers desires to be able to escape reality, even for just a few days.
The unexpected halt of travel plans for most travellers has meant that just being able to travel at all is a luxury, in fact, 63%** of Indian travellers have pledged to not take travel for granted in the future. So while research shows that travellers still have a high intention to travel again, only 14%** of Indian travellers are now actually planning a luxury getaway (such as a villa, 5-star hotel), with 47%** of Indian travellers planning a relaxing trip to get away from it all, making relaxation the real luxury of 2021.
5. Food for Thought
Travellers desire to explore the world has not diminished, but 68% of Indians would still avoid travelling abroad even as travel restrictions are lifted. That is why local travel is a new way of exploring the world, with culinary delights being top of the list. And with taste buds at the ready, 38%** of Indian travellers are keen to taste and indulge in local cuisine while travelling, with 33%** wanting to eat out more often with the money saved from not travelling abroad.
Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com said, The effect of COVID-19 has and will continue to evolve the way we travel, impacting our choices and decisions in the near future. While travel in 2021 will be different, it is reassuring to see that Indians are still optimistic about its possibilities and have found creative ways to fulfil their wanderlust despite the pandemic. The findings of the Booking.com research and emerging trip types are testament to fact that travel is a vital part of our lives and when the best, and safest, possibilities permit, travellers will confidently take a step forward to chase their travel dreams once again.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 22,000 respondents were polled, including respondents from India. Respondents completed an online survey between 9th August to 28th August 2019.
**Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who have travelled for business or leisure in the past 12 months, and must be planning to travel in the next 12 months (if/once travel restrictions are lifted). In total 20,934 respondents across 28 countries were polled, including India. Respondents completed an online survey in July 2020.