Airbnb latest travel survey: What will travel be like in 2021? Look no further as Airbnb has revealed new trends for the year 2021! Given how COVID-19 has tossed out most travel plans for people in 2020, Airbnb indicates in its travel trends for 2021 that the focus for the upcoming year is centred more about working and living safely away from home and it is less about tourism itself.
In an earlier detailed interview with The Financial Express Online, Aditya Agarwal, Head of Corporate Strategy, Cleartrip had indicated as follows, “The share of round trips will increase as confidence levels begin to improve. During travel, safety is now looked upon as a more important criteria than pricing. Customers do not mind paying a premium for their safety.”
He had also highlighted that leisure travel is set to bounce back in the coming festive months leading up to Christmas and New Year. Further, the pent up demand will convert into actual hotel books once there is increased confidence to go ahead with travel.
Airbnb shares top 3 travel trends for 2021
The COVID-19 impact is expected to gradually lessen though safety protocols continue to be a key criteria for the travel and hospitality sectors. The following trends shared by Airbnb on its platform are based on a commissioned survey of US travellers and the analysis is based on the booking data for next year.
Here are the three top travel trends that Airbnb expects to take shape in 2021:
Remote working from anywhere
According to Airbnb, remote working from anywhere, and in some cases remote schooling, will continue to blur the lines between working and traveling. The survey shows up that 83 per cent of those surveyed favour relocating as a part of remote working while 25 per cent feel that they can live wherever they want to be and work remotely as well.
According to Airbnb, travellers are already making choices with regard to this trend by testing new neighbourhoods and cities on the Airbnb platform before taking a final call on the same.
People are also actively opting for longer stays when they make bookings on Airbnb with preference for natural environments that have more open spaces.
Domestic travel with preference for staycations
For travellers, domestic travel will be key as safety and cleanliness will continue to be top priorities due to COVID-19. As per Airbnb’s latest travel trends for the upcoming year, 62 per cent of people surveyed expressed interest in taking a vacation that is closer to home whereas in 2019, US guests had plans for cities such as Paris, London and Rome.
Now the preference is for nearby places with private spaces than packed hotels. Top trends among US travellers include places that are offbeat and in sync with the natural environment such as tree houses, cottages, barns and cabins, among others.
Clearly, Airbnb expects an uptick in domestic travel over international flights.
READ: Nearly 50 per cent hotel bookings are for five star hotels: Aditya Agarwal, Cleartrip
This trend may pose no big surprise for Indian travellers who are already being cautious about their travel options.
In an earlier interview with The Financial Express Online, Shrinidhi Hande, travel blogger and author, had shared his view that domestic travel, particularly road trips, are set to witness an uptick.
According to Hande, international travel may now take years to return to a state of normalcy. Several factors such as medical tests, visa and quarantine rules pose grave concerns for travellers who want to fly abroad.
He had further stated to The Financial Express Online that domestic travel will emerge as the new focus, with road trips taking precedence over trains and flights.
Pod travel is here to stay!
Among the top travel trends for 2021, Airbnb forecasts the ‘rise of pod travel’ where people choose to safely travel together as a family, a close knit group of friends and thereby reduce risk of socialising with others while travelling. This was already a trend globally with younger travellers but in 2021, this is expected to be a top trend.
The Airbnb survey shows that more than half of the trips that are being searched for 2021 include three or more travellers, thereby an indication of pod travel set to soar in 2021.