The travel industry is changing. Consumers are having to adapt to rapidly changing rules and regulations. The pandemic has caused a shift in booking habits. And we’ve all had a year to sit back, take stock and decide what we’re really looking for.
A shift in ideas, behaviours and technology would usually take years, if not decades, to take off. And yet, during the pandemic, we’ve experienced years of change in just a few months.
As the vaccine is rolled out across the country, it’s important we stay ahead of the trends. There’s a huge change brewing, as well as a pent-up appetite for travel.
We’ve seen trends such as the rise of ‘revenge travel’, where consumers expect to travel more and spend more in the next couple of years to make up for what they lost in 2020 and 2021. There’s an emphasis on the environment. And we’re expecting to see more people ready to book those once-in-a-lifetime trips.
So what’s the new normal for travel? Here are 4 trends to watch.
1. Subscription travel businesses
Travel news specialists, Skift, have labelled subscription-based travel businesses as a megatrend and something almost all of us can expect to experience by 2025. And it isn’t just for consumers. Businesses are expected to offer travel subscriptions as an employee perk too. You heard it here first!
Not only will travel subscription models give consumers and businesses the opportunity to create long term, trusted relationships. They also give customers flexibility and a way to reduce holiday costs over the year.
This trend comes off the back of the success of subscription services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify. But it also comes from a place of dissatisfaction from travellers. Travel operators have worked on a ‘first past the post’ system for too long. Often it’s the businesses who get in front of the customer first who win. Many travellers are unsure who to trust and book the best deal now to find they don’t quite get what they want later. After the uncertainty of 2020 we want security, flexibility and consumer-centric travel businesses. Insurance cover and well-managed businesses are also, unsurprisingly, top of the list.
Subscriptions for work space are also becoming popular. This works well for self-employed, remote workers, who often have uneven costs and income over the year. They need somewhere to work or entertain, so we’ve seen the rise of businesses like Selina, Oasis, and WeWork, who allow customers to pay monthly and visit different workspaces throughout the month.
2. Sustainability for the new normal in travel
Many of us thought we couldn’t live without holidays. And although we’ve clearly missed them, sustainability is also top of consumers’ minds when it comes to the new normal in travel.
That means carbon offsetting flights and other travel, finding ways to maximise the value from flights we do take, and making sure the brands travellers choose also care about the environment.
Sustainability is also about creating sustainable resorts that customers can keep returning to. This means investing in local communities, paying local hoteliers and suppliers directly, and visiting off-the-beaten-track attractions so as not to swarm particular areas. In return, travellers expect to see local insights and have an authentic travel experience, away from the crowds many of us are now averse to after a year in isolation.
3. Dream travel planning
A year in isolation has given us plenty of time to plan our next holiday. It’s also left many households much better off and focused on spending their hard saved money on experiences. Enter dream travel planning.
After the pandemic, we can expect to see more bucket list travel, like safaris, five star beach resorts and intrepid, off-the-beaten-path experiences.
4. Key new normal travel trend: cutting out the middleman
Uber and Amazon both famously cut out the middleman to bring customers better service at cheaper rates. And that’s what we can expect to see in travel.
Travel trends for 2021 and 2022 predict this taking over the industry. We can expect to see travel brands who hike up prices without adding a service on top flailing in the travel comeback space.
After the pandemic, there’s predicted to be a huge growth in demand for travel. Customers are bored of the way things have always been, and they’re ready to take on new trends for a better travel experience.
We have a huge opportunity to bring travel back bigger and better.
Enter Ultimate Travel Company
We’re a travel club. We put the customer first. And we help you save time and money on every single trip.
How does it work?
You pay a small monthly subscription fee to join our club of like-minded travellers. In exchange, we give you access to commission-free rates on flights, hotels, transfers, airport parking, cruises, airport lounges and so much more.
Are there other benefits?
We’re glad you asked. Lifestyle members can also enjoy UK based discounts. That’s cinema tickets, restaurants, days out, golf courses and West End shows.
We’re working with our partner Ecologi to plant trees for every membership, and support green community projects around the world. Plus you get to join our amazing community, ask questions from people who’ve been there and work with a company who put customers first in everything we do.
Sounds amazing! How do I join?
We’re glad you like it. Join UTC’s 500 club and become one of our exclusive Founder members.
Help us bring back travel. Better. Together.