Travel trends for the future

Welcome to 2021! New year, new beginnings. With 2020 in review, a year consumed by a devastating pandemic, we are so longing to socialize with each other again, and to see new horizons.

Although, no one had ever wished for a pandemic, what it has brought is a clarity about what is really important in life. A new mindset that for ever has shaped the way we live our lives and how we travel. From long-distance to local, with a consciousness about our planet and nature, we are more than ever longing to discover our own backyard.

Travelling will be treasured

Looking ahead, and recharged with new energy, what will travelling be like post corona?  We caught up with Maria Sirviö, Business Intelligence Manager at Swedish Lapland Visitor Board, that predicts that yesterday’s cosmopolitical travel ideal will be outnumbered by others.

– Travelling will probably be a little bit more complicated than we’re used to, but more appreciated. And not taken for granted. It’s yet unclear what kind of security measures will be put in action to track contagious deceases in airports, et cetera. Will people need some kind of health certificate? Will all countries open their borders – and when? Perhaps the tech boom and the roll-out 5G will make way for simpler methods to clear through customs and security points. Who knows. But if and when we feel safe to travel abroad again, it will not be something we will take for granted from now on. Hence, more appreciated.

What are the top five travel trends for the future?

– There are travel trends that will die due to the pandemic and there are trends that have been reinforced, and gotten more viable. First of all, our longing for nature has grown exponentially during the pandemic. We are searching for ways to experience, engage and learn from nature. Let it expand our minds and ease everyday stress. To teach our children to look after Mother Nature, which goes hand in hand with two other trends: Sustainable travel and the need to spend time with family and friends, preferably multi-generational. And keeping it green, taking a step away from today’s consumerism growing so consumer trends and travel options have to match those needs. Also, our population is growing older – and healthier. Travelling with your grandkids gives a new outlook on life. Being kept apart for so long, we are longing to spend time with our loved ones. So, niched travel is an upcoming trend, weather you’re looking for ”fat biking on mountain lakes” or ”explore ancient travel routes of the Sámi in Padjelanta with you grandkids”. Mostly thanks to the internet connecting people with specific interests and companies that are getting better and better at analyzing customer data.

Where will we go?

– To where we don’t have to queue, or get elbowed in crowded places. Sure, people will still want to stand in line to see the Mona Lisa portrait, especially the growing middle-class in Asia. But more conscious travellers will want to go where they can choose when and with who they socialize during the trip. Small-scale or very niched accommodation, with a possibility to meet the locals, or at least live and eat like the locals. I believe that places like Iceland, The Faroe Islands and Northern Europe will keep growing in demand, as well as Canada and Alaska. But also, destinations where we will be able to contribute to the local societies. Like Mongolia or Rwanda where we can support local businesses, help build schools or support the rescue of endangered wildlife. But responsible travel is expected everywhere. Companies are expected to take responsibility for the use of their surroundings and offer sustainable options.

We’re all used to working remotely and having digital meetings now. What are some ways to travel without having to travel physically?

– Even before the pandemic, when we were forced to travel within our four walls, all kinds of mindful and meditation apps topped pretty much any app chart and will probably continue to do so. Travelling within yourself, enrichen and strengthen your presence in the now has reached the masses, which will most likely translate to us meditating on beaches and hugging trees when we’re able to travel again. For some at least. Another thing is VR and AR. Today, a couple of VR glasses doesn’t cost a fortune and can be applied to many aspects of life: travel, training, relaxation, socializing, et cetera. Some even predict it will replace certain aspects of travel, such as research or specific experiences like seeing the Mona Lisa.