Explore head of global sales Ben Ittensohn shares his predictions for next year
- Small groups and more remote travel will be much more attractive post-coronavirus. I believe that adventure travel will be among the first sectors of the travel industry to recover due to the fact that the travellers are more adventurous in general and this type of travel is usually about immersion in nature and the outdoors, staying active and healthy and visiting remote communities. Naturally I think there will be bias towards countries less-impacted by Covid-19. We’re relatively optimistic.
Customers still have that longing for travel – it’s heartening that we’re already hearing from customers telling us that they can’t wait to resume their trips with us in 2021. It’s so unfortunate that customers have had to postpone their trips this year, but it’s wonderful to see they’re still planning to make those trips, even if they may have to be taken next year.
What trends do you expect to see in travel for 2021? Will 2020’s travel trends continue to dominate?
- Sustainable travel will continue to be at the forefront in 2021, as it has in 2020, and this is something that is still at the heart of what we do at Explore. In 2020 we launched our carbon offsetting programme, working to make our trips carbon neutral, and throughout 2020 and beyond we’ll be continuing to expand our sustainability initiatives. Despite everything that’s going on, sustainability is still a key issue for our customers.
- In terms of destination trends, we think that the trends we’ve been seeing already this year will continue to be relevant for next year – many people whose plans have been postponed will still be looking to make those trips next year. Many customers will have their heart set on a specific destination or trip, and as soon as they can, they’ll be looking to start planning once more. We expect that the trend for destinations that lend themselves to great walking and cycling holidays in particular such as Greece, Croatia and Portugal and less-visited parts of Europe such as Albania to continue in 2021. We’ve had a great response from our customers so far, and it’s great to see that they’re still excited to explore the world with us.
- Cycling and walking holidays will be in greater demand. So many people have really discovered their passion for these pursuits during lockdown, finding new routes and building their fitness. Once the world opens up again, we anticipate lots of travellers looking for new, more exotic places to explore on foot and by bike.
Which destinations will be most popular in 2021?
- We think that travellers will continue travel to some of our most popular destinations, such as Jordan, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Botswana. These are destinations which have been very popular over the last few years, and customers who haven’t been able to travel there in 2020 will want to rebook these trips. Emerging destinations such as Lebanon, which saw a huge spike in popularity in 2019 and early 2020, will continue to be popular, as well as the Silk Road and Eastern Europe.
What does Explore have in store for 2021?
- We’re excited to take our sustainability strategy to the next level – this is a key focus for Explore for 2021. It’s something that runs through each aspect of the way we operate.
- We’re also designing some exciting new trips for 2021, so we look forward to being able to share some details about these over the coming months. Most of our existing trips have already gone on sale for 2021.
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