Webinar: The Future of Travel
Where, When – and why?
Trends Briefing: 23rd July | 9am-10am | Register here
“They don’t want to get on airplanes, they don’t want to travel for business, they don’t want to go to cities, they don’t want to cross borders. What they are willing to do is get in a car, drive a couple hundred miles to a small community where they are willing to stay in a house. Because of that, something remarkable happened, which was the end of May, early June, we have the same volume of bookings as a year before, without any marketing.
I think that’s showing that people are yearning for something.”
Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky, June 2020
In the quote above, Brian Chesky identifies a powerful feature of the contemporary consumer psyche; a yearning for travel and for new experiences.
There is nothing consumers enjoy more than leisure time and within that holidays and travel are at the top of the tree. The pandemic has prevented consumers in the UK and around the world from travelling and presented the tourism industry with its biggest challenge since at least the global downturn of 2008-2009.
That crisis led to some long-term changes in how people travelled. More short breaks, a sustained staycation legacy for the UK and the rise of sharing economy platforms (like Airbnb). This crisis will be no different: the post-pandemic landscape for travel and tourism will be different from the pre-Covid world.
Some long-term challenges will remain: the tourism industry faced huge pressure to raise its sustainability game, both in terms of the environmental impact of travel and localised problems of overtourism. Joining these forces will be new, pandemic-inspired trends, including crowd anxiety and spending pressures.
The post pandemic world is also likely to make some types of trip more viable and some motivations for travel more dominant. The reasons why we travel are as likely to change as the places we go.