Slow travel could be the next big tourism trend
With tourists opting for longer stays due to the fact that many can work remotely, and with sustainability more heavily involved in travel decisions, it’s clear that slow travel could be a global phenomenon in the coming years, according to GlobalData, a UK based company. analysis company.
Slow travel mainly refers to the speed at which a trip is made, when travelers take a train across Europe instead of taking a plane, for example. However, it also has a broader meaning with tourists staying longer in destinations, emphasizing a connection to the locals, culture, food and music. This means that slow travel is also more sustainable for local communities and the environment.
Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, commented: âVarious consumer trends are already suggesting that slow travel could take off after the pandemic. A trip of more than ten nights is more strongly desired (22%) than a day visit (10%) or a short break of one to three nights (14%), according to a live poll from GlobalData. The additional hassles and costs of additional travel related to Covid-19, such as PCR testing and potential quarantine periods, mean that short trips lose value, justifying a longer trip. ”
Larger remote workforce could see more ‘digital nomads‘
There is also a larger remote workforce around the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 70% of people polled globally in another GlobalData survey chose to work remotely full time or have a mix of remote work and office. Many offices are likely to be more flexible when it comes to working hours and employee locations due to the pandemic, which means it will be easier for employees to combine work and play.
Sustainability is also at the forefront of consumer decisions. “ Supporting social causes ” was identified as a key driver in product purchases for 25% of global respondents in the survey conducted by GlobalData of consumers in the first quarter of 2021 and for 45% it was “ nice to have ”. Product preference may reflect service trends and this indicates that consumers may feel more inclined to support local communities after the pandemic, which is a gap that “slow travel” can fill.
Slow travel is sure to make its mark
Bonhill-Smith added, âCompetition is already mounting between niche intermediaries and major travel intermediaries, suggesting that slow travel is sure to make its mark in post-pandemic travel. Travel intermediaries offering slow travel vacations range from niche operators such as Intrepid Travel and Responsible Travel to more traditional providers such as Airbnb and Expedia Group.
âThis niche trend reflects the growing desire of consumers for more experiential forms of travel, going beyond the hordes of tourists gathered for the sun, the sea and the sand. Its potential growth could still compete with the concept of mass tourism and the concept of all-inclusive package holidays in the resumption of travel after Covid-19. “