“REVENGE TRAVEL” WILL BE ALL THE RAGE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS
Experts predict the future of tourism amid hope for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the vaccine rollout picking up pace, people are starting to feel more cautiously optimistic about the prospect of traveling again.
Those in the travel industry are hoping for a surge in bookings in the coming months and years. A sense of wanderlust has been building, after all ― it is only natural that we’ll want to explore new places after so much time at home. Many are calling this phenomenon “revenge travel.”
But what exactly does “revenge travel” mean and how might it manifest?
What is ‘revenge travel’?
“While the term may sound silly, ‘revenge travel’ refers to the idea that there will be a huge increase in travel as it becomes safer and things open back up,” said Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer travel journal and planning guide. “Many people around the world had their vacations altered or outright cancelled last year, so they are all looking to satisfy their travel itch at the same time. The term is also retribution against COVID-19 and how it is losing its power to control our lives, including cancelling travel plans.”
If vaccination rates continue to increase and case counts decline, many travel experts predict people will book more trips than they did before the coronavirus era to make up for lost time and to reconnect with friends and family.
“After being confined for a year, ‘revenge travel’ is essentially a slingshot back into the world. It’s a visceral response to pent-up travel demand,” said Mike Kennedy, co-founder of the travel marketplace KOALA.
Travellers will make up for the lost time and experiences with a vengeance.”
Experts are expecting a boom
After all the trauma, frustrations and sacrifices made by so many people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the sudden surge in vaccinations across the country is trailblazing a sense of urgency, and impatience, to travel once again.
He noted that there is already a boom in travel bookings, as people are eager to spend the miles, points and vouchers that have accumulated and gone unused over the past year.
“We’re already seeing a surge in ‘revenge travel,’ as the vaccine becomes more widely distributed and as people become more comfortable with traveling,” said Carolyne Doyon, president and CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean.
People will want relaxation and time outdoors
“We’re seeing the biggest excitement for post-pandemic revenge travel initially to the sun and sand destinations,” Waliszewski said. “Everyone has had a hard year, so while they’re craving new cultures and adventures, they want to give themselves a much-needed break first.
Time on the beach is consistent with another travel trend prediction: continued interest in outdoor adventures due to their safety.
“People are most excited to revenge travel to places where they can spend a lot of time outdoors without a mask,” Jones said. “This includes beaches, places with a lot of hiking such as national and state parks, and camping destinations. COVID-19 is thought to spread far less outside compared to indoors, so a beach vacation or camping trip still allows for adequate social distancing. While it is thought that the COVID-19 vaccines also prevent infection and spreading to others, some people still like the added security that the outdoors provide.”
They will play it safe with their initial destinations
Focus will still be on driving destinations like to beaches, mountains and game parks locally for some time to come.
People will visit friends and relatives will drive traffic to all destinations as families and loved ones reconnect.
Travelers may feel more inclined to splurge
After more than a year of restrictions, many “vengeful” travellers may feel more inclined to splurge and treat themselves when leisure travel becomes an option again.
“With so much pent-up demand around, all indications are that people are prepared to spend more on their travel experiences than would have been the case pre-COVID. Hence, upgrades will be the norm with travellers determined to compensate for ‘lost time’ over the past year,” said Fyall.
As vaccination rates vary across different countries, he believes trips across the U.S. will take precedence over international travel, but that travellers still will opt for premium domestic experiences like longer vacations and with upgraded airfare.
People are ready to treat themselves and their loved ones to special travel trips this year.
There’s hope for international travel
We are already seeing some far-flung, bucket-list hotspots creep up our top searched destinations.
While travel has changed, the desire to discover will endure. Time spent under severe travel restrictions appears to have increased the value of travel in people’s minds, with a greater appreciation of the ability to get away and to do that Bucket List trip.
But there are more immediate priorities
While it’s fun to fantasize about traveling the world again or for the first time, it’s important to consider more immediate priorities like health, safety and financial wellbeing as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
“With so many people still furloughed or unemployed, and with so many experiencing financial challenges at some point throughout the past year, for many ‘revenge travel’ is but a distant dream with job and food security a more real and urgent priority!” Fyall said.
If you do find yourself in a position to take an excursion. Kennedy emphasized being mindful of health and safety measures and price efficiency when choosing a destination. Careful planning and budgeting go a long way.
“We all want to travel as soon as humanly possible,” he noted. “That said, travel safely.”
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