WHAT’S YOUR 2021 TRAVEL VIBE?
“There’s a travel vibe?” you ask. “Of course, there is” we say. How do we know this? Because we spend every week on RISE asking our viewers and our guests what’s happening in our Travel Tourism and Hospitality (TT&H) Industry and asking how you’re all feeling about various topics. So – what we can tell you is that the majority of people want to get out there!
Monday’s episode was called Gen-Z: Breaking Free! Click the link below to hear what our guests Adam Armstrong, CEO of Contiki Holidays and Eduardo Santander, CEO & Executive Director of the European Travel Commission & Chairman of the European Tourism Manifesto had to say about this interesting sector of the market, but first – for fun we’ll have a look at the traveller vibe you most identify with, whether you’re Gen-Z or a Baby Boomer!
In our second poll, we asked our viewers, apart from the universal reason of wanting to reconnect with loved ones, “Why are you aching to travel again?” The majority of you – 35% said it was “to feel alive and some sense of normality again!
‘TAKING BACK MY LIFE!’ TRAVELLER
We think many who gave this answer would identify with this travel vibe! Some call it ‘revenge travel’ – a term that emerged early on in the pandemic. RISE (particularly Anita) is not really a fan of the ‘revenge’ term. But we get the point. Whether it’s to take revenge on the pandemic and reclaim our lives, our plans, our holiday or personal development dreams, we are bursting with pent-up desire to get out there again and get on with our lives. We guess that many of our 18-35 year old viewers – in this context referred to as “generation desperate” will also fall into this category. Grad trip, gap years, work experience, cultural exchanges, and honeymoons – these are all important life-stage experiences that have been missed or deferred, and what better way to prove that we’re undefeated and undeterred by this experience than to just get on with it? Hopefully the majority will do so safely and with due regard to the protocols so that we can all finally move out of lockdowns and restrictions! Demian’s video of Spring Break in Miami and the resulting state of emergency are a good example of how revenge travel can go wrong!
BUSINESS AS USUAL, EVEN IF UNUSUAL
This travel vibe may sound more matter of fact, and a little less exciting than exacting revenge, but many of us, from all the age demographics identify with it. We may not be desperate to travel at any cost, but we’d dearly love to be able to move about safely and practically – to resume our business travel and to get back to taking family gatherings and special occasions for granted. We’d like to see our communities and businesses revived and have tourists back at our destinations.
Paradoxically, those of us who may have fallen into this travel vibe, partly due to our life-stage demographic, and the resulting greater threat to health, are now the ones who’ll be front of the line when it comes to planning and booking our getaways! Adam referenced the fact that the generation most desperate to travel are at the back of the queue, and the older generation who’ve had earlier access to the vaccine are the ones who’ll be out there fastest! That’s not to say we can’t be cautious across all generations and demographics! Our caution may also be around protecting others, or fear of restrictions. Anita mentioned “the risk of travel is no longer the disease – the risk of travel is lockdowns, quarantines, regulations changing, and borders closing.” The challenge for us cautious travellers is that like everyone else, but to a greater degree, we’d love a little predictability. Eduardo referenced the challenge our industry faces in providing the predictability desired by tourists, stating that tourism is based on predictable facts, and we aren’t currently able to make many predictions!
We’re not saying you can only identify with one vibe! We’ve spoken consistently over the past year of the momentum gained towards sustainable and mindful travel. We don’t like to speak too much about trends during a time when nothing about travel is predictable, but there are strong indications that across all demographics, mindful and conscious travel is an important factor in our travel decisions. So, there’s a strong likelihood, especially if you’re a “youth traveller,” that you may be plotting your revenge on this pandemic, planning your escape, all whilst choosing to leave the gentlest footprint possible! We can be great multitaskers too!
3% of our viewers in Poll 2 stated you “have no desire to travel right now.” Perhaps it’s the lack of predictability or the concern around the way others may behave, but for some, if we’re fortunate enough to have loved ones close by – the impetus just isn’t there right now. A holiday season, safely ensconced at home with loved ones, enjoying our local community and what it has to offer, or beginning to rebuild and reclaim other aspects of our lives and liberty stolen by this pandemic is just the right vibe for some of us!
Whatever your travel vibe, and whenever you feel ready to make your break for the freedom it offers, we can be secure in the knowledge, as Eduardo pointed out, that travel will always prevail. He also highlighted that ‘the purpose of travel is changing massively.’ Change may be daunting in its unpredictability but it’s also exciting – and in the case of our TT&H industry, many of the changes we’re seeing indicate progress in securing the survival of our industry, our destinations, and our natural resources. Whilst acknowledging our losses, we do also like to keep an eye on the positives that have come out of this pandemic!
Next on RISE we’ll be “Making a Meal of It” and chatting about food innovation and trends with fabulous guests Barb Stuckey, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Mattson, and Alex Hardy, Regional Director, Consumer and Market Intelligence at General Mills. Join us. Same time and place!
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