TORONTO — After analyzing airline and hospitality searches and booking information, Amadeus has found four key trends that will “spark new life into travel.”
The data analysis, which was conducted from April 26 to May 11, 2021, encompassed searches for departures from June to August. The report reveals that travel confidence is growing, with a +60% increase in net reservations since the beginning of the year.
“If 2020 was the year when freedom to travel was put on ice, this summer will see the onset of a gradual thaw in some parts of the world,” the report reads. “Given the wildly differing circumstances between continents, it is clear that recovery will be varied and fragmented. But for all the uncertainties, we remain optimistic about the long-term future of travel.”
Here are the four key trends outlined in the report:
Individual hotels are promoting themselves as ‘bubble resorts,’ allowing guests to travel together in groups and enjoy a holiday together, so long as they have a negative COVID-19 test. For example, Amadeus has seen a 66% increase in searches from around the world for two-week trips to the Maldives, home to hundreds of secluded island resorts, compared to the same period in 2019.
Travel agencies are also playing a key role in bubbling packages for clients. Amadeus data shows a slight increase of packaged travel, both online and offline, especially for people travelling together as families or groups, with children.
With uncertainty ongoing, the growth of Bubble Travel has significant implications for health passports. A recent Amadeus study found that more than 90% of travelers would be comfortable using a digital health passport for future trips.
“The concept of working remotely from a coffee shop or a beach bar is not new, but the past year has democratized the dream,” says Amadeus.
Quick jaunts to the Caribbean – a popular workcation destination – took a nosedive compared to 2019 with searches for one day stays falling by 79%, while longer stays of more than 14 days increased by 43%. Globally, Amadeus saw a 41% increase in the number of searches for 30-day stays, though the regions varied significantly.
In the US, for example, the increase was more moderate, with a 2% increase for trips over 14 days. In France and Spain, however, we saw an increase of 75% and 52%, respectively, in searches for 30-day stays.
“We can only see this trend expanding, as countries emerge from lockdowns and more weary workers release a pent-up desire to step away for a breath of fresh air,” says Amadeus.
Amadeus data shows that some of the most booked trips clearly lean towards the indulgent. Topping the league table are the denizens of Paris and Los Angeles, heading for high-end beach resorts in large numbers.
French travelers’ preference is for the Caribbean havens of Martinique and Guadeloupe, while their US cousins are heading for Cancun, Mexico, and Hawaii. Next on the list are the citizens of Moscow – with Muscovites flying in droves to the sun kissed Black Sea.
It is notable that Cancun, Mexico skyrocketed from outside the top 50 most searched destinations to number four globally, eclipsing heavyweights with tight border restrictions, like Paris and Bangkok.
“Such is the frustration at being confined to our homes during the pandemic, some have coined the term ‘Revenge Travel’ to sum up this phenomenon,” says Amadeus. “We prefer to call it Indulgent Travel because all the signs point to travellers making the absolute most of their journey.”
Amadeus’ data indicates that people are researching their trips 27% earlier than before, than they did in the same period in 2019. This shows travellers are putting a lot of thought into planning their next trip – in terms of safety as well as being environmentally and socially conscious about their choices. Amadeus calls this Conscious Travel.
Data also shows a triple digit increase in travel insurance purchases on bookings leading up to summer. This indicates that travelers are more conscious about their safety while travelling. Airlines and airports have responded to this ‘great safety awakening’ with more touchless technology and off-site check-in options.
When it comes to being more environmentally and socially conscious, Amadeus research shows that one-third of millennials would like to see more availability of sustainable travel options and ways to reduce their carbon emissions when travelling. It was a similar story across all ages and global markets, with one in four sharing this commitment to Conscious Travel.
Earlier this year, travel industry associations proposed a plan to reach net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050 for European aviation. Governments are also doing their part, offering incentives to encourage greener travel, such as discounts on rail fares. The Spanish government-owned train company Renfe is one such example, recently announcing that it will lower rates for the summer. Also, the European Union named 2021 the European Year of Rail.