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‘Workcations’ and ‘revenge travel’ are the trends for post-pandemic holidays

The Revenge Traveller is here to stay and if you don’t now what that is, let’s explain. People have become so frustrated by lockdown that they’re happy to splash out and travel like never before.

So whether it’s a luxury wellness retreat with lots of expensive pampering or finally sorting that bucket list trip of a lifetime, everyone’s doing it.

In fact, 45 percent of travellers now fall into the “revenge travel” segment (up from 10 per cent at the end 2020) with plans to increase their travel spending in 2021 – and elevated travel budgets aren’t expected to go away anytime soon

The global Travel Trends 2021 study conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global strategy and marketing consulting firm, revealed that 39 percent of leisure travellers still plan to book a vacation for this summer, while 30 percent have already booked their getaway.

Rosalind Hunter, Partner in Simon-Kucher’s Leisure, Travel and Tourism Practice, points out: “The prolonged lockdowns and restrictions on travel have created pent-up demand and increased the urge to travel, while many consumers have been able to save money from not going on holiday. As a result, they have significant budget that they expect to splash out in 2022 on travel, which is a positive sign for the battered travel industry.”

The study, based on a representative sample of more than 7,000 individuals across seven countries (China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) also finds that respondents do not perceive prices related to travel to be higher than pre-pandemic.

Beautiful Italy by @jackward

The resurgence of travel in 2021 and what it will look like

While leisure travellers are enthusiastically moving ahead with their vacation plans for the remaining summer period and the rest of the year –  in the UK, 27 percent have already booked a summer trip while 29 percent have yet to do so but plan to – things may look a bit different than before.

Although price remains the leading booking criterion for travellers, the following three leading factors are directly influenced by the pandemic: restrictions in place at the desired travel destinations, governmental restrictions, and trust in the health system of the destination.

Travellers will also be opting for more socially-distanced forms of travel, with 41 percent opting to travel by private car – yet, 34 per cent still plan to travel via plane. 

Workcation – the future of work-life balance?

Nearly half of those surveyed internationally (43 percent) said that they anticipate taking a workcation in the near future, thanks to the increased flexibility of remote working models.

The most enthusiastic response came from China, where 70 percent said they are likely to do a workcation in the future, compared to the UK on the low end of the spectrum at only 30 percent.

In fact, 76 per cent of those who plan to take a workcation say that the ability to split their time between working from their destination and enjoying time off will allow them to extend their trip by a week or more. The most important features in selecting a workcation destination are stable and high-speed internet/WiFi and a dedicated working space.

The long-term impacts on the leisure travel

While it’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to influence travel plans throughout 2021, with many countries still experiencing varying degrees of lockdowns and restrictions, 70 percent of those surveyed say they expect changes to their travel habits into 2022.

When it comes to spending, 34 per cent of international respondents expect to spend more on leisure travel in the years to come as compared to pre-pandemic. The largest share of higher future budget was observed in Russia (52 per cent) and the lowest in Germany (27 per cent) – in the UK, 30 per cent plan to spend more on leisure travel in the coming years.

Another major change will be how far in advance travellers plan to book their trips: only 15 per cent said they booked their trips on short notice prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, now 32 per cent plan to do so.

Main pic: @philippcamera

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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