Intrepid has released its first ‘How to Go in 2021’ trends list to reflect the realities of post-Covid 19 travel.
The adventure tour operator has put together more than 30 new itineraries based on the five trends in its list, which shifts the focus from ‘where’ to ‘how’ people will travel in future.
The trends, based on the company’s own booking and search data and the wider industry, are: ‘go slower’; ‘go into the wild’; ‘go on your own terms’; ‘go to regenerate, not just sustain’; and ‘go on a human-powered adventure’.
Chief executive James Thornton said the company’s future itineraries were being created with this “new normal” for how to travel in mind.
He said: “In 2021, travellers around the world will continue to be faced with varying levels of restrictions, and limited destinations they can visit.
“This year we knew our focus would need to be less about the where and more about the how, looking at the ways in which we will travel better in the future.
“Whether it’s closer to home or further abroad, travel has changed forever, and together we must create a new normal and focus on rebuilding travel better than it was before.”
The first ‘go slower’ trend reflects strong interest in tours at a more relaxed pace in a single location, according to Intrepid, and resulted in its new range of closer-to-home Retreats, launched in June.
The operator, which plans to expand the range for 2021, has designed the retreats to support local communities affected by the pandemic. They include a five day Greece Retreat and a four-day Cornwall Retreat.
Thornton said: ““The pandemic has forced us to slow down and many of us are not in a hurry to return to a fast-paced style of travel.”
‘Go into the wild’, the second trend identified, demonstrates a strong demand for wilderness experiences, said the operator, after a year of lockdowns and increased screen time. The operator saw a 70% increase in searches of its Antarctica pages in September. For 2021-2022 it will run its inaugural Antarctica Expedition on the Ocean Endeavour.
The operator said the need for customisation and flexibility had led to its third trend, ‘go on our own terms’, as a result of frequently-changing travel restrictions.
Next year, all its 800-plus trips will be fully customisable and available to be booked for a private group. This follows a 120% increase in global search traffic for its private groups web pages in the last six months.
Its fourth trend, ‘go to regenerate, not just sustain’, follows Intrepid’s prediction that more customers will want to visit community tourism projects to have a sustainable travel experience and a positive impact on the destination.
Pictured: Lake Bled, Slovenia
Its final trend, for travellers to ‘go on a human-powered adventure’, reflects increased demand for walking and cycling trips, following an increase in these activities during the UK lockdown. Among Intrepid’s best-selling trips for 2021 are cycling itineraries in Vietnam, Jordan and Morocco, as well as more challenging adventures such as Everest Base Camp trek, the operator’s second most popular trip in September.
Thornton added: “Our stats show that the lockdown bike boom wasn’t just a blip – people want to be more active in their everyday lives and how they travel.”
New for 2021 are four new cycling trips and four new walking trips, including the three day Peak District Walking Retreat and the four day Cycle New Zealand: Otago Rail Trail.
Pictured: Taupo, New Zealand
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