Intrepid Travel will shift its focus from "where" to "how" next year with a range of more than 30 new itineraries built around five principles of post-Covid travel.
The operator says its new "how to go in 2021" list taps into trends emerging from booking and search data, as well as broader industry trends born of the Covid crisis.
Pillars include slower travel, greater flexibility, a focus on wilderness experiences, active adventures, and regenerative travel rather than just sustainable travel.
“In 2021, travellers around the world will continue to be faced with varying levels of restrictions, and limited destinations they can visit,” said Intrepid chief executive. James Thornton.
“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 five foundations of Intrepid’s how to go in 2021 portfolio are:
Intrepid has seen strong interest in its new range of closer-to-home Retreats, launched in June, and will be expanding the range for 2021.
This new tour theme, which operate at a more relaxed pace and are based in a single location, was developed in direct response to the realities of post-Covid travel.
Trips are designed to support local communities affected by the pandemic. “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,” said Thornton.
Destinations include Greek islands, and Cornwall.
Intrepid says bookings for 2021 show a strong demand for different wilderness experiences. “Wilderness may just be the new wellness for 2021," said Thornton.
"Time outdoors, after a year defined by lockdowns and increased screen time, will be more important than ever.”
Intrepid saw a 70% increase globally in searches to its Antarctica pages in September 2020.
It will operate its inaugural Antarctica expeditions in 2021/22 onboard Ocean Endeavour, while other popular wilderness destinations include the Okavango and Costa Rica.
Customisation and flexibility will be two key pillars for the future of travel says Intrepid owing to the stop-start nature of travel during the pandemic.
In 2021, all 800+ Intrepid trips will be fully customisable and available for travellers to book with their own private group, whether it is their family, their "bubble" or beyond.
Intrepid has already seen a 120% increase in global search traffic for private group travel in the past six months.
Community-based travel will gain traction in 2021 as customers look to not only have a sustainable travel experience, but have a positive impact on the destination they are visiting.
Intrepid is working with local NGOs to develop new tourism experiences which provide a sustainable livelihood for communities in remote locations where there is often a lack of economic opportunity.
Destinations include Vietnam, Nepal and Myanmar, where visitors will feature stays at community tourism projects.
Vietnam, Jordan and Morocco are among Intrepid’s best-selling cycling trips for 2021, as well as its Cycle the Danube adventure, while its Everest Base Camp trek was Intrepid’s second top-selllng trip in September.
New cycling and walking trips range from journeys to the Peak District to New Zealand’s Otago Rail Trail.