Key trends set to emerge during the Covid recovery period have been identified in a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The report, Recovery & Beyond, was produced with management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman. It highlights four main areas of change.
The first prediction is demand for evolution; with the WTTC saying traveller preferences and behaviours are shifting toward the “familiar, predictable, and trusted”
“Domestic vacations, extensive planning, and the outdoors will reign in the short-term, with tourism businesses and destinations already adapting,” it said.
Secondly, health and hygiene will be “paramount” in the new era. “Personal experiences, the fear of being stuck in another country, and concerns for distancing will guide consumer behaviour in the short- to mid-term. Businesses will have to collaborate even more closely with their extended value chains to ensure readiness.”
Covid-19 is also expected to be a catalyst for innovation and digitisation.
“Amid stay-at-home orders, digital adoption and consumption are on the rise, with consumers now expecting contactless technologies, among others, as a basic prerequisite for a safe and seamless travel experience,” it said.
The pandemic has also speeded the introduction of the cashless economy, with 66% of consumers saying they are moving more towards contactless payments.
The fourth trend is sustainability. The WTTC said: “From widespread unemployment and anti-racism movements to the restoration of natural habitats, the world has been reinvigorated to tackle social, environmental, and institutional sustainability. In particular, heightened public awareness of wildlife markets and poaching has boosted advocacy for wildlife protection.”
The report also found 80% of travellers feared potential quarantine “as much as contracting the virus” and 58% planned to take domestic trips for the rest of 2020.
On sustainability, 58% said they were “thinking more about the environment since Covid-19”.