*by ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association)
We all know that the behaviour of tourists is going to change after this huge pandemic. The Adventure Travel Trade Association team, especially our specialist in behavioural economics, Milena Nikolova, has come up with a list with some of the trends that we have to pay attention to and prepare for.
Hygiene is essential
All services, products and experiences will be expected to demonstrate that they adopt best hygiene practices. We’re going to have a demand for hygiene standards and certifications related to the cleanliness of means of transport and accommodation, for medical certificates of the state of health of the guides, for food handling certification, etc.
No physical contact at all
Travellers expect to be able to make their reservation, check in or identify themselves, and pay for everything by way of their mobile phone, or using virtual and contactless devices. This trend will also bring with it a demand for new levels of security for digital services and protecting identity.
Virtual human characters
We can expect sophisticated solutions, such as digital assistance with a human interface, all designed to convey confidence and greater comfort for travellers. Digital technology also offers the opportunity to provide new solutions for independent travellers.
Uncrowded social spaces
Health and safety will continue to be the main concerns for travellers. Destinations must be aware that people’s are not only afraid of travelling, but also of crowds. The fear they have will affect behaviour patterns. There is likely to be a demand for small groups visits and for self-guided experiences, so destinations and operators will be expected to introduce measures to avoid overcrowding.
As a result of COVID-19, there is likely to be more interest in nature, outdoor activities, and regional tourism. This is an opportunity for destinations to think about where they will send people and where they are going to transfer the demand that’s going to exist for travel and interests. Now we need to change the budget to the local market and move the focus from international tourism to national tourism.
The mission behind the service
A more caring world is developing and the tourism sector needs to be attuned to this new reality. This is an opportunity for people to step forward and distinguish themselves. Their fears must be recognized and understood, so companies must change the way they think. After Covid-19, the expectation of a high level of customer service will still be a central characteristic of products, services and experiences. A caring and proactive attitude is expected in matters that are important to society, such as climate change, gender equality, etc.
Value as a basic currency
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world and the way we think. It has made everyone more careful about what they do. Travelling is no longer easily accessible, so when people travel they will value the experience more. Tourists will focus more on the value of the trip or experience and will assess prices on that basis. Travellers may search for premium, high-end deals that provide them with more guarantees of safety. There may be an increase in bookings via travel consultants who can offer that additional level of service and security. Destinations must be creative in what they offer and provide guarantees of well-being and safety and highlight their own particular benefits.
Because of the uncertainty generated by Covid-19, we also know that this will inevitably influence the way travellers think, plan and consume experiences. How are you preparing for this change?
The opinions expressed in this text are the author’s opinion and do not necessarily reflect the position of WTM Latin America.