2020 tourism trends and Covid19

2020 tourism trends and Covid19 1024 526 thecloudkeys

Those of us working within the tourism industry love to read about trends. I personally find trends and travel statistics very fascinating and I frequently visit organisations that publish such research.

From the identification and inclusion in research of the millenials traveler persona, many hip terms have flooded the tourism industry. Slow tourism, home-tels, bleisure travel, nakations, second city travel, spartan holidays, transformative travel, vegan hotels, motion based travel, ancestry travel are just a few of these buzz fancy words we keep hearing. But I think the buzzword trend will evaporate in the COVID19 era which looks set to stay with us over the next couple of years.

There are increasingly two buzzwords in the media and the travel and tourism publications that look likely to prevail. First and most important is sustainability. The second is most likely sanitation. Think of the new Hotel Sanitation. But lets dive into these two in more detail.

Hopes for sustainability to make the big step from trend to reality

When I was writing this post I realized how much “sustainability fuss” there has been in all the research that even the UN’s World Tourism Organization has been publishing and what in reality truly happens as we can definitely guarantee based on our guest hosting experience that sustainability travel is more like science fiction to us.

However we remain optimistic and hope the COVID19 crisis will change traveler behavior to be more environmental-friendly. There is after all a common understanding that environmental damage and deforestation are the main culprits of the virus. There is a big opportunity in my view to change trends and behavior once and for all. Whether this will be made possible remains to be seen, but we’ve already witnessed expressions of willingness from politicians all over Europe.

And it is not just travelers. Local tourism industry business people need to change attitudes as in many cases they are the worst polluting culprits.

Sanitation and virus disinfection

This one is more straight-forward. Travelers are really concerned about their health. This is a no brainer. On the sanitation front we have witnessed as travelers many awkward and questionable cleaning methods in hotels. There are numerous claims online for hotels not even changing bed linen after stays to save money from cleaning. While this may also sound hilariously true in terms of water and electricity conservation (joking here), it rings a few bells on my mind.

One has to do with traveler temperature checks in airports. There are medical reports of people who have contacted the virus but only showed symptoms days later. This measure sounds more like a show than a real virus contamination effort. Unless instant COVID19 tests are available, a lot of hustle is awaiting poor travelers who have not had any infection whatsoever.

Another relates to what I already mentioned about the hotel and every travel accommodation related industry and their cleaning methods and cost reduction mentality. Major hotel chains were quick to post their COVID19 strategy implementations in their cleaning and facility operations. However this is not something that we can be assured (as travelers) that it will happen consistently after COVID19 has stopped being mentioned in media reports.

Some businesses have partnered with cleaning product manufacturers to evangelize about the disinfection properties of their products. No scientist will be interested in truly testing if these products are purpose-fit.

Nonetheless these are the two major trends that I believe will change tourism “trendology” in the near future.