As the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is accelerated, we can finally begin the return to normalcy – in business, social situations, school, and travel. Life will never be the same post-COVID, but what can we expect to see in the travel industry in 2021? Any emerging trends we should be aware of?
After a year of lockdowns and social distancing, travelers around the world are eager to get out. According to travel marketing firm MMGY Global and based on a survey of potential travelers, there is tremendous pent-up demand for travel which will translate to a very active travel market – domestic and international.
Air travel and hospitality will directly benefit from this rollout. But don’t expect travelers to just throw caution to the wind as travel restrictions are lifted. After a year of wearing masks and social distancing, safety will still be at the forefront of many travelers’ minds.
The travel landscape will be different as the world adjusts to the post-COVID new normal. New travel trends will emerge in 2021 in response to the transformative health, social and economic changes experienced in 2020.
Here are some of the major emerging trends expected in the travel segment for 2021:
Social Distanced and Adventure Travel.
With health and social distancing still a priority, many travelers will be drawn to locales surrounded by nature and open landscapes. Adventure travel will increasingly grow in appeal in 2021 as travelers seek safe and relaxing destinations with nature, outdoor, and adventure activities including hiking, trekking, cycling, camping, snorkeling, and swimming.
Travelers will be drawn away from cities and urban areas towards rural, less populated destinations – ideal for social distancing.
Remote Office and Learning.
According to Condé Nast Traveller, one of the emerging and lasting travel trends will be a travel based around remote work and travel. “A wholesale shift to remote working means that from now on, many of us will be always OOO (out of office). In 2021, we will see a rise in people swapping home offices for ocean offices.”
As parents increasingly work remotely and trade the outdoors for offices, there should be a corresponding rise in remote learning as parents take their children on their adventures with them. Why learn about dolphins on the Internet when you can swim with them?
Conservation holidays – where travelers play an active part in helping an ecosystem return to its natural state – are gaining in popularity. Travelers participate in activities such as research, construction, maintenance, and data collection – typically under the supervision of conservation experts.
Belize is ideally poised to meet the shifting travel demands from the emerging post-COVID trends of adventure travel, remote working and learning, and conservation holidays. Belize offers an abundance of nature and open landscapes coupled with a rich variety of flora and fauna.
The following are destinations ideal for social distancing and travelers seeking the outdoors and adventure:
- Mountain Pine Ridge – The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, located in the Cayo District, covers an impressive 300,000 acres. Some eco-lodges are even established among the forest canopies.
- Lamanai – This underrated Maya site lies in the Northern District where visitors often boast of having the entire site to themselves making it easy to appreciate the massive temples.
- Caracol – Another Maya site that also happens to be located inside Mountain Pine Ridge. Caracol boasts the tallest man-made structure in the country, the temple of Caana. Deep in the jungle, this region is made to forget about the rest of the world and enjoy the solitude.
- Rio Blanco National Park – This region holds many nature-based activities that visitors often seek when escaping the world. The Rio Blanco National Park is home to a beautiful gushing waterfall and natural pools.
- Laughing Bird Caye – This small island, a protected area, is ideal for social distancing. This reserve boasts diverse marine life that makes for stunning snorkeling and diving.
Belize’s low population density makes it so easy to enjoy the experiences offered here without the worry of overcrowding. This has been a long-lasting appeal of the country and in a post-COVID world, it has become even more important.
COVID-19 has enhanced Belize’s reputation for health and safety. Belize has been able to survive the pandemic with fewer than 20 documented cases of COVID-19. The government of Belize took quick action to contain those cases, restrict travel to Belize and impose stay-at-home orders. It’s easy to do all this in a small country, and it worked.
Because of its abundance of flora and fauna, Belize is home to a variety of protected areas, plants, and animals. As a result, conservation travel is expected to boom in the coming years with many conservation travel opportunities already available including programs centered around marine conservation, reef conservation, and more.
Why Invest in Belize?
Belize is uniquely positioned to benefit from the emerging travel and tourism trends of 2021.
With a stable government and legal system rooted in English common law and an economic climate friendly to foreign investors and capital, Belize is ideal for investment to take advantage of the emerging post-COVID travel trends. Now is the time to invest in Belize before these trends take off.