By Amina De Biasio, Digital Destination Marketer at Destination Makers
The Coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we live, think and work. It is inevitable that it will also change, at least initially, the way we travel. The travel industry, among the most important industries in the world, is also one of the most affected by Covid-19. So, what direction should destinations and their experiential offer take in order to cope with the changing demand?
Probably, many of the aspects that seem extraordinary to us today will be part of our ordinary tomorrow, from teleworking to social distancing, including increased attention to sustainability, hygiene and health. The normality of the future will not be the same as the past one. Destinations should give to potential travellers a sense of safety, especially in terms of hygiene and health, demonstrating how well the territory is prepared for their new needs. Nowadays, there is a great desire to travel and a need to reconnect with nature after the lockdown, so much that in China the restart phase was in some cases “too fast”, with crowds literally storming the Yellow Mountains.
Local tourism will probably be the first kind of tourism to start up again, especially because of the gradual reopening of travel. Tourist experiences in contact with nature and with a focus on well-being will probably be the most sought after the pandemic is gone. Well-being will not be only physical, but also psychological thanks to cultural experiences, which increase creativity and reduce stress and anxiety, as well as enriching the knowledge of those who experience them.
The post-pandemic traveller will be increasingly a “Promadic Traveller“, as defined by Design Hotels: “a traveller who is more aware of the impact her travels have on the environment, who embraces innovation and wants to have an active part in the fight against pollution, overtourism and all other major global causes”.
Sustainability will probably also be one of the most important drivers of the post-pandemic travel. Increased awareness of the human impact on the environment, but also on society and economy could guide travellers in their choices. Being able to match the new needs of this new kind of tourist with an experiential offer will be the keystone to the destinations.