Some travel tips for 2021 – part three

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just about Travel completes its survey of tips for travel and holidays in 2021.

AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) believes that those aged 50 and over are keen to travel again in 2021. (This is based on a survey taken amongst clients of the members and is based on over 29,000 client responses.) It forecasts that 66% of holidaymakers using their members will be spending the same or more money on holiday travel than they did in 2019.

Prague – a popular destination for city and short breaks

Unlike the evidence we mentioned yesterday that last found amongst its customers, AITO sees city breaks topping the list of most popular specialist interest holidays, and that travellers are also keen to book escorted group tours in 2021, to explore the history and culture of the destinations they visit.

“Social distancing will be important, AITO says, but, but there is a determination amongst the over 50s to travel again when they are ready, especially to short-haul destinations, and with the security of full financial protection.”

In a similar vein, Visit Faroe Islands thinks that people will increasingly be looking for what could be considered safe holidays to explore out-of-the-way and remote destinations where coronavirus incidences are low.

The five star hotel, Seaham Hotel, thinks that there is a desire to holiday at home and that it will continue to remain strong. It says that, in 2021, there will be a thirst to explore the UK and all it has to offer.

A similar conclusion comes from Pride of Britain Hotels which has more than 50 independent, mostly family-owned and up-market hotels throughout the British Isles. They saw a positive in 2020 resulting from the many barriers to overseas travel. There was a huge increase in leisure stays at their member hotels by UK residents. Since re-opening in July, they saw a year-on-year growth in the number and value of bookings every month and the average length of stay rose from 1.6 days to 2 days. In 2021 Pride of Britain hotels is seeing that increase again and booking average is 2.75 days.

Another hotel chain, Elite Hotels, says it has spotted a booking trend of guests travelling from further afield to their hotels than was the case pre-COVID. They think this might be due to the hassle of getting to the airport associated with international holidays, those travellers who are opting to stay in the UK for their break are using that freed-up time to travel further for a UK staycation. With ongoing uncertainty around travel abroad, we’re confident that this trend will continue well into 2021.

The tour operator, Jules Verne, has spotted a pattern in its bookings of travelling closer to home, with around 80% of all new business travelling within a five-hour flight range.  It says that Italy is “storming ahead” with Lake Como and Sicily performing particularly well.  The UK (especially Scotland) will boom, it thinks, with staycations set to increase. Overseas it thinks that Turkey will be a beneficiary, filling the gap that would normally be filled by destinations further afield. Egypt and Jordan also have bookings steadily picking up in 2021 and into 2022.”

Jordan is tipped as a potential big destination for Britons in 2021. This is Petra.

Kirker Holidays think that late bookings will become much more commonplace, as will the use of specialist tour operators who can offer expert advice, flexibility and reassurance. Some travellers, Kirker says, who have an appetite for culturally enriching, tailor-made short breaks will also want to visit Europe’s great cities while visitor numbers are greatly reduced, “delivering once again the more authentic experiences that had been eroded by the increase in mass market tourism over the years.” It emphasises the change seen in many cities by pointing out that locals in cities like Rome will try to preserve some of the magic so that visitors can again “wander tranquil streets, enjoy peace and quiet, and warm hospitality – something not seen since the 1950s.”

Another tour operator, Sunvil, anticipates that holidays without the hordes will be a popular choice for travellers in 2021. It thinks that there will be a stronger desire than ever to steer away from the usual tourist trails and crowded spots and that there will be a desire to “reconnect with nature too, in a way that hasn’t been possible during lockdown.”   It also thinks that people will also seek out rural properties, opting for small communities in lesser-known destinations over and above the bigger resorts, where they can support small local businesses safely, while enjoying the notable lack of tourists.”

As for what Just about Travel suggests, you can read our tips for next year, tomorrow

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