Tripadvisor lists top travel trends for 2021

January 23 2021: After a year of unprecedented change in the travel industry in 2020, traveller behaviors are shifting rapidly. For tourism and hospitality businesses hit hard by the pandemic, staying ahead of these trends will be crucial, as the roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine serves as a catalyst for a return to dining and leisure travel in 2021.
As the world’s largest travel platform1, Tripadvisor is in a unique position to provide the travel industrywith forward-looking market insights, shedding light on the type of trips leisure travellers are planning in 2021 around the globe. 
Triipadvisor analyzed the very latest traveller sentiment data across six major markets (the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Japan and Singapore), and combined that with our proprietary first party traveller search data, to track how, when and where travel behaviors are likely to change (or stay the same) in the year ahead.
There are some trends that emerged in 2020 that are likely to persist in 2021 and beyond. Safety and hygiene considerations will remain a big priority for travellers, and tools like Tripadvisor’s TravelSafe feature can play an important role in helping hospitality businesses showcase the steps they have taken - and are taking - to protect their customers and guests. 
The popularity of nature and outdoor activity-filled trips - a trend our Tripadvisor research analysts highlighted throughout 2020 - will likely remain high on the agenda for many travellers too, as consumers seek peace and relaxation away from the crowd.
But not all of the trendsin 2020 will necessarily continue into the new year, and it is important that tourism operators and destinations prepare now for shifts in consumer behaviors that are likely to play out in 2021.
The five trends highlighted in the report are: 

Travellers are planning to travel abroad in the second half of the year, but won’t wait to make plans

  • Nearly half (47%) of travellers surveyed globally say they are planning to travel internationally in 2021, including 61% of Singapore travellers
  • One in ten (11%) of Singaporean respondents have already booked an international trip for 2021

Vaccinations will be a game-changer for traveller confidence

  • The widespread roll-out of a vaccine won’t just impact travellers’ confidence to travel, it will have a major influence on where leisure travellers are prepared to go too. 
  • Globally, more than three quarters (77%) of travellers surveyed say they will be more likely to travel internationally if they receive the vaccine, rising to 86% for travel domestically. In Singapore, 87% of travellers surveyed say they are more likely to travel domestically if they receive the vaccine, and 90% are more likely to travel internationally.
  • More than a quarter (26%) of respondents globally say that they would only travel to destinations that required visitors to be vaccinated before travel, with Australian (32%) and U.S. (30%) travellers the most likely to expect destinations to adopt this safety measure. In Singapore, 26% of respondents say they will only travel to destinations that require a pre-travel vaccination in 2021.

Domestic vacations remain high on travellers’ wishlist for 2021 

  • While international tourism looks to be getting a boost this year following a shutdown for much of 2020, domestic travel isn’t necessarily going to take a back seat in 2021. In the first week of January, nearly 70% of hotel clickers on Tripadvisor were booking future domestic trips, while further out, May through August are still proving the most popular months for domestic vacations.
  • Globally, three quarters (74%) of travellers surveyed plan to take at least one overnight domestic leisure trip in 2021, with 60% of travellers surveyed in Singapore planning a domestic trip this year.
  • The good news for destinations and tourism businesses in Singapore looking to attract domestic travellers is that 73% of Singaporean travellers planning a 2021 domestic vacation have yet to book it, so there is still an opportunity for businesses to capture that demand.

The joy of vacation planning will be stronger than ever as travellers spend more time researching 2021 trips

  • With travel plans dashed in early 2020, many people have been dreaming about their next big vacation for more than ten months, so it’s no surprise that travellers are extra conscious of getting it just right when they do travel.
  • Three quarters (74%) of travellers surveyed globally say they will spend more time choosing a destination this year, including just over 79% of travellers in Singapore
  • 77% of travellers in Singapore will spend more time reading reviews, 76% will spend more time selecting their accommodation, and 78% will spend more time finding things to do. 

Consumers can’t wait to dine out again, but their taste for takeout will still endure

  • As in-person dining was restricted in many countries throughout 2020, the success of takeout and delivery services soared, as consumers sought to satisfy their appetite. But encouragingly for the hospitality industry, in-person dining’s rebound in 2021 doesn’t mean a decline in takeout and delivery demand.
  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents globally say they plan to dine in-person at restaurants more often in 2021 than they did in 2020 and a quarter of respondents (27%) say they plan to order more takeout meals this year. 
  • In Singapore, 48% of respondents plan to dine in-person at restaurants more often this year, and 30% plan to order more takeout.

FULL REPORT HERE: The Year of the Travel Rebound (