Hotels and venues: Adaptability will be key for hotels’ survival in a landscape in which travel remains uncertain. Hotels will have the ability to transform into family-friendly Scattered Schools, like Montage; temporary offices like CitizenM; or even ghost kitchens like Graduate Hotels.
Airlines: For the first time in its history, aviation is scaling back. Britain’s air passenger numbers plunged from 247m in 2019 to fewer than 60m last year (source: Civil Aviation Authority),while Ryanair has warned of a nearly £830m ($1.1bn, €950m) loss (source: The Irish Times) and Norwegian Air has withdrawn its long-haul routes. This is leading to a rethink of the hub-and-spoke airline model, according to McKinsey & Co, with particular focus on non-stop flights.
Domestic tourism: With no certainty over the future of travel restrictions globally, the sector will continue to prioritise local citizens over tourists, enabling them to see their cities in a new light. In Singapore, hotels have launched creative staycations for people to take a break from home offices, while Aparium is focusing on locals as it continues its rapid expansion into America’s under-served second-tier cities.
Sustainable travel: With most air travel grinding to a halt in 2020, there will not necessarily be a rush to return to the skies. Slow travel is being embraced by consumers who are not only experiencing climate anxiety but have also simplified their travel horizons due to time in isolation. Already, disruptors such as Byway are pitching no-fly holidays as a sustainable alternative to over-tourism and carbon offsetting tools such as Aerial are making it possible.
: As long-haul travel resumes, Bleisure will turn from destination-hopping to extended, slower stays. As a result, hotel services will need to be overhauled, offering spaces to learn, work and study, as well as opportunities to give back to the local community
: As business travel continues to blend with leisure travel, especially in the context of staycations, consider new work-from-hotel packages for local companies to cater for this nomadic crowd
: Neighbourhood nomads differ from tourists in that they are already hyper-knowledgeable about their cities. To attract this new consumer base, re-engage them in their locale through serendipitous encounters and sustainability initiatives, or collaborate with another destination to introduce cross-cultural spaces
: With the looming climate emergency and time spent in isolation, people are also looking for travel solutions that encourage regeneration, going beyond zero-impact tourism. Move the conversation away from sustainability to focus on regeneration and real purpose