Airbnb releases snapshot of post-pandemic travel trends in 2021

Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has changed travel as we know it, in that it abruptly ceased to exist for 10 months. The escapades to Paris were a pipe dream and crossing the city was, indeed, just as foreign.

But now that vaccines are developed, normal life seems to be possible again, maybe even this year! And while people plan to pick up the things they love – dining out, reading in cafes, meeting with family and friends – getting out of Dodge is also high on the list, according to a new report from Airbnb. .

“Travel will be seen as an antidote to isolation and disconnection,” wrote the house rental company, which gathered information gleaned from a year of data from mid-2019 to late 2020 as well as ‘a public survey conducted in December 2020. And according to its findings, travel is the out-of-home activity that Americans have missed the most, with 54% planning to travel in 2021.

But their journeys will be a little different from those before the pandemic. Here’s how:

Less social networks, more “meaningful” connections: According to Airbnb, “spending time with friends and family is the type of travel Americans miss the most.” More than half, or 51%, say the first people they will visit are immediate family, and 32% say they would like to stay close to their family on subsequent trips. Meanwhile, travelers are apparently no longer prioritizing hikes on pristine glaciers and wild safaris: only 21% of Americans say they’re hungry for destinations worth sharing to post on Facebook and Instagram, compared to 52% who say that they would rather disconnect from technology altogether. . More than a third, or 37%, said their definition of “meaningful” travel has changed to focus more on time spent with loved ones.

Shorter radius: For 2021 trips, a majority (56%) prefer national or local getaways, compared with only 21% who prefer international destinations. Interest in car travel was highest, beating interest in air travel by double digits. This is a change from 2019, when travel distances over 3,000 miles were Airbnb’s most popular segment.

Less people : Before the pandemic, Airbnb’s top 10 destination cities included bustling metropolitan capitals such as Barcelona, ​​London, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York, Paris and Rome. But after the pandemic, quieter, more low-key destinations saw the strongest year-over-year growth, including Derbyshire, UK; Rodanthe, North Carolina (a coastal village of the Outer Banks); Forks, Washington (the main part of the dusk series of books); and the Muskoka Lakes, a short drive from Toronto.

The advent of virtual travel: Airbnb defines virtual travel as “experiencing a destination or participating in a cultural activity at home, using a computer, tablet or phone”, which was relatively new but quickly resumed during the pandemic. Almost a fifth, or 18%, of Americans have already participated, with a high percentage of positive responses. And given the current investments in VR and AR technology from IT titans like Google and Microsoft, we can only expect the field to grow.

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