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Lockdowns have increased wanderlust, but travel will bounce back fast, according to G Adventures’ founder, Bruce Poon Tip.

Pandemic lockdowns have fuelled the desire to travel, demand for purpose-led, milestone holidays is at an all time high, and the cost of travel will rise, but only in the mid-term. 

Top travel blogger

These trends and predictions were revealed last week by Poon Tip, as he marked the one-year anniversary of the world’s borders closing.

His ‘Instabook’, Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still, is a love letter to travellers about what travel could look like on the other side of this pandemic. 

Leaning on over three decades of experience in the industry as the pioneer of community tourism, Poon Tip says he believes the industry has ‘hit the bottom’ and for the first time can start to look forward.

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[Budapest Parliament]

All signs are pointing towards a quick rebound for travel: 51%* of Canadian travellers say that lockdowns have made them want to travel more than ever before.

As a result, pent-up demand is rapidly building with 78% of people yet to book their next international holiday, and 30% indicate they are happy to book a holiday less than one month in advance.

Additionally, close to one third (30%) of travellers who are waiting to be vaccinated to travel say they will travel within three months of being vaccinated, rising to 46% for travel within six months of receiving a COVID-19 inoculation, meaning there could be a flurry of bookings when vaccines roll out. 

Bucharest-2
[Bucharest]

According to G Adventures’ latest survey, Canadian travellers are hungry for travel and ready to go, but they are also becoming more conscious in terms of where their money goes.

‘Milestone holidays’ and ‘bucket list’ trips are high on the travel agenda, but travellers want to be more purposeful with their holiday choices and to know where their money is going; 77% of Canadian travellers want to spend their money in order to benefit the local community. 

Once-in-a-lifetime trips are attracting a lot of attention, including high-profile hiking tours like Mt. Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp and the Inca Trail, with 25% of travellers saying they are keen to take an active tour when they can get back out in the world.

Iron Gate-2
[Iron Gate, Serbia]

Additionally, 41% of people want to head out into nature, presumably as an antidote to lockdown fatigue

When asked whether he thinks travel will become more expensive post-pandemic, Poon Tip believes it will be cheaper in the short and long term, but in the mid-term prices will rise.

Noting how travel suppliers are offering discounts and added flexibility at first to get people to book travel again, he believes prices will see a spike in the mid-term once the industry eventually hits its stride. However, this is nothing to worry about as he expects the booking climate to even out and stabilize in the long-term.

London May 2016-33

In summarizing the current state of travel, Poon Tip says there’s many indicators that can be taken as positive signs for the future of travel as we re-emerge from this pandemic. 

“People are becoming more purposeful about where they want to go, and they are thinking about why they want to go to a destination rather than thinking about the amenities. It just takes a few people to make a huge difference.”

“There has been more change during March than any other month since the pandemic hit. Countries are trying hard to open their borders and there is a positive feeling right now – plus consumers are talking about travelling again which is also what we need.”

For more information on G Adventures, visit G Adventures online.

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