As travel faces further uncertainty in 2021, Intrepid is helping us to shift our focus towards how, rather than where, we travel in the near future.
With the impacts of COVID-19 continuing to be felt around the world, Intrepid Travel has released its first-ever ‘how to go in 2021’ list. The list, replacing the annual ‘where to go’ lists, outlines 5 key trends that form the foundation of Intrepid’s new 2021 tour offerings.
With the timeline for reopening travel still unknown, Intrepid, who has been carbon neutral for over 10 years and operates over 800 tours on all 7 continents, developed these 5 foundations by looking at internal booking data, search data as well as wider societal trends.
They all helped inform Intrepid’s new tours in 2021, as they continue to reimagine adventure travel in the post-COVID world.
The 5 foundations that make up Intrepid’s ‘how to go in 2021’ list are:
1. Go Slower
Over the past 6 months, Intrepid has launched 15 new Retreats, with more planned in 2021. This new tour theme enables travellers to unpack once and commit to a more considered pace in a single location.
The trips were developed in direct response to COVID-19 for travellers to engage with surrounding communities away from crowds and in a more controlled setting.
The Retreats speak to the growing popularity of the “slow travel movement”, a trend developing among other tour operators.
2. Go into the wild
In 2021/2022, Intrepid departs on its inaugural Antarctica Expedition on the Ocean Endeavour. This first sail celebrates Intrepid becoming a true 7-continent operator, and will offer activities like camping, kayaking and snowshoeing.
Intrepid saw a 70 per cent increase globally in searches to its Antarctica pages in September 2020. Early signs show a strong demand for all types of wilderness experiences.
In Australia, recent analysis of social media and online activity by Neighbourlytics showed a clear shift towards nature-related activities compared to pre-pandemic.
Time outdoors after a year defined by lockdowns and increased screen time will be more important than ever, as new research shows that spending more time outdoors will have a positive impact on our mental health.
3. Go on your terms
As travellers around the world face varying levels of comfort and travel restrictions, customisation and flexibility will be two key pillars for the future of travel.
Intrepid Travel has spent the past six months revamping its Tailor-Made offering. In 2021, all 800+ Intrepid Trips will be fully customisable and available for travellers to book with their own private group, whether it is their family, their ‘bubble’ or beyond.
Intrepid has already seen a 120 per cent increase in global search traffic for the custom offerings over the past six months. Across the industry, interest in solo travel has also accelerated as a result of the pandemic.
As people are debating their personal level of comfort before travelling, many travellers are choosing to simply go on their own. So far in 2021, 31 per cent of Intrepid Travel’s booked customers are solo travellers.
4. Go on a human-powered adventure
Intrepid has released 4 new cycling trips and 4 new walking trips in addition to over 90 active itineraries available in 2021.
Cycling globally has been among the most widely adapted hobbies during the pandemic.
Cities like London have seen up to a 300 per cent increase in cyclists. In Australia, cycling is surging with a survey by Bicycle Network finding the number of riders on key bike paths around Melbourne increased by 270 per cent from November 2019 to April this year.
5. Go to regenerate, not just sustain
As the world’s largest travel B Corp and a carbon-neutral travel company, Intrepid has focused its efforts on advocating for a responsible rebuild of the travel industry.
Beyond sustainability, COVID-19 has also been a catalyst for the regenerative travel movement. The goal is to minimise our impact while proactively working to benefit the destinations and communities we visit.
Prior to the pandemic, the global tourism industry contributed to 8 per cent of global GHG emissions and accounted for 1 in 10 jobs around the world.
In the future, regardless of where we go, adopting sustainable and regenerative travel practices has never been more important.
“Whether it’s closer to home or further abroad, travel has changed forever, and together we must create a new normal and focus on rebuilding travel better than it was before.”
James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel.
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