Much like everything else in the world around us for the last year and some months, what travelers are craving has changed and continues to evolve. In order for those in the travel and tourism industry to grow and thrive right along with their clients, it's vital to marry what worked in the past with what's anticipated to be coveted points of interest in the future.
Diversifying your portfolio offerings will not only benefit your business in the future by attracting new clients, it will also demonstrate to your already loyal base that you're staying up to date, ready to provide new and memorable experiences at every turn. Ready to get started? Consider these four increasingly popular options:
Wellness Travel is on the Rise.
A study by the International Committee of the Red Cross found that 51% of those surveyed across seven countries said the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health. Knowing this, it shouldn't be surprising that groups are prioritizing self-care and mental health now more than ever. Expect this trend to be among the top items groups will want incorporated in their itineraries. Ponder what those relaxing, restorative and peaceful offerings could look like—think hot springs, yoga and exercise classes, spa weekends, healthy meals, private accommodations, etc.
Outdoor Experiences are Always a Safe Bet.
While efforts to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine and end the pandemic are making progress, many groups are still focused on outdoor adventures as a way to still see the sights, but in a mindful way. Focus on itineraries that include natural marvels like National and State Parks, beaches and scenic biking or hiking trails, in addition to experiences like outdoor sculpture parks, walking tours focused on history and local architecture, and more. Why not soak up the sunshine?
Sports Tourism is Kicking Off.
As seen throughout different periods of time, sports provide a sense of camaraderie and togetherness—a feeling we've not been able to properly enjoy with others for over a year. With sports tourism being widely considered one of the fastest growing tourism sectors, it's wise to consider offering your groups outings such as stadium tours that take guests behind the scenes, visits to sports-based museums, outings to games or mega events like the Olympics and World Cups, etc. Of course, be sure the activities you've got planned are aligned with what's currently deemed safe in your destination.
Remember to See What's Happening in Your Own Backyard.
With our time having to be spent closer to home recently, more and more groups are realizing they've got lots of thrilling destinations to explore and experiences to enjoy in their own regions. According to recent Longwoods International research, 35% of travelers surveyed indicated they would still choose a destination they can reach by car, versus flying by plane. With this trend expected to continue, consider offering shorter tours that allow groups to stay closer to home but still offer the feeling and amenities of a true getaway.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.
This article originally appeared in the May/Jun 2021 issue of Groups Today.