Recently, the New Travel Conference hosted a panel discussion examining what trends we could expect for this summer season and beyond in the world of COVID-19.
The panel—moderated by Shivani Vora, Contributor, CNN, and Co-Founder, The New Travel—welcomed Jack Ezon, Founder, Embark Beyond and Co-Founder, The New Travel; Deborah Yaeger Fleming, CEO and Partner, Acqualina Resort and Residences on the Beach; Rainer Jenss, President and Founder, Family Travel Association; and Jer Goss, President, GossRV.
There were plenty of key takeaways from the discussion as it's becoming more evident that travel is going to come back, but based on people's personal risk aversion.
The panel touched on the prediction that we're going to see multifamily travel more than multigeneration travel, especially as older generations need to be more careful traveling during this time. According to Ezon, 50% of Embark Beyond's bookings right now are multifamily. These groups of families are being called "travel pods."
Whether or not travel will bounce back will depend entirely upon the level of risk aversion among travelers, the panel predicts. The role of the travel advisor especially is going to be unmatched, with travel advisors now being looked to as "risk navigators."
The panel notes that resorts will have to go the extra mile when it comes to kids' clubs. Aqualina Resort is taking part in Camp Embark and is making the effort to separate kids who are not traveling together into different groups. Instead of going to campgrounds, travelers are sometimes looking to luxury RV resorts and often are hiring a driver to drive the RV across the country so they don't have to.
While summer is all about domestic travel and road trips, fall is about micro-celebration travel—with groups of 10 to 30 people coming together to celebrate occasions. Of new requests Embark Beyond is getting, 30 to 40% are farther afield, specifically the Mediterranean, for months of August, September, and October.
According to the panel, Disney is the gold standard, so many are watching to see how they will reopen. If people are confident enough to travel to Disney, there will likely be a trickle-down effect for other attractions as well.
Click here to view the full panel discussion.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Groups Today.