Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company, has released its first ‘How To Go in 2021’ list, highlighting key trends that will shape travel in the next year. The five trends, which are based on internal booking and search data as well as wider industry trends, have formed the foundation of Intrepid’s new trips for 2021.
“In 2021, travellers around the world will continue to be faced with varying levels of restrictions, and limited destinations they can visit,” says James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel. “This year we knew our focus would need to be less about the where and more about the how, looking at the ways in which we will travel better in the future. 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.”
The five foundations that make up Intrepid’s How to Go in 2021 list are:
Intrepid has seen strong interest in its new range of closer-to-home Retreats, launched in June, and will be expanding the range for 2021. This new tour theme, with a more relaxed pace and based in a single location, was developed in direct response to the realities of post-COVID travel. The trips are designed to support local communities affected by the pandemic. “The pandemic has forced us to slow down and many of us are not in a hurry to return to a fast-paced style of travel,” said Thornton.
Go into the wild
Bookings for 2021 show a strong demand for all of types of wilderness experiences. Thornton said: “Wilderness may just be the new wellness for 2021. Time outdoors after a year defined by lock-downs and increased screen time will be more important than ever.” Intrepid saw a 70% increase globally in searches to its Antarctica pages in September 2020. In 2021/2022, the operator will run its inaugural Antarctica Expedition on the Ocean Endeavour. Beyond Antarctica, Intrepid continues to see strong bookings on its Okavango Experience and Classic Costa Rica, with both in its top five selling trips from the UK in September.
Go on your own terms
As travellers around the world face various levels and often frequently-changing travel restrictions, customisation and flexibility will be two key pillars for the future of travel. 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% increase in global search traffic for its private groups web pages in the past six months.
Go to regenerate, not just sustain
Community-based travel will gain traction in 2021 as customers look to not only have a sustainable travel experience, but have a positive impact on the destination they are visiting. As the world’s largest travel B Corp and a carbon-neutral travel company, Intrepid works with local NGOs to develop new tourism experiences which provide a sustainable livelihood for communities in remote locations where there is often a lack of economic opportunity.
Go on a human-powered adventure
Walking and cycling were a lifeline for many over lockdown, and it seems Brits are keen to continue their hobby on holiday. Vietnam, Jordan and Morocco are among the operator’s best-selling cycling trips for 2021, as well as the closer-to-home Cycle the Danube. Many are also ready to tackle that challenge they’ve always dreamed of – Everest Base Camp trek was the second top-selllng trip for Intrepid in September.
Thornton said: “Our stats show that the lockdown bike boom wasn’t just a blip – people want to be more active in their everyday lives and how they travel.”