The pandemic may have put a damper on much of our travel plans, but that also seems to have helped travelers take stock of their impact on the world and on the communities they visit. And that will shape travel plans in 2021 and beyond.
In a study conducted by Booking.com on the future of travel, travelers from 28 countries all over the world have indicated that they favored more responsible travel — whether it’s about their choice of destination, or how they choose to spend their money once they get there.
Fifty-three percent of all travelers surveyed agreed with the statement “I want to travel more sustainably because COVID-19 has opened my eyes to humans’ impact on the environment”, while a decisive 69% said they expected to find more sustainable options offered by the travel industry.
Furthermore, those planning to travel in 2021 will probably go for less popular destinations, to avoid peak season (51%) and overcrowding (48%). Sixty-three percent (63%) say they won’t go to busy tourist attractions.
Responsible travel also means supporting local communities (as with the Bayatakan Farm Experience in Siargao, pictured above) — 67% of travelers indicate that they want to support the recovery of destinations they visit, and 55% say they want to see how their tourist money will go back into the community.