The year 2020 changed the way many industries operate, setting way for new trends. In the context of jobs, there are some which are or will remain no more prevalent which would also mean many new ones will be created too. We evaluate the travel and hospitality trends that will be on the table in 2021, paving way for new kinds of roles.
Buying Travel Certainty: Independent Travel Experts and Insurance Boom
A lot of tourism and travel businesses went bust in 2020 due to travel restrictions amidst Covid-19. Take for instance, high street stores of companies like Thomas Cook which closed operations across the globe as they were no longer competitive enough. There is now a factor of uncertainty when it comes to making a travel plan. Nobody wants to make a booking which could be cancelled the next day. This will pave the way for independent travel experts which can provide intimate and personalised services and hence a reassurance to travellers during uncertain and turbulent times. Having a personal consultant for travel might become a new trend.
Change In The Marketing Game: Influencer Market
It’s all about the influencer market these days. Every second Instagram post of an influencer will see them show you around a beautiful location, a great resort stay and the hospitality provided by them. From luxury chains to small boutique homestays, everyone is scouting for barter/paid deals with influencers, bloggers, Youtube stars to up their marketing game as the restrictions open up.
Covid has given sustainable tourism a fast-forward of several years. Areas like eco tourism, rural tourism, volunteer tourism, glamping and slow travel are expected to see a surge.
Smart Tourism: Calling Technology Developers/Experts
Recovering from Covid-19 losses, majority of the players in the hospitality industry are wanting to adapt to smart tourism to improve the efficiency of resource management, maximise their profits and most importantly adhere to the “no touch” policy through the use of technological innovations and practices. For the hospitality segment, smart tourism could be implemented in varied forms starting from QR code for menus, devices for safety protocols, IoT devices for hotel management etc.
Smart tourism is going to be big business in travel. IoT technology will help to reopen tourism destinations and facilities while preventing and limiting the spread of the Covid-19. This would involve things like smart motorways, facial recognition, virtual tours, robot vending machines etc which will lead to more and more demand for technology products, developers and experts.
Sustainable/Niche Tourism: New-Age Consultants, Design Experts
Covid has given sustainable tourism a fast-forward of several years. Areas like eco tourism, rural tourism, volunteer tourism, mountain climbing, outdoor activities, glamping and slow travel are expected to see a surge. This will create opportunities for independent guides and organisers/companies besides consultants who specialise in sustainable tourism. Countries are on a hiring spree for sustainable tourism experts as the tourism business revives. This is also an opportunity for start-ups as the industry moves away from mass tourism to more smaller and more unique types of tourism, known as niche tourism.
Secondly, eco-friendly practices are becoming the norm, as properties focus on renewable energy resources and water scarcity. This has been around for quite some time now but the adoption rate is likely to increase in future, paving way for design experts, architects and consultants which would help the properties go clean and green.
What’s In It For Me?
In order to survive and grow in the travel and hospitality sector, one needs to go beyond the knowledge of old basic operations, especially adapting to new technology and personalisation. There would be a need to re-skill in terms of concepts like sustainability, responsible travel etc. Unique short term courses are coming up like ‘coding for hospitality’ to help students/entrepreneurs ride the tech-driven disrupted wave in the sector, service operations management, hotel market analysis and valuation, hotel revenue management, excellence in spa operations, financial planning for wellness centers.