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Cabin syndrome : Tourism adapts

In order to fight the hut syndrome, many destinations are relying on communication to nearby populations for the summer of 2020.

What’s the cabin syndrome ?

The expression “Cabin syndrome” dates back to the time of the gold diggers. They would go away for months at a time and live far away from everything, alone in their hut, and when they came back many were anxious to return to a social life. So it was called the cabin fever.

The cabin fever has been mentioned since the post-lockdown because many people say they have difficulty getting out of their homes. They don’t feel the desire to see the world again, have no motivation, are afraid of getting sick when they go out, etc. They only feel good and safe at home and enjoy being alone.

According to a survey for the magazine “society” 29% of French people want to remain confined and 38% of them are between 18 and 24 years old. Surprisingly, it is the youngest who prefer to wait before going out.

An impact on tourism that everyone wants to avoid

It is therefore clear that this syndrome poses serious problems for the commercial economic sectors, particularly tourism. 

Indeed, how can the tourism sector be revived under these conditions? Especially since the tourism sector is already heavily impacted by travel restrictions and social distancing measures.

Nevertheless, destinations are adjusting their speeches, to reassure and give back confidence to tourists to get them out of their huts this summer. Thus, multiple post-confinement tourist campaigns have been set up with this idea in mind.

Post-lockdown tourism promotional campaigns

Here are a few examples of campaigns that encourage French tourists to get out of their homes and rediscover the pleasure of travel… while staying close to home.

The Ardennes “Go far next door”

This campaign launched in March 2020, in collaboration with Headerpop, was timely. This destination is a cross-border which is positioned with a neighbouring and international public, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, to offer a change of scenery close by. The dream to get out of the hut and back to nature.

Partir loin tout près
Partir loin tout près en Ardenne

The French Riviera for a change of scenery

Their tourist campaign encourages people to get out of their homes and discover the beauty of the region in the summer. This campaign is called “Change of scenery”, so it refers to the four walls we observed during the lockdown.

cabin tourism

Normandy for somewhere else here

This campaign for Normandy highlights the richness of the Normandy landscapes. Each variation of the campaign exposes a different place by associating it with well-known tourist spots, hence the name of the campaign “Ailleurs c’est ici!”. Here again, the aim is to offer a reassuring escape.

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L’attribut alt de cette image est vide, son nom de fichier est Ailleurs-cest-ici-Normandie.jpg.

Wallonia for take a break

Wallonia Belgium Tourism has released its post-confinement communication campaign, entitled “destination Wallonia, everything to escape”. The idea is to relaunch Walloon tourism, which has been hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis, but above all to reinvent Walloon tourism.

L’attribut alt de cette image est vide, son nom de fichier est wallonie-1.jpg.
L’attribut alt de cette image est vide, son nom de fichier est destination-wallonie.jpg.

New tourism trends are emerging

  • Solitary tourism: due to social distancing measures and the effect of confinement on the population (cabin syndrome), tourism will be done in small groups or alone. Overly touristy places will be set aside in favour of more remote or forgotten places. 
  • The discovery of local treasures: local tourism will be favoured, leaving to discover the surroundings, the tourist areas close to us, our regions rich in culture and our various landscapes. 
  • La Madeleine de Proust: redoing the outings that we used to go on when we were younger near our home, all those places forgotten since our last school outings, parks, museums, etc. Everything we used to do and that we don’t do anymore.
  • Environmental thinking: Following the numerous videos broadcast during the confinement of fauna and flora suffering from human occupation, many will have this desire to make eco-responsible tourism. The public will be vigilant about transport, accommodation, activities, etc. and will adapt their way of travelling to the environment.

In summary, post-lockdown will not be an obvious step for the tourism sector to manage. Between social distancing measures, travel restrictions and the hut syndrome, it is a new and stressful situation for the actors in the sector. However, there are great opportunities, and many players, already aware of the slow tourism trend, have started to reinvent themselves with new offers and creative communication.

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