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New Tourism

The new face of tourism in 2021

With the health crisis, we realized that we don't always have to go to the other side of the world for feeling out of place... And today, feeling on holiday close to home is possible! Headerpop presents this tourism trend that took off in 2020.

A strong demand for closer and slower travel

According to a survey of 21,000 people conducted by Booking.com, 47% of respondents plan to travel in their country in the medium term and 38% in the long term in the coming months. On the other hand, only 21% plan to travel to a distant destination by the end of 2021. We can see that the trend is for proximity tourism, but will it manage to establish itself in the long term?

As a result, travellers’ tourism practices changed and had to be adapted to the restrictions in place. We are now looking for touristic destinations close to home. Our holidays are about rediscovering our regions and being surprised by the scenery and experiences they have to offer.

This closer tourism led to the rise of slow tourism and many people have been seduced and have now adopted it. Taking the time to stroll, to meet people, to enjoy local products or opting for gentler transports all have been favoured activities last year.

The rise of proximity tourism

The proximity tourism, also known as “staycation”, is a practice that consists in travelling close to one’s daily environment. In other words, it is the idea of rediscovering a place in a different way, organising various tourist activities, living unusual experiences and responding to a need for a break from everyday life while remaining in an environment close to home. It’s about turning the ordinary into the extraordinary!

This tourism practice had already begun to grow before the health crisis, which accelerated the trend: more local travels appeared as the only way to get away and became more popular.

Different criteria for an attractive and nearby touristic destination

Proximity tourism also means residents. Integrating inhabitants into the touristic offer of their city or their region is certainly one of the biggest tourism issues today. But when the inhabitant becomes a tourist, the issue is quite different.

Indeed, he is already more or less familiar with the environment and it can be difficult to surprise him. Therefore, the valorisation of the destinations can seem difficult. It is necessary to know how to highlight the assets of the territory in an original way in order to capture the attention of the traveller who sleeps in the inhabitant.

Because today the traveller is constantly searching for novelty, authenticity, originality and naturalness. And this search is currently growing because of the current health context. Indeed, the need to go back to nature and to disconnect is growing to become almost omnipresent in the traveller’s mind. He are also looking for real experiences and even more, for sensations. All of these expectations become fundamental criteria in the choice of their future tourist destinations.

This is why hiking, cycling and other touristic routes, which are real sources of disconnection, are currently a real success. For example, the touristic activities surrounded by nature in the Ardennes, the lung of Wallonia, have never been as popular as in 2020. Other destinations have bet on “gamification”, another rising trend in the tourism sector. This method enables visitors to discover a territory in a fun and original way.

In the Drôme Sud Provence region or in Occitania, treasure hunts, investigation games or digital games have been created and have seduced the general public.

Knowing how to promote your tourism offer in 2021

Some touristic destinations stand out in 2021. They are territories often located in the heart of nature, in the mountains or by the sea, far from the metropolises. They have been able to take advantage of the situation this year and promote themselves thanks to their specificities.

These destinations had to be imaginative and rely on their unusual character, their originality, their warm welcome or their gastronomy. Inventiveness is the new watchword!

  • Brittany especially shone and attracted many Bretons and French tourists in 2020. The “Brittany, a change of scenery close to home” communication campaign was launched last June. It had a positive effect on tourist numbers, thanks in particular to the highlighting of the Breton identity through visuals reflecting the region’s landscapes.
Brittany Tourism campaign – “Brittany, a change of scenery close to home”
  • Switzerland also stood out with its “I need a holiday, I need Switzerland” campaign. It focused on the destination’s natural and revitalising character.
Switzerland campaign – “I need a holiday, I need Switzerland.”
  • In Belgium, the Wallonia region and the Belgian coast were the most successful.
  • In France, other destinations such as the Ardèche and the Dordogne were at the top of the ranking.

Micro-adventure, a new tourism innovation

This is the new trend of 2021! Micro-adventure combines eco-tourism, skills, but also nature and discovery. It consists in going on an adventure close to home, discovering the surrounding nature and living sensations. It responds to travellers’ need to disconnet, to get back to simplicity and nature. Micro-adventure is therefore :

  • an adventure closer to home;
  • a more eco-friendly holiday;
  • less expensive;
  • great sensations!

A travel agency take advantage of this trend and specialised in micro-adventures to capture the ever-growing enthusiasts. You may have already heard of it, it’s called Chilowé. It offers ideas for micro-adventures and proposes exotic visits in the middle of nature, with or without a guide, around the big cities.

The important thing is to communicate

In these difficult times for the tourism sector, communication remains essential! Until we can travel again for long distances, destinations need to be more imaginative for inspiring their local audience.

Destinations will have to focus on emotions, surprise and learn how to promote their lifestyle sufficiently to make the local population dream. The Headerpop team, specialised in tourism and lifestyle, can help you in this process. Contact us for more information!


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