Expedia.com Reveals Traveler Priorities for 2021 in New Report
This week, Expedia.com released its 2021 Travel Tends Report, which analyzes traveler data to determine the biggest takeaways from this year and give tourists an idea of what they will see next year. For the report, the site partnered with the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) to research the effect of the pandemic on air travel.
“What we learned by looking at traveler behaviors in a year as unusual as 2020 is that travel will always be an integral part of our lives,” Expedia.com Senior PR Manager Christie Hudson said. According to Expedia.com, one of the traveler priorities for 2021 includes flexibility.
Travelers booked refundable rates 10 percent more this year than they did in 2019. In addition, Expedia.com says, flexibility is more affordable than ever, as its lodging data “shows average daily rates for refundable bookings were 20 percent cheaper in 2020 compared to 2019.”
Travelers also will require health and safety advancements, since concerns about staying safe while traveling continue to impact all aspects of trip planning. “Since May, nearly 300,000 properties have added health and cleanliness information on Expedia.com, including enhanced cleaning, contactless check-in, social distancing and other guest safety measures,” it says.
Expedia.com’s study also reports that most travelers are booking flights less than a month out. When the pandemic started, ARC found that the average U.S. traveler booked his or her flight 46 days in advance of their departure date. Since August, that number has dropped to 29 days out — which is the first time the number has dropped below 30 days in years. “However, with airlines eliminating change fees, travelers may feel more confident booking further out, knowing they can always change their plans down the road,” Expedia.com says.
The report also shows growth in alternative accommodations. Although hotels were the most popular type of lodging this year, castles, ranches, cabins, chalets and cottages showed the biggest growth compared to 2019. “These types of retreats, typically found outside of big cities, were the perfect getaway spots for travelers in search of wide-open spaces, nature and privacy,” Expedia.com said. “This trend is expected to continue as people look to travel safely amid the pandemic.”
Expedia.com also found it was important to travelers that they maximize their trips. When they were in quarantine, many used virtual tours and activities to satisfy their desire to travel. “But once able to roam again, whether it was just within their own cities or on a proper getaway, travelers resumed looking to activities as a way to get the most out [of] their trips,” Expedia.com says, noting that its top trending activities included a boat tour in Miami’s Biscayne Bay and an ATV and ziplining adventure in the Cenotes.