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Locally many things now look different

© Jan Padilla

Trend researcher Quinby at ITB Berlin NOW: Placing hopes in high earners

In some cases there have been dramatic changes in the sort of local attractions associated with tourism, according to Douglas Quinby, founder of the Arival travel platform, at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention. Some of the things revealed by trend research were expected, but other findings were quite surprising.

According to Quinby, by 2019 the segment covering “Outlook Tours, Activities, Attractions” had become the third strongest in the in the travel industry, with worldwide sales totalling 254 billion dollars. Last year, due to coronavirus, only 24 per cent remained. Alternatives are needed in order to survive.

Many suppliers are concentrating their efforts on the domestic market. Those who previously provided city tours for groups of cyclists have switched to bicycle hire for people reluctant to use public transport. Those who offered catering for tourists are trying their luck with takeaway meals for working people. Quinby predicts that this will continue to be the case in 2021”.

The upsurge in technological innovation is ongoing. For local activities this increase was to some extent unavoidable due to the obligation to make advance reservations, and Quinby expects it to continue. Virtual travel has become very popular, but the founder of Arival does not expect this to become an established source of sales.

Quinby reassures the industry that “the recovery will not be long in coming”. Already for 2021 he is predicting a 53 per cent increase compared with the pre-coronavirus level, and as much as 80 per cent by 2022. The biggest surprise that this survey reveals is that this will be driven by those in the higher wage-earning bracket. In the USA it was revealed that 89 per cent of those questioned had just as much if not more money at their disposal after coronavirus than they did in 2019. Obviously one of the reasons for this has been their inability to travel, which is something that they intend to resume doing in the near future. Although this group only makes up 40 to 45 per cent of all travellers, they account for 62 of the total volume of sales.

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