With the impacts of COVID-19 continuing to be felt around the world, Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company and certified travel B Corp, has released their first ever “How” To Go In 2021 list. The compilation, replacing the annual “where to go” lists, outlines five key trends that form the foundation of Intrepid’s new 2021 tour offerings.
With the timeline for reopening travel still unknown, Intrepid, who has been carbon neutral for over 10 years and operates over 800 tours on all seven continents, developed these five foundations by looking at internal booking data, search data, as well as wider societal trends. They all helped inform Intrepid’s new tours in 2021, as they continue to reimagine adventure travel in the post-COVID world.
The five foundations that make up Intrepid’s How To Go In 2021 list are:
- Go slower – Over the past six months, Intrepid has launched 15 new Retreats, with more planned in 2021. This new tour theme enables travelers to unpack once and commit to a more considered pace in a single location. The trips were developed in direct response to COVID-19 for travelers to engage with surrounding communities away from crowds and in a more controlled setting. The Retreats speak to the growing popularity of the “slow travel movement”, a trend developing among other tour operators. Trips highlighting the new Intrepid Retreats include the 5-day Greece Retreat: Syros Island and 5-day Croatia Retreat: Lastovo Island.
- Go into the wild – In 2021/2022, Intrepid departs on their inaugural Antarctica Expedition on the Ocean Endeavour. This first sail celebrates Intrepid becoming a true seven-continent operator, and will offer activities like camping, kayaking and snowshoeing. Intrepid saw a 70% increase globally in searches to their Antarctica pages in September 2020. Early signs show a strong demand for all types of wilderness experiences. In the United States, pandemic-fueled visitation has U.S. national parks tracking to break visitor records. Time outdoors after a year defined by lock-downs and increased screen time will be more important than ever, as new research shows that spending more time outdoors will have a positive impact on our mental health. Beyond Antarctica, Intrepid continues to see steady bookings to the Galapagos Islands and on their Africa safaris for the second half of 2021.
- Go on your terms – As travelers around the world face varying levels of comfort and travel restrictions, customization and flexibility will be two key pillars for the future of travel. Intrepid Travel has spent the past six months revamping their Tailor-Made offering. In 2021, all 800+ Intrepid Trips will be fully customizable and available for travelers to book with their own private group, whether it is their family, their ‘bubble’ or beyond. Intrepid has already seen a 120% increase in global search traffic for their custom offerings over the past six months. Across the industry, interest in solo travel has also accelerated as a result of the pandemic. As people are debating their personal level of comfort before traveling, many are choosing to simply go on their own. So far in 2021, 31% of Intrepid Travel’s booked customers are solo travelers.
- Go on a human-powered adventure – Intrepid has released four new cycling trips and four new walking trips in addition to over 90 active itineraries available in 2021. Cycling globally has been among the most widely adapted hobbies during the pandemic. Cities like London have seen up to a 300% increase in cyclists. In the U.S., some cities have started developing green recovery plans around reducing cars and optimizing their cities for cyclists. As Intrepid looks to provide more options for new active enthusiasts, they have launched the new 3-day England: Peak District Walking Retreat and 4-day Cycle New Zealand: Otago Rail Trail, among others.
- Go to regenerate, not just sustain – As the world’s largest travel B Corp and a carbon-neutral travel company, Intrepid has focused their efforts on advocating for a responsible rebuild of the travel industry following the pandemic. They recently open-sourced a guide to decarbonize your travel business and their animal welfare policy as tools for other travel companies and consumers to travel more responsibly in the future. Beyond sustainability, COVID-19 has also been a catalyst for the regenerative travel movement. The goal is to minimize our impact while proactively working to benefit the destinations and communities we visit. Prior to the pandemic the global tourism industry accounted for 1 in 10 jobs, but it also contributed to 8% of global GHG emissions. In the future, regardless of where we go, adopting sustainable and regenerative travel practices has never been more important.
“In 2021, travellers around the world will continue to be faced with varying levels of restrictions and limited destinations they can visit,” says James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel. “This year we knew our focus would need to be less about the where and more about the how, looking at the ways in which we will travel better in the future. Whether it’s closer to home or further abroad, travel has changed forever, and together we must create a new normal, focused on rebuilding travel better than it was before.”
To explore the full How To Go In 2021 list, visit: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/how-to-go-2021.
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