Looking to the year ahead, there’s (understandably) a lot of uncertainty and doubt for experience creators globally. How should you respond to the pandemic as vaccination programmes roll out? How are consumers planning their holidays now? And what expectations do they have of businesses?
At the start of 2021, we set out to answer those very questions, surveying 3000 consumers across the UK, Europe and North America. We also interviewed our global community of experience creators for their insights surviving the pandemic and their perspective on the future of our experiences sector.
What we discovered is that the experience economy is on the brink of an era-defining period, supercharged by a new wave of experience businesses and huge pent-up demand within a society who – more than ever before – can’t wait to spend money on creating memories.
In the first of a series of trend reports, ‘Better Days Are Coming’, we identify 6 trends shaping how consumers are travelling and experience businesses are adapting in 2021 and beyond.
Inside ‘Better Days Are Coming’ Trend Report
Key takeaways from the report include:
Experiential travel in particular looks set to explode
When asked what type of holiday our respondents would go on if they were only allowed one trip, over 85% said they would choose an experience holiday. And 86% are planning to go on an experience holiday of some sort in 2021. Festivals and active group holidays top the list of experiences our respondents are most likely to go on. This is a continuation of a growing trend researchers have observed over the past few years.
Consumer confidence in group travel is bouncing back
77% of travellers would feel comfortable joining a group holiday with people outside their household in 2021. While catching up with our nearest and dearest will be a priority for many, meeting new people after a year under restrictions is sure to seem like a much needed breath of fresh air. However, with coronavirus in mind, smaller groups are preferred, with 23% of people surveyed only feeling comfortable with groups of up to 5 people and 36% comfortable with 5-10 people.
Businesses showing willingness to adapt will benefit the most
In times of uncertainty, travellers value booking flexibility more than ever. The good news is that 88.84% of travellers are still happy to put down a deposit if offered a free change of dates – confirmation that appetite for travel remains. Within our creator community, over 90% have offered a free change of dates outside their standard terms and conditions in 2020. The majority will continue to provide more flexibility in the future.
Creator stories to inspire your business
The report also features inspiring stories from Envision Festival, Unplugged, Magikvanilla Surf Camp on surviving and thriving against the odds. You’ll find actionable insights to effectively manage and grow your experience business in 2021 and beyond.