Slow travel could become the next big tourism trend, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. This is due to a combination of pent-up demand for immersive travel experiences with no set time limit, and tourists opting for longer stays due to many being able to work remotely.
Slow travel refers to when travellers spend longer in a destination, prioritising connecting with local people, culture, food, and music. According to GlobalData, this makes slower travel more sustainable for the environment and more profitable for local communities.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global remote workforce has grown tremendously. Over 70% of respondents to a GlobalData poll indicated that they now worked remotely either part- or full-time. This means that employees and entrepreneurs can be more flexible with their work hours and location, which makes blending work and leisure easier than ever through extended, slower ‘workcations’.
In GlobalData’s Q1 2021 survey, which asked how important ‘supporting social causes’ was for consumers’ product purchases, 25% of global respondents said it was very important, while 45% said it was ‘nice to have’. Supporting local communities post-pandemic is another opportunity for slow travel.
Johanna Bonhill-Smith, travel & tourism analyst at GlobalData, says: “Various consumer trends already suggest that slow travel could take off post-pandemic. A trip longer than ten nights is more highly desired (22%) than a day visit (10%) or short break of one to three nights (14%), according to a live poll from GlobalData. The added hassle and cost of additional COVID-19-related travel requirements such as PCR tests and potential quarantine periods mean that short trips lose value, justifying a longer trip.”