With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out even more in 2021, a return to travel is on the horizon and the industry is taking steps to win back customers.
“I think what you're going to see, the theme generally within the travel industry is going to be, look we want you to book a trip. We want you to feel like you have something to look forward to. We're not going to necessarily refund your trip, but we will give you the flexibility to make it work for you,” said Francesca Page, travel expert at misstravelguru.com.
Page spoke with us about some of the new trends within travel. One is sort of a new spin on timeshares, membership and subscription-based services like club Wyndham.
“You have to think here like multi-bedroom suites, full-service kitchens and relaxed living spaces, but with the flexibility to extend their stay by maximizing their membership travel points and obviously the comforts of home, coupled with feeling like you are taking some sort of travel experience that's very appealing to people,” said Page.
Other 2021 travel trends are dateless departures, basically guaranteeing you a spot when the first tours start again to a specific destination. If the dates don't line up, you can rebook without losing money.
A new safety option – travel bubbles. Those are smaller and private group tours designed to keep your group socially distant from other travelers.
Page predicts we will see a rise in travel bookings starting this week while people are taking time off and looking ahead to next year.
“People shouldn't feel like, you know, what I just am going to forget about travel. I'm going to put it aside. We're never going to take that honeymoon. We're never going to take that vacation,” said Page. “There is nothing wrong with getting ready because this isn't going to be here forever.”
Page anticipates more airlines will offer virus testing next year and resorts could soon as well. Some resorts are already doing it, like the REVIV IV Wellness Spa at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, which is offering both PCR and antibody tests.
A spokesperson for the resort released the following statement on testing:
In an effort to mitigate COVID-19 risk and exposure to its guests, REVIV at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers real-time COVID-19 PCR testing ($100), available daily at the resort. The preventative measure features expedited test results (a 24-hour turnaround time is expected), providing guests with both their results and an issued travel document should it be required for air travel.
Antibody tests are also available for $40, and both tests are offered for $140. Additionally, a $50 off discount is extended to guests who choose to purchase a test alongside any IV treatment. Walk-ins are welcome and advanced reservations are available.