The predicting of 2021 trends is unlike anything we have ever experienced before. Usually, the trends are based on past patterns and data samples. But the year 2020 has been a curveball for many. Experts are still trying to understand how it will affect lives globally as we move into the New Year. While the Covid-19 pandemic was a disaster for most sectors of the economy, it hit some more severely than others. Travel was one of them. Learn about the 8 popular business trends in Scandinavian travel
The Scandinavian countries, like the rest of the world, closed their borders and ceased all international travel as the pandemic started wreaking its havoc.
Things are, somewhat, returning to normal even as we fight the second wave of the coronavirus. We have new vaccines, we have acclimated ourselves to living in a socially distant environment, and we are adapting to our new normal. Travel restrictions have also eased up, and the Scandinavian travelers who had postponed their trips in 2020, are expected to resume their plans in 2021.
So, what these new plans will look like for Nordic travelers and what you, as a travel business, can do to make sure you are an active part of it – let’s find out.
Scandinavians have always loved traveling for business. But unlike many business travelers from other parts of the world, they like to spend time exploring the local culture, cuisine, and scenes. As the economic activities pick up from all across the world, expect the Nordic travelers to continue mixing pleasure with business. Arriving a few days early or staying for a few days more after their conference ends will be a usual occurrence.
As a travel management company, lure these professionals by designing holiday packages that pay the best value for the buck and can pack up a lot of local culture in a short amount of time.
Employers and employees have finally realized that remote work is possible. It has given rise to a specific kind of travel trend where people are looking to book longer stays and continue to work from remote locations. We are expecting the Nordic travelers to join this trend. The Scandinavian countries have a substantial population of freelancers who work from home or use online tools such as travel logo maker, customer relationship applications, and content dashboards. With lockdown restrictions in place, most regular employees are also working from home. This means, as a travel expert running your own agency, you may have a large influx of travelers who wish to adopt the digital nomad lifestyle.
Design strategies to lure digital nomads who wish to stay for long durations. Learn, do research, and get informed about places that issue digital nomad visas and what it entails.
Create Sustainable Travel Plans
Eco-tourism and sustainable travels are going to be huge trends for the upcoming year. Consumers are becoming conscientious about how they travel, how their travel affects the local economy and culture, and what they take back from it. Sustainable travel is increasingly becoming more popular in Nordic countries and both inbound and outbound travel is being affected by it. If you can create travel plans that take into account carbon footprint offsetting and other sustainable measures, you’re golden.
Create travel itineraries that promote responsible tourism, conscious use of energy and other resources, waste and recycling management, support of the local economy, and transparency at every step of the way.
Adventure Destinations & Nature-Exploring
Because of the sheer and varied beauty of the Nordic landscape, the area is famous for adventure travels and exploring nature in all its untouched glory. With most of us shut up in our houses for the better part of a year, expect a lot of travelers to look for holidays where they’ll either want to go big or stay at home.
For the ‘going big’ travelers, adventure tours are going to be a huge attraction. Exploring untouched parts of the landscape, eating food that they have never heard of before, solo traveling, and staying in remote locations, etc., is going to be all the rage for these travelers.
Explore your local community and culture and discover what adventure tours you can offer your customers. The more unique and tailored packages you offer, the more murmurs for you through the grapevine.
Authentic, Off-Beaten Paths
We expect off-the-path adventures as being the next big trend in the travel industry. Looking to immerse in travel scenarios that are unique and personal, and exploring areas that have not seen many tourists approach is a joy like no other.
Travel to these less-visited areas is also an attempt at sustainability. Consumers are becoming more conscious of preserving local culture, history, and locations. And therefore, they are looking for ways to not put too much pressure on well-known tourist locations. Mountain walk trails, ski resorts that see lower tourist turn out, beaches that not many people know about, and other such remote, authentic locations will see a surge in incoming tourist traffic.
Large companies and tour operators will do well to connect with travel experts at the micro-local levels. Only then we can create authentic experiences for travelers that will bring them to us over and over again.
Digital Payment Solutions
Another trend that will help the Scandinavian travel market to find its footing again is its increasing immersion with technology. Tech payment solutions that allow customers to pay via digital solutions or an app will help different segments of the market, not just travel. Food, leisure, entertainment, retail, and more will benefit if foreign travelers can make safe and secure transactions in a cashless manner.
Become a travel company that makes it easy for consumers to pay for things. Allow your customers the freedom to travel without financial worry in the remotest of areas with all of their transactions taken care of in the safest ways possible.
Traveling Within Nordic Countries
While Scandinavians love to travel outside their region – Germany, Japan, and Thailand, for example – they also love to take advantage of the strong relations with each other and travel to sister countries. The government-run railways, similar local languages, strong cultural ties, and still plenty to explore are some of the factors behind this accelerating trend. According to a travel market report for Norway, its sister country Denmark was its #1 guest in 2019 (over 90,000 visits), closely followed by Sweden (over 80,000 visits).
Create unique travel plans for Nordic travelers visiting neighboring countries. Perhaps something unique that no other travel agent is offering. Think of family travel bonanzas, tailored trips, and never-before-seen locations.
Health, Hygiene, And Safety
Unsurprisingly, the most dominant travel trend for Scandinavia, and other countries, is going to be an insistence on travel conditions that are safe, hygienic, and according to the latest health standards. People are not taking any chances when they eventually leave their homes to travel abroad. Social distancing protocols, travel restrictions, health and safety concerns, any compulsory isolation policy in place by any government, and other details like that need to be communicated clearly and openly to customers visiting the area.
As you create tourist packages and travel plans, be sure to gather as much information as you can about the latest on the health and safety front amid the global pandemic. Make sure to offer your customers a travel experience that they can enjoy in complete safety and with no health concerns whatsoever.
8 popular business trends in Scandinavian travel – In summary
The business trends for the Scandinavian travel industry mirror a lot of patterns for other European countries like the UK, Germany, and Belgium, etc. To make the most of these trends and emerge as a leader in your market, you need to have a proactive approach. Sustainable travel that’s more local, business travel that offers sufficient personal time, and the ability to create vacation plans that are adventurous and authentic are going to be some of the driving factors for the 2021 travel.
8 Popular Business Trends in Scandinavian Travel, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Steward Hudson. Steward is a marketer by profession and a blogger by passion. He takes pride in the years he has spent writing and marketing for various businesses and organizations. Apart from this, he loves traveling and trying exquisite cuisines.
Feature image (on top): Geirangerfjord. Photo:Gultyayeva / Fjord Norway