A Visit to Saint Lucia, And How New Trends Will Shape Travel In 2021

December 14, 2020 Admin

By Lorraine Simpson

Trucks shipping vaccines to hospitals, rapid testing at airports and pharmacies, a growing remote workforce, and new technologies of sorts hitting the market – all efforts being deployed in a bid to combat the world’s worst pandemic in over a century.

These are the headlines I continue to read on a tablet from my safe haven here in St. Lucia, my new home away from home at Jade Mountain.

The extended patio where I enjoy a morning coffee and afternoon tea also includes a pool and breathtaking views of a tropical locale frozen in beauty, charm, and intrigue. My suite was the one used for The Bachelor, Season 11 (Finale), making the stay extra-special, and yes, I am also enjoying the beach, meeting locals, good eats, and yachting.

But my time here is more about exploration than it is relaxation. I came here on a mission to test the travel waters and to see what the future will look like for our industry, both for travel businesses and consumers.

The good news is that tons of progress is being made to curb COVID-19, and this means only one thing for the travel industry: it will soon boom again as millions of people will soon starting booking trips.

While we are all bidding farewell to 2020, let me assure you that 2021 will be the year that travel rebounds in a massive way. Travel consumers have been sidelined with new rules and guidelines that have kept us all hunkered down at home, and this has literally crippled travel since last March.

So, while many of you are itching to get back into the skies again, I am here to fill you in on how new trends will reshape the travel industry and what you need to know if you are a travel business or travel enthusiast.

Sailing in Saint Luca. Photo Courtesy Lorraine Simpson

Travel consumers will want more direct flights with fewer touch points

In 2021, direct-flight bookings will go way up, according to leading online travel agencies and travel agents. People will not want to be moving from airport-to-airport to save on travel costs, but instead they will pay top dollar to get to where they need to go with fewer touchpoints. I learned this first-hand while traveling from Toronto to St. Lucia, and in-between flights I was very impressed with how the crews thoroughly disinfected the plane before the next passengers boarded. The good news is that lots of destinations have direct flights from major cities, one being Toronto Pearson International Airport, and there are already some great travel deals that will get you places, which means that you can fly during the day or enjoy a red-eye flight for arrival in the morning.

Sustainability will rule the day

We will see new travel consumers taking on the role as concerned citizens, advocating for greener initiatives at hotels and tourist destinations. A resort like Jade Mountain will be a top seller for travellers as they have already put in place an innovative water management system, dubbed Water is Life, to enforce strict wastewater discharge practices in order to minimize impact on the environment. Then they also have their own smart Energy Management and Transportation initiatives in place to protect nature, wildlife, and fish. Their reduce, reuse and RECYCLE program is second-to-none. Even better, new travellers in 2021 will enjoy the fact that Jade Mountain allows its guests to take part in environmental activities, like reef cleaning, beach cleaning, and tree planting.

Quality will be better than quantity

Yes, the stacked all-you-can-eat-buffets and all-you-can-drink-resorts crowded with scores of people will not be as popular as they used to be, that’s for sure. Travellers in 2021 will want more meaning with their destinations, and lots of consumers won’t be flocking to locations for the sake of saying, “look at where I am today” on their social media channels. Bloggers, travel columnists, and consumers alike contend that they will be embarking on off-the-beaten-track-places, despite higher costs, and they will want more tailored and personalized experiences. Here at Jade Mountain, guest get nothing but quality: from dining in your own sanctuary, to enjoying endless culinary adventures, this place has it all and will attract new travellers in 2021, who will enjoy private dining, the chocolate lab, the emerald farm, the wellness sanctuaries, local excursions, bird watching, scuba diving, cycling, boating, hiking, water sports, and most of all the local history and culture the island has to offer.

Saint Lucia and the Pitons. Photo Courtesy Lorraine Simpson

Our travel will be more inclusive

According to National Geographic, the travel industry will be catering to the needs of diverse clientele, more so than ever before. The industry has taken a hard hit with the pandemic and business leaders have had ample time to look to the future of travel and how they can make it better for everyone. So, moving forward we will most likely see the industry putting on a stronger push in catering to travellers of colour, disabled persons, elderly, and plus-sized men and women. Back to Jade Mountain; you can be anything you want here, and this is why they will remain a hotspot in our new normal of travel. They are open to people of all ages and promote the inclusion of everyone.

Rapid testing and COVID-19 vaccine cards will be the new norm

As we all know, big pharma-companies have just developed new vaccines for COVID-19, and this is good news for travellers. Rapid testing will be ongoing until everyone gets vaccinated and this method to ensure safety will most likely be in place for a long time, along with health-screening at airports, even hotels. So, in the meantime, you will need to get tested and must test negative before entering most countries, like St. Lucia. Also, when the vaccinations are available for everyone, proof-of-vaccination cards will be mandatory for travel or for going anywhere in public, a measure that is now being mandated by the Ontario Government. In all, rapid testing, health screening and vaccines will help get our industry back to normal. After all, the testing and screening got me to St. Lucia without any problem and I couldn’t be happier.

Technology will greatly aid us along the way

New technology is hitting the market fast to keep us travel addicts safer while in the skies and at our destinations. I am fascinated with robots cleaning planes, delivering food and beverages to your hotel room, and helping people at airports. In 2021, we will see technology advance further that will help with touchless check-ins at airports and hotels and which will help greatly on the transportation fronts. There are even restaurants that allow people to dine in specialized bubbles on patios, and the list of new innovations could go on and on. Lots of new innovations are happening and it’s all helping reboot our industry.

More trends in travel and why we need to embrace change

In 2021 and beyond, we will see people traveling to more quieter places with less people. We will also see people taking more road trips closer to home, and more people traveling within their own country. Since this past March, I have been traveling across Canada and enjoy what our nation has to offer, and now getting away internationally is a real treat.

I want more travel and I am excited for what next year has in store.

Travel will be safer, and it will be different. But no matter what, travel will be even more exciting than ever before. We will go new places and connect naturally to all the new trends happening.

We will be better for it too. These are new beginnings, so embrace change and get booking your next trip!

If you are a traveller or travel business and need my help in understanding all the changes happening, then reach out to me today as I am glad to help you out!

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