A preliminary #Corona analysis by URLAUBSARCHITEKTUR
Even though prognoses are a bit tricky, some findings gained during the past months of living with the pandemic already suggest certain conclusions regarding the coming season.
But first of all, a word on our own account: URLAUBSARCHITEKTUR per se, that is, as a portal and network, has coped unexspectately well with the past six months.
Holidays 2021 / 22 – a forecast
In our view, the current Covid-19 crisis has clearly accelerated an existing trend. For obvious reasons, holidays were rather spent close to home. Much more attention was paid to sustainability, and bookings were made very thoughtfully. Overall, the importance of holidays and travel became even more evident.
Accommodations that give guests an appropriate feeling of safety and manageability in times of social distancing were and are particularly in demand. Direct communication between guests and hosts has had a positive effect, especially in times of crisis, because it promotes trust and confidence. For us, this has always been a very fundamental element of high-quality holiday concepts.
As expected, enquiries were sent for many destinations in German-speaking countries—increasingly also in regions that had previously been “below radar level” of the general perception. The Central German Uplands are a prime example of this trend in 2020, which we had already predicted in previous years—albeit for different reasons.
Destinations that were previously booked for a long weekend were now in demand for stays of two to three weeks.
What is also noticeable is a change in the lead times for bookings: enquiries are currently being made either at very short notice or on a very long-term basis.
This year, more guests than usual made a new booking for next year directly after their stay—in response to the experience made this year of a geographically limited availability.
Even though the number of journeys beyond German-speaking countries was lower than in previous years, the feedback from our partners surprised us: more guests than expected travelled to Italy, Croatia, Denmark, France or Portugal during the periods in which no travel ban was issued.
For many guests, holidays have apparently gained in priority yet again; in some cases, holidays were extended and travel by car was accepted, and in others, holidays and smart working were combined for journeys to distant destinations.
Current travel behaviour is unlikely to change much in 2021; in our view, there will be no partial reversal of the trend until 2022 at the earliest. It will be interesting to see how supply and demand will differentiate in the medium term if general conditions remain unchanged.
The overall demand for URLAUBSARCHITEKTUR has once again risen significantly since the beginning of the pandemic, as our readership statistics show.
For months we have also been receiving more enquires from potential new partners. Hosts are apparently questioning their marketing strategies; many are looking for alternatives to major booking portals as they want to become more independent in order to maintain a personal dialogue with the guests.
The enormous popularity that our partner accommodations are currently experiencing confirms our long-standing premises: decisive parameters are the high quality of both the touristic and architectural concepts and the direct, trustworthy communication between guest and host – now and even more so in the future.
However, despite all the relief in the meantime, the euphoria must unfortunately be curbed again in view of the latest developments: even in Central Europe, which has so far come through the pandemic comparatively well, new regional and country-specific restrictions are currently showing on a daily basis that the virus will not let us go so quickly. Uncertainty in the sense of a lack of planning security remains, and flexible approaches and strategies are continuing to be necessary.