Taking a trip is one of the things which comes to mind when people feel tired and exhausted. This is because it can give them a boost again by escaping from their repetitive routines. However, the protracted COVID-19 situation has made overseas travel’ an out-of-date idea, while the demand for domestic travel skyrocketed. People who used to travel abroad are now fervently turning their eyes to domestic destinations. In addition, the overall trend of travel has been changing. According to data from the travel company, Yanolja, in August, recent popular keywords in leisure and cultural activities form the acronym ‘SUPER’ which stands for ‘Supreme’, ‘Untact’, ‘Private’, ‘Experience’, ‘Rebound.’ These keywords show us that the current image of taking a trip is different from that of the past which reminds us of crowded tourist spots. In the past, a few famous tour areas had large crowds flocking to them, but now people are likely to visit more isolated areas in nature or hidden, previously unappreciated spots while they enjoy hands-on activities. This article will give a detailed discussion on how the current trend of travel has changed.
1. Popularity of Separated Accommodation Rising
Before embarking on a trip, travelers need to choose their preferred kind of accommodation such as hotels, B&B’s or pension houses. In times past, B&Bs also had considerable demands. However, preference for the accommodations where people can stay privately rather than meet new people has increased because of COVID-19. Thus, the utilization rate of private accommodations like ‘Hocance(Hotel + Vacance)’ in deluxe hotels, vacation cabins and pool villas has risen. According to the research by Yanolja, the number of reservations in vacation cabins where there is a low possibility of meeting others increased by 105% and 93% in single housed vacation cabins compared to last year. Furthermore, major deluxe hotel rooms in Incheon were recording a high reservation rate of 90% during the Chuseok. The differentiated packages released by the hotels have also contributed to the changes. For example, there are packages such as solo package to enjoy time alone, and healing packages to relieve fatigue and stress. ID No Jam Ggul, who used the solo package, left a review on Yanolja’s site that she booked the solo package because she didn’t want to be alone during Chuseok. She said that even though she was sometimes a little bored she preferred to follow her own plan without having to consider the likes and preferences of fellow travelers.These hotels and pensions are expected to increase in demand as they can enjoy their vacations safely and pleasantly.
2. Flamboyant Flight Tour
Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have precluded most of overseas trip. Therefore, the demand for domestic trips increased but people are still hungry for trips abroad. Thus, some people want to experience the atmosphere of an overseas trip even though they can’t. To satisfy this demand, flight companies provide ‘non-stop overseas trips.’
Air Seoul offers a trip departing from Gimpo International Airport, orbiting Japan, and returning to Gimpo. Jeju Air offers a trip departing from Incheon to Busan and flying over Tsushima Island in Japan. Many tourists take these flights because they have the advantage of not only taking the flight but also the availability of duty-free shops at the international level. Hong Ga-in (Suwon.23), who opted for a non-stop overseas trip, said, “In October, I took an international flight that circled Japan, and returned to Gimpo. I wanted to fly so badly, and it was good to feel like I was traveling because all the procedures were the same as regular flights. Because of this experience, I want to travel more.” In fact, it can be said that it has partially quenched the thirst for overseas travel by surpassing 20,000 users within eight months.
3. Rediscover Options in Your Neighborhood
There are many people who are burdened with long-distance travel due to the risk of infection. According to the Korea Tourism Organization, it was determined that, due to safety concerns, it relieves COVID-19 stress to travel to familiar close-range tourist spots near the home rather than long-distance tourist spots. As such, an interest in hiking, alley tours, and neighborhood tours is increasing. Therefore, recently, ‘Micro-tourism’ is drawing attention. It means a safe short-distance trip that can be visited within an hour or two from home. Rather than visiting famous or new places, it is characterized by visiting familiar places to discover new values that they didn’t know. This tourism aims to find new value for oneself even if it’s not a very special thing. Places attracting attention in Cheong-ju include Okhwa Gugok Tourist Road where you can feel nature, Munam Ecological Park, where you can take a walk while looking at the cosmos. In addition, there are many other attractive places where people can experience nature and history. Traveling is not necessarily enjoyable when people go far. In an extended COVID-19 situation, people need to find meaning in daily life. Therefore, many people now focus on travel in everyday life instead of traveling once or twice a year.
4. Traveling to Nature
Considering the fact that the demand for safe tourism to the natural outdoors, such as mountains and seas, has increased with the advantage of spending time outdoors iconic camping has become a trend. Camping is the best way to travel in the COVID-19 situation because people can spend time with your family and friends in a safe, separated space. Also, they can have active experiences like pitching a tent and cooking outside. Therefore, the demand for camping with the advantage of safety and active experience is increasing. According to the ‘Major Import and Export of Camping Supplies Trends’ released by the Korea Trade Statistics Promotion Agency in August, the import and export of camping supplies amounted to $293 million until June due to the high demand for camping products, which has already exceeded the annual total in 2019. Compared to the first half of 2019, before the COVID-19 situation, exports increased 75.1% and imports increased 136.2%. Also, last Chuseok, most of the reservations have already been made in Boeun-gun, Okcheon-gun, and recreational forests in Chungbuk which are considered healing attractions of nature. For the holidays, the rate of camping is expected to increase due to the sharp rise in demand.
Glamping for people without camping equipment and expensive 4x4 vehicles is also gaining popularity. Glamping refers to camping with luxurious and convenient items. It has the advantage of being able to feel nature and heal with only personal luggage without having to purchase expensive camping equipment or tents separately. Jeong Sam-yeong (Gangneung.26), who used Camp Fragrance at Daejeon, said, “I was reluctant to travel far away because of COVID-19, so I considered glamping with my friends. We were so happy to be able to heal in nature after everyone was busy slaving away at work. I didn’t need to bring a lot of things, so I want to do it again with my family in the near future.”
People can’t travel abroad freely due to COVID-19. However, in this restricted situation, they could find new domestic attractions and rediscover old favorites in a domestic setting. So, experts predict that the demand for domestic travel will continue after the COVID-19 situation. Therefore, people need to focus on the positive rather than the negative aspect of this situation. They can’t enjoy traveling freely. Instead, they can get small but definite happiness daily by finding meaning through traveling to nature, and by taking short-distance trips.
By Choi Young-eun l email@example.com