Vaccination against Covid-19 and the gradual opening of borders during this year will be key to the recovery of international tourism. In fact, according to the CESAE Business & Tourism School, the restrictions experienced in 2020 will cause travel to increase as soon as there is health stability and as long as the economy has allowed families to stay afloat.

However, the pandemic has changed the consumption habits of tourists, who have become even more demanding and seek, in addition to comfort and services, other factors such as health, social distancing or freedom. But, at the same time, they want to enjoy the holidays as much as possible as in the past, but respecting capacity, schedules, security measures and with much more awareness. The pandemic has changed the traditional dynamics of traveler loyalty. Whereas before travelers accumulated points to determine the level of service they experienced, health, hygiene and safety are the new currency to earn the trust of customers.

As in most sectors, Covid-19 has further accelerated the need for digitalization and 4.0 technologies in the tourism sector. In this sense, technological development and social networks will become even more essentials tools to obtain information, organize trips, share opinions among businessmen and tourists, build customer loyalty, show products and services, and improve online reputation, among others.

Besides, the arrival of 5G and other technological innovations will allow the appearance of autonomous robots much more powerful and operational in terms of speed, latency and hyperconnectivity, which will revolutionize transport, logistics and hotels.

On the other hand, the reservation conditions take now more importance concerning facilitating cancellations, changes and refunds, to stimulate demand and build trust. Also, travelers are most likely to look for safe, non-crowded destinations, far from big cities and close to nature, with a special growth in rural tourism.

One of the consequences of the lack of tourists on destinations since the pandemic hit is having to make their businesses profitable and make profits with far fewer visitors. To do this, destinations will have to consider personalized options with high-value experiences so that tourists are willing to pay a higher price in exchange for a personalized experience. And it will be the premium brands which will go ahead in the recovery of tourism, as well as the luxury segment. Customers will be more willing to pay more for private services, exclusive products and benefits that reduce contact with other guests or passengers. A big challenge for crowded or specialized destinations at low prices.

However, uncertainty will continue to mark this 2021, so the tourism sector must be prepared to face changes and the evolution of events day by day. The resilience capacity of tourism businesses will be essential for their survival another year.