2020 is a year that people will always remember.

The majority of people knew that year that borders may be closed in days and that a submicroscopic agent could infiltrate the entire planet in a matter of weeks. While international arrivals fell by 72% over the first ten months of 2020 (source: UNTWO), with destinations welcoming 900 million fewer international tourists between January and October when compared with the same period of 2019. Despite this, the first few weeks of this peculiar year were relatively good for global tourism.

As a result, thousands of lodging facilities, tour companies, and even entire locations had to close. Although Torres del Paine National Park was closed for seven months, we at Cascada Expediciones never gave up hope for a speedy comeback. This season, our geodesic hotel EcoCamp Patagonia was only open for a few weeks. But with the COVID-19 vaccine now a reality, there is growing hope for a tourism rebound.
We’ve already started to advance. At EcoCamp, we are getting ready for the upcoming season, which will begin in September 2021. For the future months, we are already marketing programs around Argentina and Chile. Naturally, we adjusted to the “new normal” while implementing health and safety precautions in every location where we conduct business.

More than ever, we are developing resilience now. We firmly believe that adventure travel will make a remarkable comeback. This is the explanation.

  1. The necessity of wilderness
    About 20% of people on the planet were under coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, when the epidemic first broke out. Research soon showed that Earth was growing more untamed and cleaner, particularly in regions where people were remaining at home (source: phys.org). In Santiago de Chile, some pumas were spotted ambling about the streets, and the smog that had been frightening New Delhi had stopped.

Even if the natural world was happy to get a vacation, most of us were suffering from cabin fever. Following the lockdown, there were massive influxes of people to US national parks, and this pattern is expected to continue in 2021 – not just in the US.

This need for untamed areas can be explained by the depressing news that has been flooding our social media and television screens. Finding silence became a top objective. The majority of us yearn to get outside, even if it’s merely to perspire when hiking or to experience the rain while strolling through a forest. “Freedom”—did you say that? Yes, freedom and the wilderness go hand in hand, and we all require it.

Protecting these wild areas will take precedence, though, in the hopes that the advantages the pandemic brought to nature will not be overlooked.

  1. The growth of environmentally friendly travel
    Four factors that will influence tourism in the future were identified by Oliver Wyman and the World Travel & Tourism Concil (WTTC) in their research, “To Recovery & Beyond: The Future of Travel & Tourism in the Wake of Covid-19.” Among them is sustainability.

The world has been reenergized to address social, environmental, and institutional sustainability, from widespread unemployment and anti-racism movements to the restoration of natural habitats. The WTTC report states that increased public awareness of wildlife markets and poaching in particular has increased support for wildlife protection.

Following the epidemic, tourists will choose travel agencies that reduce their environmental impact while considering their itinerary more thoroughly. Is it not the case that our treatment of the environment has a direct bearing on the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Since before the epidemic, adventure travel has been ideally positioned for this trend with minimal impact itineraries. Sustainability also extends well beyond environmental preservation. For example, EcoCamp Patagonia focuses organic cuisine, uses renewable energy, and works with the local community. More than ever, sustainability is essential if we are to revive tourism and transition to mindful travel.

  1. Small gatherings, impactful experiences
    The majority of us miss social contacts after more than a year of social isolation. We miss giving hugs to our loved ones and forming new friendships. However, the WTTC report states that the pandemic is still ongoing and that passengers will continue to place a high value on hygiene and health. It doesn’t mean that tourists won’t try to meet new people and form global connections.

Mass tourism won’t likely disappear after the epidemic, but people will look for smaller groups to assure their safety and the authenticity of the experience. Travelers are likely to look for leisurely travel experiences that allow them to connect more deeply with the people they are traveling with and the natural world. Isn’t it the main reason for going on adventures?

  1. Holidays filled with activity are awesome.
    Working from home and avoiding social situations are definitely excellent strategies to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading, but these new lifestyle choices might also encourage bad habits. During a lockdown, it is unavoidable to spend more time sitting down. Obesity and related diseases like diabetes rise as a result of this sedentary lifestyle. Furthermore, even while working out from home is beneficial, it will never be a substitute for being outside.

This explains why many tourists would search for active vacations. Reactivating your body’s enzymes can be achieved through outdoor sports such as kayaking, mountain biking, or hiking through some of Chile’s most breathtaking trekking trails.

Outdoor, mentally stimulating vacations are also highly beneficial. “Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive function,” according to the Yale School of Environment. Being active in nature may be the greatest way to combat COVID-19 anxiety. Nature is a cure for stress.
Though we think the worst is over, the previous few months have been extremely challenging for the tourism industry. Now is the moment to encourage safe, responsible, and sustainable adventure travel experiences in the destinations we like, all the while dreaming of a better tomorrow.

And here’s a list of our top South American places if you want to dream alongside us.

By linh

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