One of the best things about living in Hong Kong is its close proximity and the convenience of travel to countless other destinations in Asia. While Hong Kongers are well-versed in hopping on a plane for a quick weekend trip or heading further afield for summers spent out of the city, 2020 has hit different, with the onset of Covid-19 pressing pause on travel plans for many.
While countries across the globe have been affected by the pandemic, in recent weeks we have slowly seen many destinations return to some kind of normal, with countries in Europe re-opening for keen summer tourists. Though sadly, with the third wave of the coronavirus in Hong Kong meaning that strict border restrictions and quarantine measures are still in place, travel is still not a reality for us.
Though safety is a priority for now, we’re still looking forward to our future travel plans––and it seems that we’re not alone––a recent poll carried out by Skyscanner revealed that 88% of Asia Pacific travellers believe it will be safe to travel within six months. Cyndi Hu, Asia Pacific Skyscanner director and consumer travel expert notes that “whilst overall travel demand is still lower than normal for this time of year due to the pandemic, we are seeing some promising initial signs of intent in our searches and booking data for regional and international travel from Hong Kong”.
We spoke to the experts in the world of luxury travel to find out the destinations that are set to be popular in 2021, along with the kinds of trips keen travellers are already booking.
With Covid-19 hindering international travel for an unforeseen amount of time, by 2021, many around the world may have not seen their family members in almost a year. As a result of this, our experts believe that seeing family will be a top priority once restrictions ease.
Andrea Oschetti, founder of luxury travel company Blueflower states that “I believe that the first trip for many of us will be to go visit our loved ones, mainly in Europe and North America. We have been asked by clients for short experiences in England, United States and Canada.”
Data from Skyscanner also reflects this trend, with recent research showing London as the number one destination currently being booked for travel in 2021. Destinations such as Vancouver are also in the top 10, with Cyndi adding “Vancouver has risen in popularity which might suggest that reunions with families and friends are on the list of priorities once travel fully resumes, with a large community of Hong Kong expats living in Canada.”
Bespoke luxury tour operator, Lightfoot Travel have also seen this trend in bookings, with reunions not only taking place on home turf, but families looking to travel together as a group. Co-founder and director of Lightfoot Nico Heath explains “The distance that the pandemic has caused between loved ones has also seen a spurred interest from multi-gen groups looking to travel together. In cases such as this, groups of families are opting for more Covid-protected stays in luxury villa destinations such as Sri Lanka, Greece or Bali. Villas are a brilliant option for individuals looking to limit those they come into contact with, and they also act as a great base for large get-togethers and celebrations.”