The world of travel is becoming “a real thing” again. It feels good to start preparing tours for 2022!
Now that travel is starting to open up again, it feels exciting to send off for hotel quotes and contact museums for group visits. But in the in the course of the past 2 years, where long-haul travel came to a complete halt, the travel industry has changed. The process of putting together a tour offer is no longer the same.
With “foreign” travel reduced, either through legal restrictions or due to increased cost of testing and quarantines, so-called stay-cations became the new travel trend. Put off by huge tourist crowds in previous years, people in typical tourist destinations have rediscovered the beauty and joys of vacationing in their own country again.
This has now created a new tension that is especially noticeable in the hotel sector. Having seen their 2021 summer season salvaged by the domestic market, many hotels are now reluctant to block off large numbers of rooms for overseas groups, because at this point, who can be 100% certain there will be no more interruptions? It just feels that little bit more secure to them to accept bookings from home grown tourists.
Travellers themselves are also hedging their bets.
Many have booked accommodation both abroad for a long-anticipated visit to a new destination, as well as at a beach resort at home, just in case…
The end of mass travel?
Maybe we have reached one of those big re-set moments in travel history. One of those moments where vacationing closer to home becomes the new norm. Maybe we are all done with travelling halfway around the globe just to spend time sitting by a swimming pool. Increased attention to climate change perhaps has added to this changed attitude.
One other trend that has emerged however, is the importance of experiences during our travels. And that is where we feel battlefield tourism fits in perfectly. Yes, it often still requires substantial travelling by air, but that is off-set by its unique character. Battlefield tours often are of a very personal nature. Few experiences are more profound than tracing family history as it was shaped in very trying times.
Battlefield tours as a ultimate experience
Additionally, battlefield tours also tend to visit places that are mostly removed from the more well-trodden tourist paths. This makes them a very good fit for the movement against mass tourism. Largely undeveloped, relevant battlefield sites still offer a lot of room for increased visitor numbers, without venturing into overcrowding. Regional authorities have recognised the potential. Together with local historical societies, they are steadily restoring archaeological sites, developing trails and adding information panels.
The current challenges to secure accommodation for groups may stick around for a while yet. At least until the “new” travel patterns are a bit more established. But difficult does not equate impossible, so we will happily take up the challenge and start bringing tours back.
After all, both the Nisei families as well as the people in Europe remembering the Nisei’s exploits have been waiting a long time for it!