The vacations for 2021 it is best to guide earlier than it’s too late
It is Alfred Marshall who is usually credited with identifying the idea of ”supply and demand” – the Victorian academic explained the concept in his 1890 book, Principles of Economics. Now yes – it is possible that you have never read a more boring opening statement on a travel feature. But bear it with us. This is relevant. Seldom has there been a time when the normally simple process of booking a marshall’s vacation has been subject to double financial flows as it is now – or in the months to come.
The last year has of course been full of an urge to get away. Who of us has not dreamed of an exotic beach, an exciting city or a meandering highway in the worst of 2020 – and wished we would sunbathe, go for a walk or drive in this context? But when the demand for travel was widespread, the supply was far from.
Thanks to Covid, the borders have been closed, quarantine has become a key issue that no one has worried about, and travelers have been officially advised to stay home. Many of us have. This is about to change. With a vaccine here and the world likely to reopen gradually, supply is back in the game – and about to meet demand right away. But in some cases it can get overwhelmed by it. A planet stuck in its own vestibule since March is keen to rediscover the horizon – and in some locations and in certain segments of 2021 there may be more vacationers than there is space available.
Huw Owen recognized this as a young trend. As the executive director of TravelLocal, a company that specializes in connecting tourists with local experts and tour operators, he has already identified availability bottlenecks. These occur in locations as diverse as Normandy (where D-Day commemorations in 2020 were virtually virtual and hotels are booked for May and June) and Uganda (for which only 152 gorilla trekking tours a day Permits to be issued) Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks – a small number that is consumed at pace). The lack of options even extends to the heart of South America. “We’re having trouble finding availability in some of the smaller lodges in the Brazilian Amazon and on some cruises from June to September 2021,” he explains. “This has always been a hectic time as the rivers are at their highest and it is one of the best times to explore the region.”
However, 2021 will be complicated by an additional factor. “I usually find more availability in November and December for bookings starting June the following year,” Owen continues. “What has changed, however, is that many people who canceled their trips in 2020 have moved to similar dates in 2021.”
This also applies to Morocco, where group tours scheduled for 2020 have been postponed to the off-season March to April and September to October 2021, where they are protected from the hottest weather. “With the likes of Marrakech and Fez,” Owen adds, “we are finding that preferred accommodation is limited – because many travelers are booked from 2020 onwards.”