Tourism: nature and the outdoors are the new trend for 2021

Italians prefer stays in nature and close to home. Spring holidays increase


In 2020, the general crisis due to the coronavirus emergency led to a rediscovery of the stay outside the traditional tourist circuits as a new form of holiday in the name of safety and proximity, this is the picture that emerges from the data of the platform that has a presence in over 67 countries with more than 5,000 partner facilities.

The overview at a European level offers confirmation of the trend of a sector that has already been growing for years, that relating to stays at camping and glamping which, despite the general decline due to lockdowns or closures, seems to be confirmed as one of the preferred solutions to the time of the pandemic. This is also demonstrated by the reservations for 2021 which already mark + 39% compared to 2020 and reflect the interest of tourists for outdoor holidays.

Focus on Europe: from glam to cheaper accommodations

From the data of it appears that in Europe the country that has maintained a high number of overnight stays in outdoor structures is the United Kingdom where, except for drops in the winter months, the trend in monthly bookings has always been present, also thanks to the largest freedoms left to citizens. The summer of 2020 and the temporary drop in restrictions allowed the resumption of stays also in Germany, Italy and Spain. August is also confirmed as the month of holidays in 2020, especially in Italy and Germany with 50% of annual bookings in this month.

Throughout Europe, as regards the type of accommodation, both in camping and in the most sought-after structures that allow us to talk about glamping, or glamorous camping, the preferred solutions were very basic. There is therefore space for equipped pitches for those who already have campers or caravans that have depopulated in France, where as many as 70% of tourists have preferred this type of overnight stay, while in Italy the pitches equipped for tents have also been popular.

Compared to other years, the preference for the type of accommodation chosen has shifted from unconventional accommodations such as gypsy caravans, geodesic domes, tepees or bungalows to overnight stays in tents, campers or personal caravans (therefore only in equipped spaces) to be sanitized day by day for security reasons.

Focus on Italy: weekend dedicated to trekking

At the top of the ranking, where the highest number of bookings in outdoor structures were made, are Tuscany, Veneto and Lombardy. Here the proximity tourism is proposed again, the rediscovery of places near home, with trekking and naturalistic routes that were an outlet immediately after the first health crisis and allowed to discover wonderful places even in the period of barrier between the regions, where the lucky ones have granted themselves holidays or short nights in outdoor contexts.

Bookings in all regions of the beautiful country show an average of two / three nights per stay, highlighting how Italians have chosen camping as an escape from the city, as a moment of contact with nature and isolation with their relatives. The only exception is Sardinia which has an average of 4 nights stays. As for prices, the region with the least expensive rates for the outdoors is Puglia with an average cost of 26 euros per night, while the most expensive is Lombardy where it goes to an average of 76 euros. For all other regions the average price of overnight stays is between 40 and 60 euros.

Trend on outdoor living rooms, the new normal of 2021

Undoubtedly, the pandemic has radically changed the way we travel, creating a “new normal” also for outdoor tourism. Here are the new travel trends that have emerged:

  1. Spring break has become almost as popular as summer break

The analysis of bookings since the last lockdown shows that the most chosen months to go on vacation are April, May, July and August, with only 1% difference between April and August. It seems that people are ready to travel as soon as the rules allow, and the fact that many properties offer flexible changes makes booking in advance.

  1. “Nearby” searches on the rise

Due to travel restrictions, many travelers prefer to stay close to home rather than go on vacation abroad. According to Google, searches for proximity stays increased by 100% compared to last year around the world, while searches for nearby glamping facilities increased by 117% in 2020 compared to 2019. Similarly, 95 % of bookings on in the past 12 months have been for destinations within the same country.

  1. The 0 km campsites and educational farms

One of the trends expected for 2021 is rural accommodation which brings together all those structures that allow guests to get in touch with the territory and local production. These places allow you to stay in contact with nature and allow space and fresh air suitable for staying safe even on vacation. These facilities offer not only a stay, but a 360-degree bucolic experience that also leads to the discovery of food and wine tourism and the typical traditions of the place with routes suitable for young and old. Finally, with regard to environmental impact and sustainability, it should be noted that this sector wins the comparison with traditional housing which usually has a higher intensity of carbon emissions.

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