Backpacker tourism might see a rebound post pandemic

Published on : Wednesday, February 24, 2021

For decades, hordes of travelers have explored various sections of the globe with just a backpack. In spite of that, backpacker tourism faces an uncertain future post pandemic. Several destinations like New Zealand that are popular with backpackers might have to focus more on attracting high-end visitors.


The gradual decline in backpacker tourism has already been foreshadowed due to cheap flights that many young travelers have relied on. It might become less frequent with airlines seeking to recover massive losses that they’ve suffered.


But is such fear acceptable? Maybe not. Outdoor tourism still remains a popular option for travelers who are looking for socially distanced activities.


Wendy Morrill, the research and education manager at the said, “I don’t think that anything will ‘kill off’ youth tourism. And I say, ‘youth tourism’ as ‘backpacker tourism’ as what I consider Australia and New Zealand’s branding/labeling of the segment of travelers who are 30 to 35 years old or younger and utilize their working holidays schemes.”


So if Covid-19 doesn’t destroy backpacker tourism, how might it change?
It might sound strange, but the pandemic might help create more backpackers. Once travel is allowed again, people will be truly desperate to travel and there would be a travel boom! Many people have also realized during this time that they can do their jobs effectively from home using only their laptops, so they will eager to do them from the road as well.


“Working from home” being a modern norm, more travelers will likely turn into backpackers and digital nomads.


Nevertheless, whether more backpackers become digital nomads or not, Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) should have a vested interest in ensuring the long-term viability of backpacker tourism.


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