Here is an early peek at four of my Blockbuster predictions for 2021 –
Every year I put together a list of up to 70 predictions for the travel industry for the coming year. This year I thought I would give you a sneak peek at four predictions ahead of my normal January release date.
Prediction #1 – All-inclusive resorts will expand from the Caribbean and Mexico into the U.S. A. – This highly successful vacation concept allows you to pay a single rate that includes everything in one price. This includes your room, three meals a day, drinks, entertainment, activities, and even gratuities at many resorts. Basically, all-inclusive resorts allow you to lock your wallet in the safe and have fun. Over 60 years ago Club Med was the first to launch this concept and now all-inclusive resorts have expanded throughout the Caribbean and Mexico. Believe it or not, there are actually a few dozen resorts in the U.S. that currently offer all-inclusive packages such as the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and the Bungalows Key Largo but most resorts in the U.S. have stayed away from this concept. Now with COVID, I predict more hotels in the U.S. will implement all-inclusive offerings to stimulate filling rooms. I even think some business hotels will think outside-the-box and start offering business travelers free food and drink included in their room rate. CLICK HERE to see a dozen U.S. resorts that currently offer all-inclusive rates.
Prediction #2 – Southwest Airlines offers “Best travel deal of the year” with a free companion pass for up to two years – This year Southwest Airlines will continue to offer a free companion pass for their top frequent flyers. The Southwest Companion Pass allows you to bring a companion with you on any Southwest flight for free plus the cost of any taxes and fees. This year my friend Lyle Middendorf shared with me ways that you can get the companion pass without ever stepping on an airplane. If you sign up for a couple of Southwest credit cards you can earn bonus points that can qualify you for the companion pass. CLICK HERE to find out all the details.
Prediction #3 – Free airfare will be offered by all-inclusive resorts in 2021 – Many luxury cruise lines currently offer free airline tickets to Americans for them to fly to the destinations that their cruise ships depart around the world. This year I think many new all-inclusive resorts will offer free airfare if you make a booking of 7 days or more. This will probably be limited to 2 free tickets per family. This will be another way for cruises to kick-start travel this winter and spring.
Prediction #4 – Airfares will be much higher in 2021 than in the past two years – The airlines will start the New Year with roughly half the number of flights that they had a year ago. COVID has caused an estimated 1500 airplanes to be parked in the desert and not flying. Airlines have cut flights and have about 50% – 60% of the capacity that they had before COVID. This means they have to get every dollar they can out of every empty seat. Some airlines like Delta continue to leave the middle seat open. This cuts down on even more seats available for sale. Demand has been so slow that the airlines realize that they have to maximize revenue and they do that by raising the airfares. I expect airfares to be $50 to $100 higher than one year ago.