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Travel Forecast 2021 A letter from our Managing Director

16 February 2021

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The Travel Industry continues it’s struggle to survive a global pandemic, yet  there appears to be some green shoots of positivity on the horizon. It has certainly been an eye-opener to see the domino effect of lockdowns across the globe. While these have been essential to try to curtail the spread of this coronavirus, they have resulted in economic struggles for businesses and individuals alike.

Globally, we are seeing the approval of multiple vaccines which are being rolled out, initially to the most vulnerable. Provided the vaccine manufacturers can keep up with demand, these vaccines certainly give us a firm hope of a return for the travel industry, likely growing with a gradual reduction in restrictions. 

New experiences enrich our lives, and travel is one superb way of fulfilling this. There is certainly a pent-up demand for travel from families, couples and individuals alike. Tentative holiday bookings are happening and I expect that demand to grow slowly in the coming months, as restrictions begin to ease. We expect to see an increase in the value of travel bookings as we all seek to fuel our travel bug, and reconnect. 

In 2020 Worldwide Kids developed COVID-19 Safety in Childcare training for anyone working with children in leisure and hospitality. We developed physically distanced activity programming for kids, and updated standards across the board to enable us to work safely with young hotel guests. In practice our new protocols and training worked extremely well, resulting in consistently  the best customer feedback we have ever had after looking after over 4500 children from July to October 2020. 

This experience was invaluable in re-assessing how we approach risk limitation, health and hygiene. Clearly we had high standards and second-to-none protocols previously, but there is nothing like a once in a lifetime pandemic to refocus the mind!

So what can you expect from Worldwide Kids moving forwards?  

  • With the gradual opening of the travel industry in 2021 we are aware that face to face learning may not be possible initially. We have created a selection of blended eLearning programs for resorts to upskill their childcare knowledge and abilities. Our new eLearning programs mean that our world-class training is even more accessible for hotels of all sizes. Our Virtual Learning Environment enables clear and efficient learning, with effective controls and progress visibility for Learning and Development or Department Managers.  
  • New activity programming that can be delivered in a physically distanced environment indoors or out, as  required by your region. Our new activity programs focus on fun,  learning, environment and culture. 
  • Enhanced childcare facility and services audit checks – designed to verify every little detail of the facilities and services provided for their little guests. 

Despite the uncertainty and challenges of 2020, we are positive that travel will rejuvenate throughout 2021. A few of the exciting projects we are working on include: 

Zulal Wellness Resort – The world’s first family wellness resort will open in Khasooma, Qatar later this year. We are very excited to see this project come to fruition, managed by the renowned Chiva Som

Alongside this LVMH Cheval Blanc Resort in the Maldives will open a brand new kids club experience. Emirates Palace managed by Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi will break ground on a state-of-the-art Children’s Palace, and Arabella Sheraton Mallorca, Spain are redeveloping their kids facilities and services to create two new age appropriate hideaways for kids. 

We also look forward to working further with newly opening hotels:

MarBella Elix, Greece

Ikos Andalusia, Spain

One&Only Mandarina, Mexico

One&Only Porto Novi, Montenegro

The new ‘normal’ for travel will perhaps be obligatory vaccinations for travellers, and possibly the retention of face-covering requirements for closed environments. Though it’s true that masks potentially protect us from many airborne nasties. So perhaps a good long term change. 

We think families will travel more consciously in environmental terms.

They will reconsider how and why they travel, choosing quality over quantity. 

And booking via a travel agent will be the best way to book, for financial guarantees and an innate local knowledge that enables you to really maximise your travel experience and make the most of your trip. 

Hotels will be cleaner and more efficient than they have ever been. 

Service will continue to be at your table rather than queueing at the bar. 

We expect to see an increase in multi-generational travel as families seek to reconnect, with every chance to meet now being even more special than before. 

We think everyone will have a renewed vigour for travel, adventure and fun. 

It’s exciting just thinking about it. Where are you planning to go next? 

Worldwide Kids hopes to see you soon! 

Stay safe, have fun. 

RICHARD LIDDLE

Managing Director

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