There's hope in the air and after months of dreaming of distant shores, it looks like travel will soon be back on the agenda like never before. Holiday-related conversations are dominating with questions coming from all angles on where people might go when we can travel again. The mood is now upbeat and hopes are high.
While people are being cautious and it's safety-first, consumer confidence is growing and people are now permitting themselves to think about the possibility of travel with many saying that they will board 'the first plane the government says is safe'.
While waiting for the green light from the government it appears that in addition to staycations, Spain is still top of the list for Irish people like never before and all are waiting for and watching Ireland's international travel guidance guidelines. Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto has said that the priority for Spain is "to reactivate tourism and resume safe mobility on a global scale as soon as possible".
The European Commission is to propose legislation for an EU-wide digital vaccine passport this month and those that have been immunised against Covid-19 in Ireland will be all set to move across borders under plans being made by the EU. Countries are working hard to get back to a new normal and there are signs that leisure travel is now an increasing possibility sooner rather than later.
President Ursula von der Leyen has said to lawmakers: "As for the question of what the digital green passport could look like: we will submit a legislative proposal this month".
Her announcement comes just days after EU leaders agreed to put a plan together for the establishment of digital certificates by the summer. According to German chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU-wide vaccine passport system could be up and running as quickly as in three months time.
Once established, the Covid-19 vaccine passport program would allow for the re-establishment of international travel within the continent in time for the busy tourism season.
Turbocharged by Covid, the pandemic has triggered a surge in saving in Ireland and Irish householders are said to have put a massive additional €12.6 billion into bank and credit union accounts this year as savings soared and spending stopped.
It's likely that many will spend their money on travel now and dream destinations as there has been plenty of time to plan during the dark winter months.
So what's likely to happen in travel trends for 2021? Staycations will be big with reports that many locations across the Irish coasts have been booked out earlier than ever before for the 2021 holiday season. There are still some amazing holiday rentals available and travel experts are advising to think creatively and do not just look at the traditionally popular locations around the coastline. There are some amazing properties inland and in less traditionally visited areas. The advice is to check out Ireland's Ancient East and Ireland's Hidden Heartlands along with looking at the dreamy destinations along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.