The current scenario poses new challenges for the industry, therefore in the new era of travel there will be a close relationship between health and tourism. The sector will learn to live with new social practices and new protocols as a result of the emergency caused by COVID-19.
World travel trends indicate that more than 50% of the population plans to make local trips in the remainder of 2020, due to the sensations of security and closeness that will be qualities very typical of the new reality of tourism during the recovery phase.
This constitutes a point in favor for the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic, since tourist destinations are usually located in a chain of nodes characterized by their proximity to each other. Eventually this would also enhance intra-regional tourism once the restriction measures are lifted in their entirety by each of the countries.
Some of the post-COVID-19 global travel trends are deeply linked to the region’s tourism offer:
1. Nature and sustainability trips:
Central America and the Dominican Republic are characterized by their natural abundance, occupying 1% of the planet’s surface, but are home to 12% of the world’s biodiversity, positioning the region as a completely ideal destination for nature tourism, conservation and bird tourism. .
39% of its surface is forested, 25% of its land space is declared a protected area. The region is part of the second largest barrier reef in the world. 22% of the marine area of the region has quality of natural conservation and ranks as the second place with the largest bird watching in the Western Hemisphere.
Central America has one of the most important ecological protection systems in America. The region will have the opportunity to position itself as an ideal destination for travelers who want to experience direct contact with nature.
2. Local or experiential trips:
Central America has been the meeting point for various ancient civilizations, fused by indigenous, African and European heritage. It houses an average of 65 native peoples throughout its territory, who occupy almost 40% of the earth’s surface. The countries of the region have a deep cultural richness full of ancestral wisdom, which represents an opportunity for the post-COVID-19 stage, since after the confinement measures, tourists will seek to experience the destination as a local, seeking authentic experiences and transformative.
3. Adventure travel:
The countries are connected by a volcanic mountain range with more than a hundred mostly active volcanoes that are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, this are ideal for practices such as sandboarding, hiking, exploring its slopes or simply contemplating its craters.
In addition, the coasts of the region are bordered by the waters of the Pacific Sea conducive to water sports such as surfing, and the waters of the Caribbean Sea perfect for watching marine life. Travelers will find in the region the ideal destinations for active water or land adventure tourism.
4. Wellness trips:
The portion of the tourism industry geared towards travelers who want a real break will be of even more value among those who want to disconnect from the routines imposed by confinement measures. Central America and the Dominican Republic have some of the best hotels and spas on the planet in wellness tourism.
The region will have the opportunity to position itself with the tourist offer that combines accommodation, food, special services, spiritual and physical practices aimed at restoring the body and mind. The perfect place for those looking for a healthy lifestyle with activities such as yoga, meditation, walks and healthy practices.
5. Culinary trips:
One of the most important motivations for completing a post COVID-19 trip will be the gastronomic offer of the destinations, although in principle it is not the main reason for the trip, it will be a fundamental part of it. Experiences that allow us to perceive the ancestral heritage embodied in the flavors of the local will be the order of the day.
The gastronomy of Central America and the Dominican Republic will also have an opportunity to position itself, since it stands out for the fusion of multiple cultures. Corn is the common denominator in the gastronomy of all countries. In addition, there are foods such as cassava, black and red beans, peanuts, rice, chili peppers, avocado, cocoa, pineapple, coconut, among others. The secret of Central American cuisine is also in the use of many different species and the rich combination of flavors that will make travelers enjoy its varied cuisine.