For many Americans, the 2020 lockdowns and closed borders due to Covid-19 meant forgoing vacations and canceling precious bucket-list trips. With all eyes on the release of a vaccine, the tourism industry is now bracing for a 2021 rebound. Travel industry experts expect pent-up demand to fuel a renewed desire to travel, relax, and explore in 2021.
Here are the trending top 5 places to visit in 2021:
- Costa Rica: This eco-friendly destination reopened for tourism in August and updated their entry requirements for all visitors in November 2020. With volcanoes, rain-forests, beaches, and exotic animal life, Costa Rica combines adventure with sustainable “green” tourism for any active traveler. Additionally, Costa Rica’s affordability has increased demand, and the major airlines have added more flights for 2021.
- St Lucia: With fewer than 300 total Covid cases in 2020, St Lucia reopened for tourism in June and required visitors to submit a negative PCR Covid test result prior to arriving. Visitors to St Lucia soon touted the joy and freedom they felt traveling to a destination where every tourist had to comply with these entry requirements. St Lucia is often referred to as the Hawaii of the Caribbean, as it boasts stunning waterfalls, volcanoes, and beautiful beaches. This exotic vibe, combined with their strict Covid entry protocols, has many resorts in St. Lucia already forecasting high occupancy levels for 2021.
- Tahiti: In mid-July, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Mo’orea, and other French Polynesian islands reopened to tourists from all countries. Visitors must produce a negative PCR test result and perform a ‘self-test’ on Day 4 of their trip. The iconic dream of an over the water bungalow, in addition to the sheer remoteness of this destination, appeals to wander lusters yearning for a bucket-list vacation that will make up for the absence of freedom felt in 2020.
- South Africa: Requiring a negative PCR test result 72 hours prior to arriving, South Africa reopened to all visitors in October. Boasting safari’s, wine country, and scenic landscapes, South Africa is consistently voted one of the world’s top 25 most beautiful destinations. Adventures who felt imprisoned by the strict Covid guidelines in 2020 are now looking towards South Africa as a top place to travel to in 2021.
- Alaska: For vacationers who don’t want to leave the USA, Alaska’s natural beauty and great outdoors provides the perfect landing place for adventure seekers and those craving wide-open spaces. Rugged, vast, and the least populated state in the USA, Alaska is prepping for an uptick in visitors traveling in 2021 and expects tourists to flock to see its glaciers, national parks, and alpine mountains.