Tourist cities often sustain themselves thanks to the travelers who visit them. Sometimes the lives of a place’s residents for months to come depend on its popularity during the season. For this reason, among others, the pandemic had a major impact on the economic situation of many cities and even countries. Now that travel is back in favor, it’s worth knowing whether tourists’ shopping trends have changed.
On a daily basis, many people are guided in their choice of stores by their economic situation, the quality of the products offered, brand recognition or world view. But do these trends hold up in tourist destinations? It turns out that most travelers are not guided by criteria from their daily lives when shopping on vacation. Nearly 70% of tourists want to support local people and small businesses during their trips. This means that a large group of people visiting unfamiliar cities and regions are more likely to go to a small store than a market. This is not only an ethical approach, supporting small businesses, but also an action that can contribute to the development of tourism in a particular place.
As the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished, many people have begun to appreciate the opportunities that a “healthy” world opens up to them. Quite a few people who refrained from traveling abroad for two holiday seasons are now taking advantage of travel and visiting foreign or even national corners. It also appears that a post-pandemic society attaches much greater importance to the ethics of its choices. It should be noted that the sudden, significant reduction in transportation, production and energy consumption during the first weeks of the pandemic had a positive impact on some climate issues. This information seems to have managed to break through to a wider consciousness, as tourists now declare greater concern for the environment than before the pandemic. A similar observation can be seen in terms of contributing to local communities – here, too, there has been an increase in post-pandemic travelers. Of course, these changes, while undeniably positive, may also reflect an entirely different mechanism. Perhaps tourists simply longed for things that the pandemic had deprived them of – including the ability to go out freely for fresh air or to enjoy non-commodity items. Regardless of the root cause, however, there is now a trend that indicates that travelers’ purchases are more sustainable, conscious and environmentally friendly than they were before the pandemic.
Another area that has certainly been affected by the pandemic is tourist payments. More and more people are trying to avoid cash or PIN entry. Travelers (though they are not the only ones) prefer contactless payment methods, as well as the use of self-service checkouts. For this reason, they are more often and more willing to choose places where they will be able to pay by card or phone. This is also a very convenient solution during a trip to a country that operates a different currency. Very often banks open the possibility for their customers to pay for purchases in another country without having to physically exchange cash.
main photo: unsplash.com/Art of Hoping