Switching Focus to Land Based Travelers

land based travelers van life
Dateline: Marseille

AS the world’s largest travel destination, Europe, is being hit pretty hard in traditional leisure and business markets. What based land based travelers?

Forward Keys (a travel industry reporting agency) is showing 79% reductions in flight bookings into Europe.

Flight bookings to Europe dive as Coronavirus reaches Italy

It appears more related to corporate and government policies rather than individuals changing plans. Two members we spoke to over the weekend were due to fly from Europe today. One left for Dubai with strict rules from his employer (and likely self isolation upon return). Another’s trip to DR Congo got cancelled at the last minute due to the DRC’s mandatory 2 week isolation for all visitors.

Is the same thing happening to ground based transport?

It doesn’t look like ground based travel is hit anywhere as bad. Le Dauphine in France is showing large numbers of ski travelers still hitting the French Alps.

215,000 vehicles circulating in Chambéry   (in French)

So, what how do you switch to ground based markets?

Family travelers that book self contained accommodation is an obvious one. These land based travelers jump into their own cars for holidays and breaks. With school terms largely back in progress around the world this market is smaller until the Easter break.

Older land based travelers like the grey nomad holiday makers seem to have mixed opinions. Whilst they are self contained in their cars and RVs many don’t wish to be exposed right now to new people.

Luckily for Nomad Stays many digital nomads travel by bus, car and train. Feedback from our members is showing caution but no major changes of travel plans at this stage. They may spend more time working from their Stays and less time in crowded areas like bars but they are still traveling.

An interesting feature of digital nomads is that they tend to be multi-modal travelers too.  They might switch from camping to accommodation in cooler weather or when they need to get a lot of work done.  They might arrive by bus and depart by car.

The key message here is that digital nomads are one group still traveling. And as they stay for longer they may be a great source of revenue in the coming months in particular.

Some caution though – we are seeing accommodation prices drop sharply.

We personally got a 63% discount for a multi month booking in the past few days. At least this Stay jumped onto the digital nomad market quickly and locked a guest in for the next few months rather than chancing it in the open volatile market.

  • Mark

Written by 

Mark Phillips is the Founder of Nomad Stays. An adventurous serial traveltech entrepreneur who has traveled over 100 countries and lived as a digital nomad for over 5 years. His adventures have seen him motorcycle the Silk Road from China to Europe, through the Arctic Circle, backpack through Africa & South America, hot air balloon in 5 countries, and 4WD all around Australia. His business career has spanned KPMG, Apple and Microsoft as well as building several global travel businesses including the MudMaps group. He has advised or served on a range of corporate boards including the Australian International Hotel School. Mark is a Chartered Accountant and former Australian Olympic Level gymnast. He is a leading startup mentor to early stage innovators.

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