Our Founder Lou Hammond recently provided insights regarding the future of travel to Laura Motta for The Points Guy. Read her commentary below:

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your organization and why you love to travel. 

A: LHG was founded 36 years ago and we have served the travel community in many capacities over the years.  Travel is an indispensable part of our lives and we recognize that, beyond the joy one feels, travel bonds us globally like no other business.  It gives us an understanding of the world and cultures that brings us together in the most meaningful way.  

Q: When will we be able to travel regionally, domestically and internationally? 

A: f I were to know that I would be King Solomon and always win in Vegas.  While slowly we are starting to see a “leveling off,” what that really means no one knows.  As soon as the green light shines, certainly regional and domestic USA travel will flourish particularly with transportation by car.  I remember thinking in the “old days” the drive market was one or two tanks and we should promote appropriately.  Today, let’s look at five+ and find a way to introduce multi-destination stops for an enjoyable vacation. Airlines, we just don’t know but always remain hopeful.  On the international front, it will take time and that makes me sad for our global partners.  However, there will be “pent up” interest and it might happen sooner than we think.  Realistically I think the fall but hopefully it can be sooner.   

Q: Where are you based?  

A: We have offices all over the country but at the moment I’m in Charleston, South Carolina.

Q: Where do you personally plan to go, in each of those categories, for your first trip?

A: Where I can join the family in a relaxed, easy experience. Speaking of “easy,” that will be key in getting people out and about so planning can be immediate without fuss.  Growing up in Texas there was always the family summer “road trip” and this may very well return as an important recovery factor.   I suggest smart marketers will plan now for the family vacation to include all ages. 

Q: What do you think will change about the way we vacation? (besides staying away from large crowds)? 

A: Bottom line, we will be a changed nation seeking perhaps different core values.  What that means to travel, I do believe there will be more courtesy, appreciation and that America will be the vacation playground for the immediate future.   Value will continue to play an important role abiding by a phrase I coined many years ago, East to Go, Easy to Book and Easy on the Pocketbook!  With people returning to work and offices, they will have little time to plan, so I recommend let’s start organizing now for their upcoming travel. 

At the end of the day, for sure travel has taken a big “hit” but Americans know they deserve a vacation and my money says they will GO.  I think all of us will be pleasantly surprised.  Yes, I am counting on that!