While Covid-19 cases continue to spike around the world, travellers prefer to remain grounded in fear of getting infected with the virus. There are only a few countries till date that are open to tourists without restrictions. How long this situation will prevail is still unknown. According to a renowned author, this prevailing pandemic has decimated approximately $8 trillion travel industry globally. The open borders and visa-free travels won’t return very soon. Despite these disturbances, travel advisors see a ray of hope. Renowned travel expert Bruce Poon Tip says,” This pause gives us the gift of time to consider how we can travel more consciously.” Let us take a walk through how travel will change after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sustainability is going to be a driving force.
One of the major benefits of travel during the pandemic is the doubling down of sustainability. Travellers will become more concerned citizens demanding responsible and safe travel policies. The travel industry shall respond with effective measures to prioritise the health of the travellers over profit margins. The travel industry will pay more attention to control climate change so that it does not affect travellers.
Action required: Purchasing offsets such as Cool Effect from the companies to reduce carbon footprints and staying at certified green hotels, checking websites that rates accommodations for eco-friendliness and then grabbing online hotel booking for the best of all.
Travel shall become more inclusive.
The award-winning journalist Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon says that the travel industry is moving in a meaningful direction, but the major concern is that any changes may be short-lived. When the pandemic ends and things resume to normal, will the travel industry still attract to, cater and treat all travellers as the same? The companies are addressing and catering to the needs of diverse customers. Travel after pandemic has changed in a way that now plus-size travellers need not worry about their swimsuits they have to wear during surfing and scuba diving. The lack of swimsuits for plus sizes are now acknowledged and catered. Blind travellers can now experience tours and extreme sports during their vacation. Such changes in the industry are encouraging travellers to grab flight bookings and start travelling once again.
Action required: Paying a visit to the living history museums that shed light on sensitive issues and hidden narratives encouraging people to treat everyone equally.
Smaller communities will play bigger roles.
Travellers can book domestic flight tickets to small towns that were already suffering economically before the pandemic, and the prevailing pandemic just worsened the situation. Rather than racing through destinations, you can opt to travel to lesser-known destinations. By this, you will not only explore these lesser-known places but help in supporting the local business and donate to non-profits. Travellers should head to developing countries for boosting mental health. These countries depend on tourism as a means of earning. This way, popular destinations will avoid mass tourism, and travellers will support communities that are suffering during Covid-19.
Action required: Encourage learning about sustainable tourism and advocating non-profit to empower locals and protect the environment.
Seeking quality over quantity.
High-mileage travellers are putting more thoughts into choosing their travel destination. Rather than just focusing on the paid gigs or paychecks, exploring places will now be based on passion. People have started putting breaks on frequent travel and have started thinking to travel more intentionally and less often. This practice might continue even after things resume to normal. Travellers have also started booking cheap hotels with all the necessary amenities instead of spending huge amounts on lavish hotels.
Action required: Check for travel agent recommendations and resources that can help you plan a meaningful journey.
Road trips will hike.
People are finding road trips as the most feasible option of travel during the current times. Driving across the borders could be as fun as flying across the states. It is just about the mindset. Exploring the nature, the newness of culture and people is what you get when you are on a road trip. Road trips give you a chance to explore what comes amidst the travel, be it food, nature, wildlife or people.
Action required: Plan a trip to stargazing sites where you will experience the natural beauty and understand the depth of having a road trip.
Travel Advisors will become necessary.
There will be a shift from grabbing hotel booking deals through agents and established operators. This is because, during the pandemic, people have realised that they have to pay a hefty amount as commission while booking their hotels and flights through agents. Travellers will now opt for booking their travel through authenticated and official websites where there are no hidden charges involved. Also, these websites give an entire travel advisory for each state that is essential during the Covid-19 times.
Action required: Travel companies should prepare a database that can help travellers to find good deals, authorised agents and convenient itineraries tailored to their needs.
People will prefer to stay close to their homes.
People prefer to travel these days virtually. Online cultural classes, games and other virtual experiences help in keeping up the travel spirit alive. You may also consider exchanging postcards with your loved ones rather than travelling to another state or country to visit them. While everything is under lockdown, walking in a park can also give you an enriching travel experience. You can feel the magic of having a meal at a nearby patio or restaurant.
Action required: Get outside but remain near to your home for boosting your mental and physical health, at the same time avoiding any prevailing Covid-19 infections.
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