The COVID-19 pandemic has been raging since early 2020 and continues to affect countries around the world. With the ability to spread quickly, many nations have taken action and closed their borders. All non-essential travel was halted and thousands had canceled their vacations due to subsequent lockdowns and quarantines.
In short, the travel and tourism industries have been one of the hardest hit by the virus. Not only are people told that they cannot travel right now, but even when “normal” life resumes, many will still be cautious about going abroad.
There have also been several other major world events as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, pollution levels fell, waterways were cleared, and the planet was given a much-needed break.
With all of this in mind, it is fair to say that the future of travel will be different now that this global pandemic is under control. Below we examine seven ways the COVID-19 crisis will change the future of travel.
Hygiene and hygiene will continue to have top priority
Let’s start from this point because it’s going to be one of the things travelers are most concerned about.
Think about it, how many millions of travelers pass through airports every day? How many of you sit in that small, enclosed airplane while you travel for hours to your destination?
The answer is a lot. Making these breeding grounds for germs.
Therefore, the future of travel must be hygiene and hygiene in the foreground. Travelers will want more space and feel that their health and safety are being considered.
Most obviously, this means that plumbing stations remain in airports, hotels, restaurants, and other popular tourist destinations. Masks are likely to be needed for years to come, and even if they aren’t mandatory, many may still tend to protect themselves in this way.
Travelers will prioritize quality over quantity
Before the pandemic, it wasn’t uncommon for people to book multiple trips a year. Some just couldn’t get enough of beach breaks while others were in a hurry to check off as many destinations as possible from their bucket lists. In both cases, multiple vacations abroad became the norm for many people.
This is likely to change in the future as travelers place more emphasis on the quality of their trip than on the quantity. Many frequent travelers have already pledged to change their approach by traveling less often, but with more intent each time.
People will trade tourist traps for smaller communities
After that first point, smaller communities and lesser-known destinations are likely to become cheaper. People will want to avoid the overcrowded tourist traps (at least for a while) and look for quieter alternatives.
Additionally, it gives people an opportunity to support smaller communities that may be harder hit by the pandemic than large hotel chains and bustling beach destinations.
This is one way people can turn to more sustainable tourism, and we’ll look at this in more detail below.
Sustainability is becoming a major driver for tourists
As we said, when the travel plans were stopped, the world looked a little greener. With fewer people moving and fewer carbon emissions, the planet began to heal itself – even for a short while.
Not only that, but the virus forced us to reevaluate the relationship between humans and the earth. When the original strain was exchanged between humans and animals, it turned out that continued exploitation of species could cause even more problems in the future.
These are not the only sustainability practices highlighted as a result of the pandemic, but they are among the most important.
This closer look at sustainability and climate change has made many people think about how they will travel in the future. It will likely be the case that people are considering more environmentally friendly forms of travel and looking for vacation providers that prioritize that as well.
More people will be planning stays
Even if regular travel resumes, the stay is expected to increase. Many travelers will appreciate and may be more comfortable staying closer to home. The pandemic has given people an opportunity to slow down and rediscover the magic right on their doorstep. This will encourage many to travel within their own country and explore what it has to offer.
In addition, people have the opportunity to contribute to their local / national economy instead of flying overseas. This was an important part of the movement to support the local people, which grew in importance in 2020.
The road trip is becoming increasingly popular
Based on the previous point, it is likely that road trips will also become increasingly popular. Even when people travel abroad initially, they can rule out overcrowded plane, train or bus journeys by car once they arrive.
Road trips are also a great way to see a country and find lesser-known destinations that you may not have heard of otherwise. This is going to play an important role in the staycation movement as people choose to drive to their chosen destination (or just drive for fun with no real end destination in mind) and therefore stay much closer to home.
Travel insurance, vaccines, and travel consultants become necessary
Finally, let’s look at a few of the more boring things – Travel Admin, if you will. The price of travel insurance is likely to rise as a result of the pandemic, but more people are shedding their money just in case they get sick or cancel their vacation.
It is also likely that the need for travel advisors will increase. When people are more cautious about health and safety, travel advisors need to be aware of the best and riskier destinations.
And just like the correct visa, in some countries it may become mandatory to prove that you have received the COVID-19 vaccine before you can enter the country. However, this depends on the specific requirements of each nation and whether or not they deem it necessary.