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    5 Post-COVID Trends to Expect in the Travel Industry

    Published on November 12, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact, affecting many industries including the travel and tourism industry. Travel restrictions coupled with increased fears of infection have significantly reduced tourism. The World Tourism Organization projects that international tourism will decline by 60 to 80% by the end of 2020. It’s also projected that tourism spending around the world won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. This means an estimated 120 million jobs in the travel industry are at risk.

    As countries around the world begin to ease border restrictions, new opportunities are emerging through change and the travel industry is slowly coming back to life. Regulators in the industry as well as business owners are pushing new boundaries and implementing risk-mitigating strategies to keep their service interesting for avid travelers. While it’s not clear how tourism will look like in the near future, here are some of the trends you can expect in the travel industry post-COVID-19:

    More Local Travel

    In a post-COVID-19 world, there will be an increased focus on local tourism as countries try to balance between economic recovery and public safety. Local travel will become increasingly popular as travelers refrain from making international trips in view of the recent pandemic. Additionally, travelers may be uncertain regarding the safety of air travel and would prefer waiting at least a year before visiting an international destination.

    Most people are likely to have less disposable income post-COVID which also means there will be an increase in day outings within the borders of their respective countries. More and more people will start searching for local experiences. The influx of local travelers will only play out in the short term as people will start visiting destinations out of the country, somehow restoring the balance. 

    Lesser Crowds and No Waiting Times

    Before the coronavirus crisis, exploring the iconic buildings, vibrant cultural life, and other great attractions in a crowded destination may have detracted from the experience. Today, cities around the world will have to implement necessary safety procedures like constant sanitization, timed entry, and social distancing. Moreover, attraction sites will have to restrict the number of visitors per day. Therefore travelers can expect fewer crowds at airports, hotels, and attraction sites. Waiting in hour-long queues in these places is not a feasible option as well. People won’t waste a lot of time in long queues as it was the case in the pre-COVID era.

    Increased Road Trips

    As people increasingly opt for domestic destinations and the focus shifts to greater privacy and lesser capacity in vacation rentals, the demand for private transport is expected to increase. Travelers are more likely to shy away from trains, buses, and other forms of public transport, opting for car rentals and RV rentals. Cars provide vacationers with the flexibility they need as they move around and allow them to stay isolated.

    Before COVID-19, the majority of tourists were drawn to traditional attractions such as historical landmarks, art galleries, museums, and monuments. While tourists will continue visiting these attractions post-COVID-19, they’re likely to seek alternate experiences that minimize the risk of exposure. And this includes road trips to outdoor, remote locations, and other domestic destinations. Consider adding extended warranty to car options you’re considering for your road trip to ensure you’re covered on long journeys, and always check your vehicle maintenance before your trip begins. 

    Outdoor, Open Spaces Will be the New Battleground

    In the post-pandemic era, there will be a rise in outdoor activities like biking, sailing, hiking, and camping. This is because people will be much more cognizant of the need to avoid crowded tourist areas. Travelers will, therefore, opt for private, offbeat activities in outdoor, open spaces such as wildlife reserves, backcountry campsites, forest reserves, national parks, mountain lodges, beaches, and remote islands.

    Such locations make it easy to practice social distancing and provide an uncrowded vacation setting. Travelers want to enjoy the luxury of a vacation and have exciting travel experiences without fear of the coronavirus due to huge crowds. These places are therefore likely to see more interest post-COVID-19.  

    Exceptional, Safe Travel Experiences will be The Norm

    The re-designing of processes and social interactions will shift the focus to self-guided and small-group tours. Travelers from around the world will want to stay connected and informed as they travel. Additionally, they’ll be concerned about their safety and will think twice before reserving a hotel or booking a flight. Travelers will also scrutinize the quality of the experience tour operators and travel agents deliver.

    Companies that engineer their efforts towards providing travelers with detailed itineraries and delivering exceptional, safe experiences at attractive prices will have a strong competitive edge in the post-pandemic era.  

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