The future is uncertain for travelers who are wondering what travel will be like after Coronavirus.
The Raging War Between Travel and Coronavirus
Every man is born free, and traveling has always been one crucial way of demonstrating that freedom.
Right from the Biblical days of Exodus to this technological age, people have been moving around from one end of the world to another.
There are no shortages of destinations. The world’s rich natural endowment and improved travel and tourism industry make sure of that. It was a booming industry that contributed 10.4% to global GDP in 2018, and the prospect for 2019 was looking promising already.
But, none saw the evil that was lurking in the shadows.
Enter Coronavirus, the evil that changes everything!
Humanity is currently at war with the Coronavirus, the new public enemy in town. Movements to and fro different destinations around the globe are increasingly restricted.
Hundreds of governments across the world have put their countries on total lockdown in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus. It makes sense because it isn’t the virus that is spreading. It’s people that are spreading the virus.
From China to the U.S., to Europe, to Africa to South America, and beyond, COVID-19 has most parts of the human world grounded. With super lockdowns and quarantine becoming the order of the day, major global cities and favorite travel destinations now look more like ghost towns.
It’s sad but, even the cemeteries are recording more human traffic these days than most favorite travel destinations. Many are increasingly getting frustrated with the lockdown, and with staying put at home doing virtually nothing.
So, it’s natural that people want to know what travel will be like after COVID-19. Right now, that answer is still very much unclear, especially for people who were not affected by the virus directly.
While economic activities have resumed in Wuhan, China, the birthplace of the virus, the situation isn’t getting better in many other parts of the world.
The death toll from the virus is still piling up. Many countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America and in Africa are taking more stringent measures. Many countries have extended their lockdown, including the United States, and the U.K. is warning its citizens from making non-essential travel globally.
From the look of things, COVID-19 is winning the war (for now). Notwithstanding, people’s resolve, so it seems, hasn’t changed a bit. Many still want to travel and go places. Besides, the travel industry has recovered from equally severe crisis in the past, and experts believe it will bounce back from this one also.
So, here is what travel will look like after the Coronavirus,
7 Facts You Didn’t Know About How Travel Will Be Like After Coronavirus
1. People will prefer to trade favorite destinations for safety
Cross-border Travel will suffer as people will become more cautious of their health and wary of distant travels. As a result, many people will forego their favorite destinations and prefer to stay closer to the comfort and safety of their environment.
2. Travel agents/agencies will suffer losses
A hard time awaits travel agents/agencies everywhere in the world. People will become more cautious and will need a lot more than persuasion to embark on routine holiday trips. Since people will prefer to stay closer to their home and immediate environment, travel agencies will find it difficult to convince and cash in on many prospects and will as well lose big on existing customers.
3. Trips will be shortened
Let’s face it! The global economy is already tilting towards recession in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. That means the traditional and most favorite two-week holiday vacations could turn out to be just one long weekend.
4. Recovery programs will skyrocket
One other fact about how travel will be like after the Coronavirus pandemic is that many of your favorite destinations will quickly start an aggressive and result-oriented Coronavirus recovery program. Once the virus recedes and they get the “all clear” flag from their governing authorities, such programs will be instituted immediately.
Travelers can look out for mouth-watering discounts when such recovery programs kick-off. Discounts programs have always been an enticing bait to encourage people to make return travels.
But, do not expect too much from discounts, since most of them are designed to convey value, not overly low prices.
Nevertheless, don’t be surprised when you see hotels offering free meals along with room renting/purchase. Such is life after a crisis like Coronavirus.
5. Some sectors of the travel and tourism industry might never survive the onslaught
Yeah, by and large, the industry will recover, but some of its sectors will go down the hill. The recovery is going to be very long, as this Australian Cruise Agency expert aptly put it.
The travel in the industry will record many collapse and bankruptcy once the post coronavirus era sets in. No one should be surprised if one or several cruise lines wind up businesses. Some airlines may follow too. If that be the case, the silver lining in cheaper prices that consumers should naturally expect will become irrelevant.
Even if the government bails out some of the companies, it is still inevitable that some casualties would be recorded, especially among established brands. Already, this is happening in the U.K. with the “demise and burial” of Flybe, and many more carriers are at risk.
Be prepared for that. You might not see your favorite cruise line next summer vacation travel.
6. Cruises Prices will become so cheap, but newcomers might not find that attractive
Once the post coronavirus era kicks in, holiday enthusiasts that prefer cruising will find a truckload of low prices once cruise lines recommence services. But a huge challenge awaits these companies.
They will have to deal with convincing new travelers to patronize cruise ships, something that is crucial to their survival. That would be difficult considering the many negative headlines about cruise ships lockdown and infections with the free-killing virus, very few travelers will find the prospect attractive.
Cruise lines will have to reconfigure and construct bigger staterooms, especially with ships that are still under construction. They must also consider revising the density of passengers, reduce or replace buffet foods services with more of a la carte dining as a way of reassuring travelers. The latter is and will become more skeptical about using cruise travel.
7. There will be a lot more focus on cleanliness
Everyone, whether hotels, lodging, or cruise, must review and change the various ways they used in monitoring and cleaning the environment that customers come in contact with. Then they will communicate that back to consumers to boost and reassure their comfort levels.
Travel services must underline and address new measures to show how clean and safe properties are. Whether that means disinfecting all hard surfaces regularly or providing hand sanitizers everywhere, travel businesses will make it a priority to show the customer this is what we’re doing to keep you safe and comfortable.
Travel vs. Coronavirus: who wins?
It’s sad, but from all indications, the damn virus is winning. Many families have lost and are still losing loved ones, including people who love to travel. From the look of things, the travel industry will never be the same again, though in the short run. It will take a long time for the travel industry to get back on its feet.
Hot topics like sustainable travel, over-tourism, and the environments that were the core subjects for discussion before the outbreak of Coronavirus, must be revisited by operators in the travel industry to chart a more ethical and responsible way once the crisis ends.