The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the world on an unprecedented scale. Major changes are expected in the world of travel after coronavirus. It will change how people travel, where they could travel and even their capacity to travel.
Note: This post is makes predictions based on analysis of articles and expert interviews from BBC, CNN, The Wire, Forbes, etc. Links to the sources are provided in the end of the post.
- In a nutshell, 10 big changes in Travel after Coronavirus
- How will people travel after coronavirus?
- Impact of Coronavirus on International Travel
- Impact of Coronavirus on the Travel Industry
- Boost to Sustainable tourism
- When will things get normal?
In a nutshell, 10 big changes in Travel after Coronavirus
In a nutshell, here’s what’s expected to be changed in the world of travel after the Coronavirus Pandemic:
- People will not travel as much. Leisure travel is going to reduce drastically and even business travel will be much less common.
- International travel will see a higher drop in demand than the domestic travel.
- International travel is going to become more complex. Visa free travel will get limited. Medical certificates (declaring you are COVID free) will become a basic requirement to enter into a country.
- Social distancing and face masks will be the new normal worldwide.
- Medical screening will be made compulsory for boarding and deboarding flights. Maybe it would be extended to trains and other long distance public transports too.
- Hotels and tours will become cheaper. Flights may or may not be cheap.
- Hygiene and Cleanliness will gain extreme importance in the travel industry.
- Refundable bookings will be much more in demand than non-refundable bookings.
- Environment will benefit from the reduced flight emissions.
- Countries like Singapore and South Korea that have demonstrated effective public-health response to curb the coronavirus will likely attract more tourists.
How will people travel after coronavirus?
Once the pandemic is over, travel is going to resume with essential business travel and personal travel only. Next will be the domestic leisure travel. But it will take time for the people to get over the hysteria and start travelling for fun again. Besides everyone will be affected financially by the economic slowdown; which will further limit the capacity of people to undertake leisure travel.
In International travel, business and leisure travel both will take a lot of time to come back to normalcy in the world after coronavirus. Not only the demand would fall but also the ease of international travel will come down, with strict medical checks and visa requirements.
Until now, a big chunk of travelers avoided buying travel insurance, especially if they were travelling for a short period. This too will change after the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of people who had travel plans had to cancel their flight tickets and not everyone got a refund. This may lead to increase in demand for travel insurance that offers “cancel for any reason” policy in trip cancellations. This type of insurance is usually much more pricier than the standard policies.
How will people undertake leisure travel after coronavirus?
- They’ll prefer domestic travel. Domestic travel will be the preferable choice until people are confident that they are safe from the virus.
- They will take short trips. Overall, in a bad economic situation, people will take shorter trips to cut the budget. Longer vacations will be less common.
- They’ll prefer less crowded places. Over tourism at certain popular tourist destinations may reduce as a positive outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Social distancing, wearing face masks and frequently washing hands will become the new normal in our lifestyle. People will avoid crowded places wherever they can. Clubs and bars will experience lesser crowds. A lot of people who like to play very safe may not resume leisure travel at all until a vaccine is available.
Impact of Coronavirus on International Travel
It is going to take a long long time before coronavirus vanishes or is controlled in the entire world. International travel won’t be paused for that long a period but it will continue to be restrictive.
There will be two groups of countries- the one’s which have suppressed the COVID-19 outbreak and the one’s which are facing the outbreak. Travel will resume amongst the first group of countries with strict checks in place.
Furnishing medical certificates proving you don’t have Coronavirus, will become compulsory to apply for a visa. You will be asked to furnish the certificate before boarding a flight. You could be tested before and after boarding the flight as well. Visa-free travel and Visa on Arrivals are going to be limited to some extent by most countries. That’s not the end of it.
You will be asked to furnish the entire itinerary. It is also possible that you will be tracked via a compulsory government application. In India, there are reports from the media that the Aarogya Setu App, an application developed by the government of India to provide COVID-19 advisories could be used a e-travel pass in future.
Countries like Japan, Singapore and South Korea that have demonstrated effective public-health response to curb the coronavirus will likely attract more tourists. These countries will be viewed as relatively safe and clean.
Impact of Coronavirus on the Travel Industry
Travel and tourism industry will be the most hard hit industry. A lot of businesses and even airlines are expected to go under. There will be significant changes in the customer demands and pricing structures.
- Travelers will see steep drops in prices of hotels, cruises and tours.
- Flight prices may get cheaper but not necessarily. Aviation sector will suffer the most from this pandemic. As a result, the governments may provide policy support to them, by allowing them more flexibility in fixing prices and reducing fees and taxes levied on the airlines.
- More people will prefer hotels rather than hostels.
- Cleanliness will be at the top of customer’s demand. Hotels and restaurants will be expected to regularly disinfect hard surfaces, place hand sanitizes everywhere. Cleanliness will become the main marketing agenda for businesses.
- Airlines and hotels will offer more flexible bookings. Customers will prefer flexible bookings that provide them free cancellations and free date changes.
Boost to Sustainable tourism
Sustainable tourism will emerge as a positive consequence from the current COVID-19 crisis. Overtourism was emerging as a big threat to the environment before the coronavirus pandemic. After the pandemic, low demand will overturn overtourism.
A person flying London-New York emits more carbon in that flight than most Africans do in a year. Before coronavirus, flights were just 2.5% of global emissions, but were projected to take up to 25% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050.
With less tourists contaminating the nature and less flights flying in the sky; travel after coronavirus will become more sustainable.
When will things get normal?
The space of Travel will continue to experience these expected changes and other unanticipated challenges, till the end of Coronavirus. Once a vaccine is created, the world will come back to normal at a much faster pace. All you’ll need to travel, is to keep your vaccinations up to date.
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