With most countries starting to ease their quarantine restrictions, our lives are beginning to go back to normal or at least Coronavirus normal. One restriction that may take time to change is travel. Unfortunately, travel and tourism have become one of the most affected industries by COVID-19.
In my previous post I looked at whether we can go on a vacation in the COVID-19 era. It is possible but with apprehension.
Hence, I wanted to understand how this context of fear and uncertainty is going to affect the future of travel and tourism. So I asked seven popular travel bloggers what their thoughts were about the future of the industry and this is what they had to say.
How We Find Happy
Michigan born and raised, now Central Florida living. Family, Disney, Nature, Beer, and Historic Places bring me happiness
Derek is a travel and music blogger from New York who currently resides in Spain. When he’s not teaching English to the locals, you can find him in some random corner of the globe in search of adventure.
Roam & Thrive
Alex Wieteska is a South-America based travel writer and founder of Roam and Thrive, a wellness-focused travel blog. She focuses on curating unique, health-focused destination guides and educating through wellness travel tips and experiences.
Kez is a teacher who uses the school holidays to have crazy travel adventures in far off places. She also intends to make it to every country in the world by 2025.
The Hable Way
Lee Anne Hable
The Hable Way is a family-friendly travel and adventure blog. We encourage you to explore the world and take your kids along for the journey!
KMF is Writing
An emptynester, I’m all about the experience discovering hidden gems in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. Focus: history, day hikes, beach getaways, staycations
Sergio and Patricia
Sergio and Patricia are the guys behind the travel blog Nomads RTW. They share their travel experiences in places off the beaten track with stunning photography and travel videos.
How do you think travel & human interactions in general will change post the pandemic?
Julie Gazdecki: Hoping people will be more aware of their health before and during travel. If not feeling well, you should stay home.
Derek Phifer: I think that you’re going to see people incorporate social distancing into their travels, and the travel industry is going to take a hit as a result of it. Above all, people want to feel safe, and right now, travel is synonymous with danger. It’s going to take a while to wash off the stink of that stigma.
Alex Wieteska: It’s difficult to say. It really depends on how much people can potentially earn and how much they are able to spend on travel. Generally, I think people will travel less international and travel will begin on a national level first. I think post-pandemic there will still be a fear of getting the virus meaning people will be willing to travel short distances from their homes. Income levels will also change international travel.
Kez: It’s really hard to tell. I would hope things don’t change at all, but I think the price of air travel might go up because only the big companies and government-run airlines will have the resources to stay in the industry. There’s also a possibility that tours will become unaffordable as countries hard hit by the loss of tourism try to recoup losses and stay afloat. We may also see a travel boom. After months of not being able to travel, a lot of people will be keen to go somewhere.
Lee Anne Hable: It is hard to tell just how travel will look post-pandemic. It may take a while for a majority of people to travel outside of their comfort zone. This could translate into more domestic travel and less international. A large number of us can’t wait to get back out there! I hope that this helps the travel industry bounce back quickly. I believe that our human interaction will be more thoughtful than ever.
Karen Mellott-Foshier: I think it depends on people’s empathy, ego, and how comfortable they are with risk. Those who understand their experience is not universal will be a little more cautious and stay closer to home so as to not put others at risk…and then ease into traveling farther from home once data and other people’s travel experiences indicate that we are indeed past the pandemic.
Then you have the comfortable risk-takers who think the stay-at-home orders are too extreme and will travel where they want when they want. They just opened up the beaches again in Florida and they are packed and very few are practicing social distancing or wearing face masks (according to a friend who lives there). People forget and move on easily so I think eventually people will resume their travel behavior to the same level as before the pandemic.
Sergio and Patricia: Personally, we think people will want to go out as soon as they can after this. The advice from most of the governments is to travel locally since it is uncertain how this is going to evolve. So we think people will be eager to enjoy the fresh air and some vacations but they will opt for places closer from home and more connected with nature rather than cities to avoid crowds. We want to think that in the long term things will go back to normal, although it is hard to say at this point.
For you personally has the pandemic changed your views on travel? Will you travel less frequently or just limit it to domestic travel?
JG: Not really, other than paying more attention to travel in winter/flu season, and where we choose to go. Still planning for Spain in June 2021.
DP: I’ll probably travel less frequently at first. I never like to be among the first to do anything. I prefer to sit back and watch everyone else to see if anything happens to them. A bit cold? Maybe. Calculated? Clearly. It’s worked for me so far, so I’ll keep that going. I’ll monitor the situation, and once I see that everyone and everything is fine, I’ll likely resume my usual pace of travel.
I already live overseas, so it’s not going to make me limit myself to domestic travel. If anything, I might cross a few places off of my preferred-destinations list for a while, but that’s a different story for a different day.
AW: Not really. I’m looking forward to starting traveling again anywhere and everywhere as soon as it’s safe to do so. My first trip is planned for domestically as who knows when borders will open again.
K: Nope. I have an epic 60 countries in 60 weeks trip planned for when this is all over. I’m hoping that’s sooner rather than later.
LAH: I hope to travel more while being mindful of everything that the world has gone through. Each place and group of people had different COVID experiences and outcomes. I will respectfully consider this before planning for a destination.
KMF: The pandemic has definitely changed my views on travel. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching to reflect on why I travel and where I travel. Going forward I will make more thoughtful decisions on my destinations. I still believe travel is the best gift we can give ourselves so we will continue to travel but will ensure it’s meaningful.
SP: For us, it has not changed much. We normally tend to travel to a destination for a couple of weeks or so. That allows us to explore it more thoroughly. After that, we lock up ourselves back home for another couple of weeks to produce all the content. We are going to start with domestic travel because we have already been trap in Morocco due to the Coronavirus. So we don’t want to tempt luck anymore.
What are your top 3 tips for our reader for traveling post the pandemic?
- If you or someone in your family is not feeling well, stay away from others.
- Do what you can to boost your immune system before and during travel.
- Wash your hands as frequently as possible.
- Use your common sense. Don’t jump back out there and pick up where you left off as if we didn’t just go through a life-altering event. So that means that you shouldn’t go around kissing strangers, sharing drinks, or doing anything else that puts you in a precarious situation.
- Be clean! Part of the reason that we’re in this mess is because of an overall lack of cleanliness. It sounds cheesy and idealistic, but if we all do our part, we can help prevent something like this from happening again. This specifically applies to those of you who don’t like to wash your hands or cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. You know who you are.
- Support the little guys. The major companies within the travel industry will eventually recover and/or get bailed out by their respective governments. The mom and pop businesses that rely on travelers will have a much harder time getting back on their feet. Whenever possible, support their businesses during your tips. They add much-needed diversity and flair to the travel scene
- Don’t be afraid to do so. I think we need to proceed with caution but we should have that fear of this virus stopping us from traveling.
- Prioritize rural travel over city breaks- no reason not to practice social distancing while traveling, head on a trekking trip to a national park rather than to a densely populated city.
- Support your local businesses as these will be the most hit by the pandemic. Support online travel blogs and small businesses, local cafes and restaurants, and markets that cater to tourism, etc.
K: Just one tip. Get out there and see everything you want to see before the next big event comes along!
- Prepare for change. Many within the travel industry will do things differently moving forward.
- As always, respect and patience are the core of traveling.
- Let’s keep this frequent handwashing thing going!
- Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It’s a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to receive the latest security, health, and travel advisory updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate about your destination country.
- Continue to practice healthy habits like hand washing for 20 seconds and bring along antibacterial wipes to wipe down your plane tray and safety belt and other public places (I did this even before the pandemic).
- Practice gratitude especially for those working in the travel and hospitality industries – and be patient and tip generously as they are financially struggling during the travel ban.
- Don’t go too far at the beginning. You don’t want to be trapped in a foreign country with a pandemic out there
- Avoid crowds. It is the perfect time to reconnect with nature, reducing the risk of finding infected people.
- Be extra cautious with your hygiene. Clean your hands thoroughly and travel with hands-gel always.
Once the travel ban has been lifted, where’s the one place you want to visit and why?
JG: Disney, because we are local pass holders, and miss our days there. Then Michigan, to see family.
DP: I want to go to Amsterdam. I was already planning a trip with a group of friends for the end of April, but the was pre-pandemic. Amsterdam has been at the top of my list for a while now, so it’ll likely be the first place I cross off.
AW: The first place I’ll head to is Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. For me, that’s a domestic destination so I don’t have to worry about borders opening and its a rural wide-open space where people can still keep their distance from each other if needs be. Torres del Paine is also a very busy destination in high season, so this year I’ll be making the most of fewer visitors and emptier trails.
K: All of the places I haven’t visited yet! I’ll be starting in Belarus.
LAH: Once the ban is lifted, I would like to visit family throughout the United States. Then off to the beach!
KMF: Austria or Ireland to honor our family’s legacy!
SP: For us will be Cadiz, where Sergio lives. We haven’t been back since December so it is about time to enjoy the family, friends and the most amazing beaches Spain has to offer!
In a recent survey done by iVisa, they found that people in North America are more optimistic, as 86% of travelers would resume their travels in 2020 and even 57% would consider resuming it in the next 5 months. In addition, the most voted destinations for future travel are Asia, Europe, and North America.
So, there you have it – it looks like travel might have a bright future, as people feel positive about traveling in the future!
What do you think? Leave your thoughts and options in the comment section