What will it be like to travel after the pandemic?
If you are also wondering what it will be like to travel after the pandemic, today we are going to try to collect measures and actions that are already being applied plus some trends to try to imagine what the return to travel and vacations will be like after the Coronavirus.
Flexibility for changes or cancellations is something that hotels and holiday apartments have already offered as a differentiating value for some time. But airlines have always been reluctant to offer these benefits except for premium fares. In recent months we have seen how even the low-cost ones have changed their policies offering changes and cancellations for free in all rates in an attempt to attract customers.
Will this change last? It is likely not and that, as soon as we begin to return to normal and the freedom of movement of tourists is reestablished, they will once again be exclusive services. But it is to be expected that, at least for the medium term, they will continue to offer these options to all customers. Although as travelers and users, we would love if you decided to adopt this measure forever.
2. Safety and hygiene
In the same way that after 9/11, new aviation security measures were implemented, during COVID other measures have arrived that, as in the case of the first ones, could remain forever.
An example is the reinforcement of cleaning measures in airports, airplanes, train stations, trains, bus stations, buses, ... The use of hydroalcoholic gels, distancing at waiting queues. This type of hygiene measures is very possible to be maintained over time and even indefinitely. Others, such as capacity control, are more difficult to maintain due to the economic impact they have, since companies cannot continue to operate for a long time to maintain prices with 50% or less of travelers.
3. Less planning
The uncertainty about the evolution of the pandemic and about the measures that are being taken with regard to tourism and quarantine have led travelers to plan vacations and getaways one or two weeks in advance, while the usual thing was to plan with more than one month in advance.
This lack of planning will make last minute offers more popular and more sought after by travelers and that they will also seek ease in planning for a vacation that they have not had much time to organize, as well as flexibility and speed in operations and procedures. This will mean a new range of possibilities for accommodation, transport, travel agencies and all services related to tourism.
4. Leisure by turns and with plots
Since the beginning of the pandemic we have seen many measures to control leisure, such as establishing visiting shifts or delimiting personal space.
For years, many museums and tourist attractions have already taken shifts due to space issues, so this measure is not new to them. But in other cases it has been implanted for the first time. Attentions by appointment, staggered arrival times or the organization to establish shift systems will be imposed, at least during the first months.
In the same way, the subdivision on beaches or open-air concerts has been a novelty to keep personal space separate from other people. These systems have had their detractors, but they have been the solution to be able to enjoy certain activities without risks.
5. Uncrowded tourism
One of the main consequences of the restriction of the movement of tourists around the world is the de-massification of cities and tourist destinations. Cities like Venice, Amsterdam or Barcelona that for years had detected an excess of tourists in their streets, have emptied themselves overnight.
And it is foreseeable that the return of tourists will be progressive for various reasons: not all countries are going to have the same rate of recovery, there are travelers who will look for options further away from the hustle and bustle for their vacations, ... And another question that is in the air is if these excessively crowded destinations will take some measure to regulate the influx of tourists from now on, taking advantage of the stoppage caused by the pandemic to put some order and prevent situations from occurring in which the influx of people becomes uncontrollable.
6. Personalized experiences
Another consequence of the lack of tourists for the destinations is having to make their businesses profitable and obtain benefits with a high percentage of fewer tourists. For this, destinations will have to consider customization options with high-value experiences so that visitors are willing to pay a higher price in exchange for a personalized experience. This will be a challenge for crowded or specialized destinations with low prices.
For example, would you be willing to pay a higher price to visit the Sistine Chapel without rushing and without hundreds of tourists around? The doors to creativity are open and we will start to see news very soon.
7. From closer to further
The summer of 2020 has been that of national tourism par excellence. With very few options for traveling abroad, visiting other areas within the country has been the option of many. It is foreseeable that the situation will continue the same in the coming months. And the most likely evolution is that the opening of borders is progressive.
Domestic trips will be restored first. Followed by the surrounding countries and the big international trips will be last on the list. Always taking into account that the most normal thing is that the transit between countries that are in the same situation is reestablished and it is foreseeable that there will be differences in the process of returning to normality and in the taking of measures in each country.
Predicting what tourism will be like after the Coronavirus is not easy. We will have to adapt to the situation and organize our trips according to the possibilities of the moment. Always knowing that sooner or later we will be able to enjoy traveling and discovering new places that we still want to visit.
And you? What do you think it will be like to travel after the pandemic?
September 28, 2020