I can’t help but write more about things related to the current coronacrisis; it’s all that many of us think about. But while there are many ways of thinking about the crisis negatively, it’s also a great time to brainstorm about the future.
One particular interesting way of thinking about the future is to imagine what a sector will look like after the virus is under control. And as I love traveling, I asked myself the question: What will Travel after COVID-19 look like?
Travel After COVID-19
Unfortunately, I expect that that that which I love (and many of Generations XYZ do) — Travel — will be restricted for quite some time to come.
So what does this mean? Well, generally, it means fewer long-distance flights. Certain countries will keep their borders closed or keep travel restrictions in place. Plus, people will want to stay closer to home, in part because repatriation is much easier.
A New Normal
And even if they do want to travel a bit further, it’s likely people will more often take the car over the plane. Not because they want to do right by the environment, but because when going by car, you’re not exposed to other people (and their viruses or bacteria).
In that same line of thought, group travel will also see a decline. Bus operators like Flixbus and Eurolines will have a harder time; and larger group tour operators will also need to diversify their offering. And of course, cruise operators specifically will find it hard to recover.
The entire travel industry (and hotels, restaurants, etc.) will start catering more to domestic tourists. After all, tourism around the world is affected, and tourists will stay in their home country more often, while still having the need to ‘get out once in a while’.
Plus we’ll see additional alternatives to current ways of travel. With ‘niche domestic travel’, we’ll have new travel agencies offer trips to unique locations in our own country.
Large cities will see fewer visitors (as you’ll get into contact with others more easily), and so travel agencies will offer more nature and adventure trips, specifically designed to meet fewer other people.
Returning to a New Normal
Nonetheless, I also expect that over the next 1-2 years, tourism will largely return to normal. Places and countries that heavily benefit or pretty much rely on tourism (e.g. Thailand, Bali, but also less exotic places) will want to bring back tourists to their shores.
And tourists in turn, won’t be able to resist the calling of white sand beaches — even if that means to be exposed to others in a plane.
The question however is, what does we want the new normal to look like? Will we push the coronavirus reset button?