Those days are gone when traveling was almost taken for granted and we could simply plan for an impromptu weekend escapade, pack our bags, board a bus and hop off! The pandemic has changed the dynamics of the world in various ways, and among the biggest to have been affected is the travel and tourism industry. Since the beginning of 2020, there has been a huge decline in travel – as the planes were stationed, cities were under lockdown, and some of the world’s biggest events were canceled.
But having said that, we also know that traveling will commence soon – although it’ll never be the same again!
Over the last few months, we have been adapting ourselves to a lot of changes – ‘new normal’, as they say, has made its way into our lives and for travelers with an itchy-feet, wearing a mask at the airport isn’t the only change!
Here are a few travel trends that’ll most likely emerge and rule in the post-pandemic times. If you’ve been rethinking about stepping out of home, then maybe you can make a thoughtful choice and of course, abide by the protocols and precautionary measures to be safe.
Domestic travels will be in vogue.
As a lot of hotels are opening up and airlines have also started their in-country services, a lot of people will be traveling within the country borders, focusing more on local destinations. Obviously, short distance trips will make it a safer choice, so that returning back home isn’t a problem. This will also lead to the discovery of hidden gems within a country, and people will surely indulge in knowing more about their own land. According to a survey conducted by Zapwater Communications – a leading travel & lifestyle communications agency – revealed that 83% of Americans preferred to travel within the United States, for their first trip post-COVID-19.
Staycations will be here to stay!
Hopping from one spot to another during a trip will no longer be there. The fear psychosis of getting infected will make more and more people choose to stay in one place during their vacays, and thus, quaint homestays, boutique hotels, and heritage properties, as well as luxury resorts, will get into business and offer the best staycations to the travelers. In India, several homestays around the Himalayan region have already opened up and are running with full occupancy, as people are seeking a breather out of the cities, after lockdown for almost 6 months! To add to that, with the rising emphasis on ‘work from home’, people are now rethinking about ‘work from anywhere’ – thus, boosting staycations and workations.
Roadtrips will take over.
In order to minimize coming in contact with others, people will be keen to travel in their own vehicles, and thus, road trips will definitely trend in the months to come. People will just head out of the cities to the nearby beaches or simply go on a drive through the countryside, soaking in the freshness. The demand for car and RV rentals will rise significantly, as it’ll also allow travelers to stay isolated and feel safer while on the roads. Having a car also increases the flexibility quotient and one can plan on returning back whenever they feel like.
Nature & wildlife tourism will be trending.
While humans stayed indoors, the Earth was healing. Needless to say, nature boomed over the last few months. Going on hiking trips through the National Parks, camping under the stars, and soaking in the wilderness will surely be added to the travelers’ bucket lists. Eco-tourism is the need of the hour, and as we’ll all step out to explore, we’ll care more for nature and be responsible travelers. Wildlife tourism will also boom, as it’ll ensure automatic social distancing and there’s none who’d say ‘No’ to game drives. Ditching the popular tourist spots and to avoid the crowd, travelers would love to head to the secluded reserves and may even opt for conservation volunteering programs, in order to make their vacations more meaningful by creating a sustainable impact on the environment.
To put in short, ‘Experiential Traveling’ is something that’ll be embraced by all in the days to come. We’ll make sure to slow down as we travel, be more mindful of the places we visit, try to learn more about the history and culture.
The lockdown and prolonged stay indoors have forced humans to introspect, and as we’ll step out, we’d make our way in experiencing the simpler joys of life. Cycling around the rural areas, fishing or canoeing, walking tours & hikes will be preferred more than leisurely vacations.
Along with the change in travel trends, there will be several other protocols that travelers might have to follow in the ‘new normal’. Touchless traveling will definitely be the most immediate thing people will prioritize and may also be the most visible change in the travel and tourism industry. Digital passports and health cards might be introduced in the days to come so that the exchange of documents at the airports can be cut down. As the world is slowly opening up and people have already started feeling the adrenaline rush to break free and explore – let’s hope that we can all be safe as we travel the world.