How will be the travel after COVID-19? Here are the top travel trends that are set to influence your travels as the world unlocks.
Gone are the days when we could pick up a backpack and board a bus for an impromptu weekend escapade!
Alas, now traveling will be a more thoughtful act rather than an impulsive desire. In this article, we’ll see how the pandemic will change the way we travel.
Traveling will commence soon – but it’ll never be the same again!
Over the last couple of 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!
Let’s be honest and accept that the way we think of travel will undergo a massive change in the days ahead.
While the world is already obsessed about using hand sanitizers at regular intervals and social distancing is now a reality, the travel industry has also had to make some major adjustments in order to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from the airlines and the hotels changing their practices and incorporating new rules (to provide better & healthier facilities), travelers like us will also have to change a lot of habits & expectations.
- Travel after COVID-19:
- 1. The purpose of traveling will change.
- 2. ‘Hygiene First’ – is gonna be the new mantra!
- 3. Luxury retreats and boutique stays will pace up.
- 4. Local travel will witness a boom!
- 5. Popular tourist spots will limit the number of entries.
- 6. Nature & wildlife tourism will be in vogue.
- 7. We’re not going back to the normal – let’s accept it.
Travel after COVID-19:
1. The purpose of traveling will change.
Gone are the days of recreational trips – now, it’s all gonna be about necessary traveling & mindful journeys.
Until a few months back, travel was easy for a lot of people – purchasing a last-minute flight ticket was no big deal, and we could just pack our bags and leave with the hope to figure out the rest when we reach the destination.
Now that traveling will become a lot more harder (considering health security & expenses), we’ll focus on better choices and try to make the most of it.
Each individual will have a different way to perceive their journeys, but as we’re all likely to travel less, it’ll be a lot more important to really understand why we want to travel somewhere so that we can really appreciate it.
2. ‘Hygiene First’ – is gonna be the new mantra!
In February this year, I traveled to Spiti Valley in Himachal, India, and stayed at a homestay where 6 of us were sharing a common toilet – and it didn’t feel odd in any way!
Now when I think of it, I would probably not opt for such a thing.
Needless to say, just a few months back, travelers would often go for authentic homestay experiences over a fancy resort or maybe binge on local street food rather than a fine-dine experience.
Now that cleanliness is more of a concern than it used to be, it might be more difficult for some people to choose locally run homestays or eat at local shacks!
3. Luxury retreats and boutique stays will pace up.
‘Staycations’ will be the new normal – especially for couples on honeymoon & families on a vacay!
People will be more keen to choose secluded, boutique properties that are out in nature, away from crowded cities.
Other than that, heritage bungalows and villas with very high reviews pertaining to cleanliness and sanitation will see a boom in their footfall.
Luxury hotel chains like Marriot, Four Seasons, Hyatt etc., will offer better rates to attract more customers – and ensure that they maintain a proper hygienic environment for everyone.
Wellness retreats that go beyond spa treatments to practices like meditation, sound healing, yoga courses will definitely attract more people seeking a break from the regular monotony of life.
4. Local travel will witness a boom!
In this climate of uncertainty, people are also more likely to choose destinations close to home, so that they can rush back if necessary.
International trips will be more expensive than ever and considering the safety precautions, travelers will be more keen on exploring local destinations.
After all these days of staying indoors, hodophiles like me are dying to hit the roads – discovering new local spots, hidden gems closer to the hometown, quaint retreats, and nature hikes will surely be on the cards.
In India, places like Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar, Leh-Ladakh etc., are gonna become tourist hotspots once the pandemic comes under control.
Not just that, but tourism boards across the world (New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Israel, Greece) are also focusing on domestic travels and encouraging the citizens to set out and explore – which will also gear the economy in certain ways.
5. Popular tourist spots will limit the number of entries.
Now, you can take a selfie with the Taj Mahal without a crowd blocking the views behind you! – Sounds unreal, right?
But yeah, that’s gonna be a major change which we’ll see in the days ahead. Popular tourist spots – be it the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Colosseum in Rome – will eventually limit the number of entries per day, in order to ensure social distancing and reduce the crowd.
It is assumed that the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which is one of the most visited sites in the world and witnessed a regular footfall of nearly 8000 people per day in the pre-COVID days, will now have only one-tenth of the visitors – which means, people will eventually try to find ‘hidden gems’ and alternatives to explore.
6. Nature & wildlife tourism will be in vogue.
Eco-tourism is the need of the hour – and I’m sure that we’ve all understood by now that it’s extremely important for us, humans, to be mindful while traveling and be responsible for our actions.
As the world witnessed a lockdown with almost everyone staying within their homes – we all dreamt of the wide-open skies and the vast sandy beaches, the lush green forest trails, and the pristine snow-clad mountains – our hearts surely longed for the wilderness out there.
There’s no surprise here – nature tourism is something that’s gonna trend in the near future, as more and more travelers will ditch crowded places and festive trips to spend a few days soaking in the freshness, listening to the chirping of the birds or enjoying wildlife safaris to spot elephants and tigers in their natural habitat.
Other than that, travelers will gravitate towards making environmentally and socially responsible choices, opting for conservation volunteering programs and meaningful holidays where they can make a sustainable impact on the environment.
7. We’re not going back to the normal – let’s accept it.
The new changes that we will face are not temporary – and while we thought traveling is easy (or at least looked at it like that), it’s time that we acknowledge traveling as a privilege.
The pandemic has taught us some hard lessons that would stay will us for the rest of our lives – and now we know that survival of the humankind essentially depends on the wellbeing of nature – and as travelers, we have a responsibility towards the local communities, the environment, and to ourselves – so it’s necessary to improve the way we go about exploring our world.