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How Coronavirus Will Change the Way We Travel

Ellie Swain

Contributor

While COVID-19 has devastated many industries, it seems that the travel and tourism sector has taken the most dramatic hit. Flights, cruises, hotels, and the web of brands and individuals that work within the industry have been struggling as people around the world are told to head indoors to self-isolate. By the time people are free to travel again, the industry is sure to erupt, with travellers eager to adventure after confinement within the home. Let’s have a look at what to expect.

A Focus on Local Travel

In the immediate wake of coronavirus, travellers will likely avoid flying in worry of becoming stuck somewhere or being too far away from home.

Instead of soaring to far-flung exotic locations, travellers will opt to explore more corners of their own countries, at least in the beginning. Local travel will be especially attractive to families, who can enjoy a holiday with the safety of being near home.

Travelling internationally has been so easy and affordable in recent years. Many people have decided to explore countries that are so different and unusual compared to their own. While international travel will eventually pick up, perhaps regional travel will allow more people to appreciate and discover parts of their own country that they would otherwise never consider.

A Resurgence in Road Trips

Likewise, this means that the types of holidays we take will likely change. 

Lower gas prices, flexibility, and the peace of mind that come with using a car on a road trip will make such holidays especially appealing. 

Road trips often pair well with camping and barn escapes. So, it’s expected that many voyagers will swap a hotel for a night or two camping under the stars or a cosy lodge stay in a local air BNB.

Travel to Remote Locations

Linking to the two previous points, with an increased interest in local travel and road trips, explorers will enjoy visiting quiet and untouched locations. These are places where you don’t have to interact with people too often, and it’s easy to keep a social distance.

Before the coronavirus pandemic introduced social distancing, travellers were already interested in discovering low-key spots. This is for a more unique travel experience and to avoid busy and crowded visitor hotspots.

After coronavirus, this trend will only boost in popularity. People will opt for remote destinations with a focus on natural beauty, rather than heading to a capital city in Europe surrounded by hordes of families or embarking on a passenger cruise ship filled with thousands of tourists. That’s especially after so many have been confined to isolation between four walls with a lack of nature in their life for such a long time.

The trend we’ve already been seeing of visiting isolated and undiscovered locations will erupt as our need to have more elbow room and freedom from others increases.

While the summer may remain a difficult time to travel for everyone – especially for long-distance air travel and cruise ships – the national parks of the world are likely to welcome plenty of guests hoping to breathe in the fresh air in peace.

Shifts in Habits

As expected, shifts in consumer habits will occur too.

While many people already book last minute, this behaviour is likely to boom. People that usually book their holidays months in advance to lock in great deals and spread the cost may easily be put off committing so far ahead in fears that coronavirus remains a concern.

Many will decide to leave their travel booking until the very last minute, booking weeks or even days in advance. 

Likewise, those that did have travel plans collapse during the unexpected introduction of coronavirus are likely to remember how they were treated by brands. If customers were treated unfairly by their hotels, booking websites, or airlines, we could see a rise in people shifting to competitors.

In many cases, it can have the opposite effect too. Many companies have been flexible, fair, and generous in their responses to customers during the coronavirus pandemic. Those that were treated kindly may well become loyal customers of such businesses.

The insurance industry has also seen a huge peak in people taking out travel cover, with many companies having to halt sales. While many people already take the time to carefully decide what kind of cover they’re purchasing, post-coronavirus times, it’s expected that people will put even more time and effort into researching the exact cover that they need for their upcoming trip.

Instead of seeing taking travel insurance out as a boring item on the to-do list, soon it will be a crucial part of booking travel.

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