Covid-19 has undoubtedly devastated the travel industry and changed the ways we would travel in the foreseeable future. 100 million travel sector jobs has been lost, according to one global estimate. Use of U.S. airlines is down 95 percent, while international travel revenues would decrease by more than $300 billion. Safety issues concerning travels are at the forefront as the desire to travel remains. The most pressing questions about future travels concern coordination of social distancing measures, testing and healthcare strategies, space and distance creations, as well as innovative procedures for travelers and industry providers alike.
Many travel providers have implemented necessary redesigns to ensure or improve safe travels. Testing, health screening, control of space-per-passenger ratios, and a redesign of passenger flow or even airport layouts are some of the changes we will witness when we eventual get to travel. Expansive new airports will offer passengers more space; airports without the capacity to expand horizontally may expand vertically. Furthermore, gate space will be widened, and robots may be used to load carry-ons. Disinfection protocols will be in place, and travel industry personnel or travelers will be expected to don personal protective equipment or masks.
Travel avenues and destinations are likely to transform. Road tripping offers a sense of freedom with personal controls and could be on the rise. Travel industry suppliers offer more flexibility, more discounts and better rates; listings for accommodations will indicate whether operators/hosts are practicing stringent cleaning/distancing guidelines, including a minimum 24-hour waiting period between bookings. Hygiene and cleanliness will become the new rating criteria whereas typically food or the view from a hotel room drives the sales. More touchless check-in via apps and drive-up motel rooms will gain popularity. Many national parks and remote outdoor areas are attracting record numbers. People touring these destinations will seek personal space, cleanliness and fresh air.
As international travel is considered riskier and unpredictable, it will become even more time-consuming and expensive. As a result, domestic tourism as well as private/remote tours will experience a boost. New opportunities lie in times of crises, and so plan and adjust according to changes. Prepare carefully and wisely for a time when things reopen and recover.