In 2019, before the surge of COVID-19 sent the world into lockdown, the travel industry saw record-breaking numbers, with more people vacationing than ever before. However, the 2020 pandemic tanked sector after sector—and travel was no exception.
Now that the Coronavirus has settled into a more manageable scope, adventure-hungry excursionists have begun venturing out with the help of restrictions and vacation changes. Read on for a look into COVID-19-induced shifts in the travel industry and how to navigate evolving protocols.
Long-term vacations have become more common
Though some companies are pushing for workers to return to the office, many have remained remote. As a result, those with flexible at-home positions have taken the opportunity to travel, embarking on workcations to stay up-to-date while adventuring abroad.
Those interested in a long-term vacation will need to plan carefully to avoid mishaps along their journeys. For example, though it may seem easier to rent a vehicle or use public transit, costs and hidden fees collect quickly and transport delays are frequent. Instead, consider shipping your car out of state and flying to your destination for a more flexible transportation option.
A rise in travel agents
Travel agents are on the rise once again, but probably not for the reason you think. After all, it’s the 21st century—everyone is capable of using travel sites to book vacations and research local hotspots.
Travel agents are more popular because they can help ensure you comply with local COVID-19 regulations. Since rules vary from city to state to country, having an agent to keep you informed can be an incredible relief.
Ethical tourism is on the rise.
With COVID-19 ravaging communities worldwide, many travel-hungry voyagers are putting trips on pause, taking ethics and sustainability into account. Though tourism can be incredibly beneficial to some places, it can have disastrous effects on others—especially with a highly contagious infection on the loose.
Tourists can cause strain on fragile ecosystems while creating massive carbon footprints without proper travel protocols. For example, souvenirs for sale at hot tourist destinations often benefit international corporations more than the local economy.
Ethical and responsible tourists take time to understand their impact on a potential destination, taking care to leave the space in excellent condition and support local economies. Whether you opt for a green activity like sailing or get involved in clean-up efforts while away, traveling consciously can keep tourist destinations up and running for all.
Travel insurance is changing and trending.
Travel insurance used to be for the nervous, but it’s become a safe idea for anyone venturing out after 2020. Though traditional travel insurance may not cover all Covid-related problems, it can cover medication costs and doctor visits if you fall ill while away.
The pandemic has had an extraordinary impact on every industry, but it has hit the travel industry disproportionately. As people feel safer traveling, the industry will have to evolve quickly to meet the needs of its consumers. Companies that fail to meet the unique needs of a post-pandemic world will struggle to find a foothold in the reborn travel economy.