Many of you may already be fidgeting and thinking of traveling again. With the pandemic still raging across countries, it might be a while before people can travel normally once more. While some borders may have already opened to welcome the surge of tourists, many are still closed, and it might be a while before they open again. But take heart. The pandemic will not last forever. One day, all borders will open fully, and you will be able to see the marvels of the world, just like before the pandemic.
COVID-19 has led to changes in many things, and that includes travel. So, expect changes in travel regulations and how travel may be offered to tourists when the pandemic is over.
Here are some travel trends that you can expect after the pandemic.
COVID-19 has stressed the importance of hygiene and sanitation among people. Travelers after the pandemic will likely be bringing with them a set of hand soaps or hand sanitizers, body disinfectants, tissues, face shields, masks, and other essential items. Tourist destinations may also be regulating the surge of people and may impose regulations related to healthcare and sanitation. Social distancing may probably still be enforced, and people may not be allowed to mingle closely with other tourists that are not part of their group.
Despite having vaccines, it may still be possible to contract COVID-19 during travels, especially when people touch things in their various destinations. Hence, hands-free tourism may become the norm. Who knows—in the year to come, technologies that allow touchless travel may be invented to cater to the new normal. Voice commands and motion sensors may also become normal practice, along with touchless document scanning and other touchless processes.
Domestic Travel vs. International Travel
Even when countries lift their restrictions, many people may still prefer domestic travel over international destinations. Travelers may also choose to travel to places that do not require them to board the plane. This means that the number of road trips may rise. Those who choose to travel internationally may have to prepare other requirements other than their tickets and passports. They may be asked to present proof of vaccination as well. Additionally, people may restrict their journeys to LDS tours, peace tourism, or other types of travel that do not require them to be with so many people at once. They may still go in groups, but they will not freely socialize with people that are not part of their circle.
Quality Over Quantity
When social media became popular, many people traveled to take selfies in places that are considered popular tourist destinations. Often, the reason for their travel was not just to enjoy the place but also to show their friends that they are able to go to that certain place. After the pandemic, people are likely to travel to really enjoy the scenery and the experience they gain from their journeys.
Travel after the pandemic may also focus more on people instead of places. Those who wish to travel will likely do so not because they want to see new places but because they want to visit family and loved ones. According to Fabio Carbone, a tourism academic, post-pandemic tourism will likely prioritize human development, peace, and dialogue.
This term may be alien to many, but this might just rise in popularity after the pandemic. Peace tourism is a type of leisure travel where people go to specific destinations not just for sightseeing but also for examining how peace and order are developed and celebrated in those particular areas. People participating in peace tourism will learn about the mistakes of people in the past, how those mistakes led to war, and how to prevent or resolve existing conflicts. Peace tourism packages often include educational trips to memorial sites and conflict zones. It might also include attending conferences and workshops related to conflict resolutions. It may also include guided peace walks that talk about the history of people searching for and achieving peace. Additionally, it may involve watching festivals and performances, visiting peace-themed exhibitions, and looking at famous peace artworks.
All these are just assumptions since we still do not know when the pandemic will end. We also do not exactly how tourism will start over after its hiatus. At present, many tourism destinations, resorts, and hotel accommodations are reeling from the economic effect of the pandemic. It would be quite a challenge to get back on their feet once the pandemic is over.