Few industries have been impacted by the ongoing coronavirus situation quite as severely as travel. For the foreseeable future, the way we get from place to place will be altered almost beyond recognition. But what might these changes look like?
With restrictions on international travel having been relaxed recently, travel companies have been inundated with bookings. It’s tempting to say that things are returning to normal, and that nothing will really change in the long-term. But demand still hasn’t rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, and there are myriad safety precautions still in place. As such, a domestic holiday is likely to remain an attractive alternative to an overseas one.
In spaces where you might come into contact with other people, you’ll be asked to wear a facemask. Since June 15th, this has been a requirement in the UK. But the culture is likely to persist after the law passes away. Getting on a train travelling to Luton will involve facemasks, hand sanitizer, and as much social distancing as possible. Of course, crowding might make this impossible.
If you’ve been putting off that big bucket-list trip for awhile, then now might be the time it finally happens. Brits have actually saved more while in lockdown, and so the resources to take that dream trip will finally be there – and thus 2021 might well be the year in which you take that long-planned trip to Tokyo, or to Australia, or to the Arctic Circle.
You might suppose that a slump in demand would lead to suppliers cutting their prices. But in some cases, price rises are more likely. If an aeroplane is only half-full, then the airliner will likely try to recover the extra costs on the passengers. More wealthy passengers may look to hiring private jets to ensure that they’re fully protected, especially if they happen to be over seventy, or suffer from an underlying health condition. This doesn’t just apply to airlines, either; any venue which relies on cramming punters in, shoulder-to-shoulder, is going to have to raise prices when only every other seat can be filled.
Outdoor Trips Prioritised
Some types of holiday present a greater risk of contagion than others. Specifically, city breaks and clubbing trips might be out of the question. The safest types of trip will be those where you’re out in the open air, protected from other people by ventilation and by distance. Hiking trips and other kinds of outdoor activity holidays are likely to appeal.
The Fall of the Cruise Holiday
For many cruise operators, the bulk of custom comes from retirees – the very demographic for whom coronavirus is the biggest risk. As older people look to limit their exposure, and avoid unnecessary risks, cruise liners will have to adapt or perish.