Travel industry and leisure driven travel will never be the same again post COVID19. Government regulations will be strengthened, and tighter guidelines will mean restricted entry to other countries.
Travel companies will have to realign their priorities to the new normal, for one, domestic travel will increase rapidly over international travel. It will be important for airlines, tour operators, and hotels to catch this trend early on with clear operating and marketing strategies.
Here are some of the trends we foresee will happen soon –
Travel will increasingly become purpose driven. Corporates are restricting travel to bare minimum with the newfound productivity of Work From Home (WFH) scenarios. The budget driven traveler on the other hand, will adopt a wait and watch attitude.
For international travel, passport may not be the only documents you may have to carry. Latest health documents listing out your past and latest illness may become mandatory.
Long queues at immigration counters will be the norm as countries will enforce tough screening norms especially for people coming from other countries. Even after the lockdown is over and people start to travel again some countries may insist on border testing with swabs and then wait several hours before you get the results.
4. Domestic travel will boom as people will be more comfortable with travelling within the country. Shorter travelling distances will also become increasingly preferable.
Host countries will also have to prove that they are safe for tourists. This goes beyond having the lowest infection rates, but also having credible infrastructure in place in case the tourists do get sick.
Insurance industry will be one of biggest gainers post COVID 19 they will have to work out a strategy to include pandemics in future. Flex insurance has seen a spurt in demand because of its unique terms, it allows a passenger to cancel his flight within a few hours of its departure without any loss to himself.
Ultimately tourism is sustainable because of the environment and its people. One thing COVID 19 has taught us is that the earth and people fight back if we do not protect it. Sustainable and responsible Tourism will gain its much-required importance and seriousness.
There is a lot of uncertainty and the future is unpredictable, but one thing we know for certain is that the industry landscape will not remain the same. It is time we reinvent ourselves to adapt our businesses to changing behaviours and environments. Work and recreation must be reprioritized, and leisure must be reinvented to include wellbeing and long-term sustainability of the country rather than profit and ambition.