Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of the travel industry, especially after the pandemic. The world as we know it – all borders open and people moving around freely – is very unlikely to exist anymore. More and more countries apply rules for entering, border controls are back in place. Some countries are still in lockdown. People are afraid to prebook flight tickets and hotels too far in advance. Everybody (myself included) is waiting for money to be returned for their canceled flights.
While some airlines offer good deals, nobody knows for sure if the flight will happen or not. I took the risk and booked Lisbon for late November. However, there are zero guarantees that the flight will happen. So what will be next?
Here are some thoughts regarding the future of travel (all my own ideas, nothing more):
- People will start booking flights and tours on short notice. The fear of losing the money will be too great to pre-book far in advance. Last-minute deals may start to gain importance again. Or, if demand is too high, they may actually be more expensive, as more people will be interested in those trips.
- New ways of travel. Rather than taking the flight, many travelers may start using alternative means of transport, such as private cars, caravans, motorcycles, etc. This actually makes sense, because taking a road trip can be planned on very short notice. You can book hotels on the go, decide on the direction depending on which countries are open, etc. Road trips are fun and allow you to explore visited countries from a different angle, get off the beaten path, and enjoy local life.
- Cruises will be difficult. Cruise ships have proven to be a hotspot for virus infection, so in the future, taking a cruise might mean a lot of extra precautions that will eventually ruin the experience. The way it is looking right now, the world full of fear for a potential virus has no place for cruise ships.
- Local tourism will bloom – people will prefer exploring their own country rather than going abroad. Traveling in your own country will always be safer than going anywhere else and risking being stuck. Families with children will most likely be the ones exploring these options.
- Nature hikes will become more popular, as the risk of getting the infection is much smaller while being outside. Even here, in Estonia, people started massively exploring their own backyards (bogs, forest trails) during the lockdown.
What do you think will travel industry look like? Share your thoughts in comments!