6 COVID-19 Travel Trends that Will Continue in the Post-Pandemic World
COVID-19 has divided the contemporary world into pre-corona and post-corona eras. In 2019, most of us were not even aware of terms like “pandemic”, “lockdown”, “herd immunity”, etc. Similarly, no one even thought that wearing a mask would become an obligation to step out of the house for the simplest of chores.
The virus has also changed the rules and trends for almost every industry. In 2021, most industries and commercial sectors operate quite differently than how they used to operate in 2019. The travel and tour industry is one of the biggest commercial sectors where you can witness that change. The pandemic has given birth to various travelling trends. Experts believe that many of them will become regular fixtures in the post-pandemic world.
In this post, we will shed light on six of those COVID-19 travel trends that are not going to go away anytime soon.
More People Will Opt for Travel Insurance
If your health goes south, a satisfying tour can easily transform into the worst nightmare. Moreover, the pandemic has shown us how uncertain things can get. These points have highlighted the importance of travel insurance. Also, some travel insurance packages are good enough to reimburse travellers for the sudden closure of hotels and flights, which has become pretty normal since last year.
Therefore, a thing, that was once considered redundant, will now become a staple of any travel and tour deal. Despite vaccination rollout and the passing of early scare, people are still quite apprehensive of travelling and try to make sure they can make their itinerary as failsafe as possible. All those people can add a layer of protection to tours and trips through travel coverage.
Travel and tour agencies should standardise travel insurance in all their packages. They should get the best available travel coverage for their offers and leverage it as a USP over the plans offered by competitors.
Cancellations and Last-Minute Changes Without Penalties
During the worst of the pandemic, we have seen how airlines, hotels, and resorts have adjusted their booking policies. For instance, they have started giving consumers room for cancellations and last-minute changes without charging any service fee or penalty. This regime of flexible booking is something that customers always want from travel and tour service providers.
On the other hand, travelling-related businesses have also realised that it is financially feasible to provide this leniency to consumers. Therefore, many of them might continue to provide such flexible options even once the pandemic dies down. This will help them going one up on their competitors.
Travel agencies should closely monitor the developments on this front. If they can offer their clients tours and plans with flexible booking details, they are in for more sales than other travel agencies.
Private and Solo Travel Will Continue to Thrive
Group travelling enjoyed great traction before the pandemic. Those tours were quite normal where dozens of travellers would head to a festival, religious pilgrimage, or any other tourist attraction. The COVID-driven need for social distancing has broken the back of group travelling in 2020. In the next few years too, group travelling will remain low. Instead, solo travelling and private tours with close family members and friends will thrive.
- “Workcation” Will Become Commonplace
Remote working and work from home also witnessed an exponential uptick after the pandemic. This new work-life change has carved the concept of “workcation”— a work-based vacation. In a workcation, people travel to places they like while continue to work from there. This has helped people in breaking the monotony of working from home while vacationing and without taking extended leaves.
The concept of workcation is not contingent on the pandemic. Therefore, it might become a permanent travelling fixture post-pandemic.
- Open Spaces and Outdoor Activities Will Remain a Hit
With the closure of venues, events, and other indoor activities, people have moved to travel to open and wild spaces where there don’t have to worry about social distancing. In other words, the pandemic has also reminded us of the importance of open and natural landscapes far from the hustle and bustle of fast urban life.
This rediscovery of the serenity and immersiveness of open and natural spaces will continue to boost travelling that centres on destinations away from large human settlements and outdoor activities. Travel and tour operators should also focus on offering plans built around those themes.
- Offline Tours Might Become a Thing
The pandemic has increased our connectivity manifold. Lockdowns, business closures, social distancing requirements, and remote working have significantly increased the screen time of almost everyone. This excessive connectivity has become exhausting for many. Many affected individuals have found a needed relief in offline tours. In such tours, they travel to places where connectivity is intrinsically low. Also, offline tours entail destinations where you have so much to do and experience without needing your phone or laptop.
Offline tours will also spill into the post-pandemic world to provide respite to people who are tired of being connected all the time.
New Airport Security Dynamics
While we are discussing COVID-19 travel trends that might become permanent fixtures, it is important to look at the changing dynamics of airport security as well. For the next few years, presenting a negative COVID-19 test will remain a prerequisite particularly for internal travelling. While some places have already adopted it, rapid onsite testing might also get standardised across international airports. Similarly, thermal scanning, social distancing and use of mask will remain some of the critical requirements on airport premises for a long time.
The vaccination rollouts are playing an instrumental role in resurrecting the travel and tour industry. If you are also in the process of restarting your travel business to operate in the post-pandemic world, you must embrace the latest technological elements the industry has to offer.
Get in touch with TravnetTech for all the latest travel technology you need to integrate into your business. From a travel management system to travel back office and marketing automation, we can help you with all the digital resources your travel business needs.