Post-COVID Travel Trends to Watch Out for
It is now a cliché to say that the coronavirus has changed the lives of everyone on the planet. In terms of business, COVID-19 has prompted changes in every sector all over the world. The travel industry is one of the worst-hit sectors by the pandemic. For almost four months, the domestic and international air travelling had been brought to a screeching halt in most parts of the world. Today, when we are over nine months into the pandemic, things are still dicey, and the gradually resuming travel and tour industry already fears the second wave.
From all the horror and trepidation that COVID-19 has brought, it is pretty clear that it will change how people travel and plan their vacations shortly. People working in the travelling and tour industry need to keep taps on these changing trends to adjust and modify their business accordingly.
In this post, we will look at some of the possible post-COVID travel and tour trends that operators need to watch out for.
COVID-19 has taken the certainty and peace of mind out of the travelling equation. Hotels, airlines, and other travelling service providers have to change their policies, availability continuously, and services with the changing nation and worldwide COVID policies and action plans. On the other hand, the uncertain bookings and abrupt local lockdowns have also made it difficult for travel and tour agencies to satisfy their clients.
In the coming days, travellers would want their plans to be stress-free. They don’t want to deal with the hassle and anxiety of cancellations and subsequent penalties and difficult refunds. The travel industry has to collectively ensure that people can make flexible travelling plans where they have the room for last-minute changes and don’t need to worry about losing their money in cancellation penalties.
Travel Insurance Will Become a Crucial Prerequisite
Travel insurance has been part of tour packages for a long time, but it was never considered a travelling necessity by many. For instance, only 20% of American travellers insured their pre-COVID trips. However, this is going to change post-COVID. One survey indicates that now 45% of US travellers plan to buy travel insurance for their future trips.
Travel operators need to adjust their plans in line with this developing trend. They have to make travel insurance a basic element of all their individual and group packages.
Travel Advisors Will Be in Demand
The pandemic has left even the seasoned and frequent travellers clueless on how to plan their trips. The situation is far more complicated for those who are not frequent or haven’t travelled internationally at all. The confusing and fickle travelling landscape has underlined the importance of getting an experienced and trusted travel advisor onboard.
A travel advisor can save your peace of mind as well as money by streamlining your travelling itinerary. They can help travellers successfully carry out their travelling while ironing out all the unexpected kinks from the beginning until the end of the trip. Travel and tour operators can make their packages more lucrative by offering travel advising services complimentary or at nominal rates.
Road Trips and RV Travelling to Boom
As mentioned earlier, the pandemic has significantly cut down air travelling. The highly contagious nature of the virus with its asymptotic characteristic has pushed many people away from travelling with a group of unknowns in a small airtight capsule called an aeroplane. As local lockdowns are easing out, more people have started preferring travelling in their vehicles to nearby tourist destinations.
This trend certainly poses a challenge to travel and tour operators whose core business depends on air travelling. Nonetheless, travelling agencies can tweak their existing tour plans and introduce local, nationwide road trips to all those who want to travel but don’t have their vehicles. Similarly, they can also consider renting out Recreational Vehicles (RVs) for outdoor family and friends trips.
Backpacking Will Become More Popular
Backpackers have always been identified as maverick travellers. From travel to accommodation, their requirements are pretty minimal. Also, their plans are random and may not follow a strict pre-planned itinerary. In other words, they are the least affected group of travellers from this pandemic.
As the travelling restrictions are being lifted, backpackers are more likely to be back on their voyages. The social distancing measures combined with the fad of solo travelling are also going to make many new backpackers post-COVID. Therefore, it is the right time for travel and tour operators to devise more plans and packages for backpackers.
National Park and Other Secluded Spots Will Experience More Traction
The famous travel destinations, which would always be crowded, will not experience the same traction anytime soon. Various news reports suggest that these places turned into virus hotspots and led to the creation of clusters of infected people. The almost impossible feat of ensuring social distancing at famous tourist spots will turn more people to visit secluded places like national parks and backcountry spots.
Tour operators also need to think up more plans around these spots that are remote, vast, boast natural beauty, and offer a travelling value to visitors.
Travellers Would Seek Contactless Travelling
Face-to-face interactions and shared points of touch were once inevitable in international travelling. The same two elements proved to be the leading reasons for spreading the virus. Today, many airports are in the process of making their immigration process contactless. They are investigating the possibility of using facial recognition, contactless fingerprinting, and iris scanning for handling and checking tickets, passports, and other travel documents during check-ins and boarding.
Similarly, hotels and resorts are moving their check-in and out check out processes to mobile applications where people can book and avail their accommodations on their devices without making any in-person contact.
Travel and tour agencies need to centre their tour plans on these contactless travelling features one they are fully available. For instance, if an airport in a certain city has made its immigration process contactless, they should also find a place of accommodation offering a similar contactless booking system in the same city.
If you want your travel and tour agency on top of post-COVID travel and tour developments, you also need to power it with an agile travel management system with the latest updates. TravnetTech can deliver you a travelling front and back-office that can meet the modern travel technological requirements. Our experts can also equip your operations with travel search engine and marketing automation.