The coronavirus has caused many changes in our lives. The airport is generally filled with bustle and rush of travellers to board, no longer part of the day to day and time is virtually empty. At least for a reasonable time, until we can safely travel again. At the beginning of the crisis caused by Covid-19, many countries chose to cancel flights that originated in a country with a high number of infected. Later, before the advance of the disease, entire countries closed their borders and decreed confinement measures, which cut off tourism. According to the Flight Radar service, world flights were down 62% in April 2020 compared to the same month the previous year. In April, most countries in the world had adopted measures to curb the pandemic, which included the closure of borders or the cancellation of flights.
Changes in the way you travel
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) revealed that airlines could face a 1.5 billion decline in the number of international travellers this year. Right now some countries impose a 14-day quarantine on people arriving from abroad. They should stay in their accommodation or at home, to rule out that, if they have the virus, they can transmit it. In essence, the governments are saying the same thing to us: Many of the trips will be local rather than international. You will fly less frequently, and trips will likely be more expensive. There will be fewer passengers and more health checks. Temperature checks will be added to the usual security controls at airports. But also in hotels and other venues. Also, the use of masks will be mandatory in many cases. However, these obstacles can be easily overcome with a little willpower and some methodical planning.
Some authorities have recommended that airlines leave the central seat empty or reduce the number of seats available on each trip to increase the distance between their travellers and reduce the risk of contagion. At the moment, it is not a mandatory measure neither in Europe nor in the United States. This measure does not convince many companies because it would mean losing a lot of money in bills, and they question whether it is useful.
Some initiatives seek to create “digital immunity passports“. That is, applications that collect the health information of a person to know if they are immune to the virus if they have already passed the Covid-19 disease and if, in principle, they would be protected against it. This measure raises many questions. For example, if people with immunity will have more advantages compared to those who cannot demonstrate it, either to travel or even to work. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned about the risks of these types of documents. Some test results may not be completely reliable, so the person would not be immune. In that case, you could catch or catch the virus. Additionally, there are still many unanswered questions about immunity to Covid-19.
The New Travel Trends For 2021 And Beyond.
Personal Identity: collective identities, lifestyles and neo-luxury.National tourism will be promoted, due to the apparent restrictions on movement between countries, due to the economic problems derived from the economic crisis to which we are facing and due to the maintenance of social distancing to avoid contagion. This behaviour will lead us to rediscover our essence as a society and a country, promoting collective Identity, and recovering the connection with our customs, from which the globalized world was progressively detaching us.
Living Experiences – Unique experiences.
The experiences will be the protagonist of the new times. As a necessary condition, the need to guarantee safe experiences, from the point of view of health and hygiene, will be imposed, avoiding contagion and offering emotional security to the traveller regarding their health.
Local experiences, connected with the environment, environmentally sustainable and responsible with the local economy of the destination and gastronomy can be the experiential axis to be developed. Again, the local will be the key. I think it can be a crucial strategy to strengthen the country brand and that of the different communities.
“Bleisure” – Say goodbye to the boundary between work and leisure.
As a consequence of the confinement, many activities have ‘discovered’ teleworking. We are going to a scenario where business trips will be reduced, limiting them to those strictly necessary. Considering the above, the Bleisure trend will take on particular relevance.
User Tech Experience – Technology and user experience.
What the population has experienced in the confinement phase has led to a resurgence and empowerment of the digital world and, for this reason, many companies in the tourism sector have opted during this period to “make “life their client’s virtual experiences from the confinement. Growth in technology can be predicted, an aspect that may be limited by the difficulty of investment by companies. Unless the Public Administrations encourage it with public aid.
Sustainable Tourism: Social, cultural and environmental responsibility.
The decrease in international tourism and restrictions on the mobility of people and goods have had a positive effect on the environment, through the reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. It has made us more aware, and possibly the environment will be the next challenge along with health to review in many of the political agendas of the countries.
To this factor, we must add another aspect. The problem of excess tourism, which many destinations experienced before COVID-19, will be reduced both by the decrease in the global volume of tourists between countries and by the need to maintain distance to avoid infections. Business models will be forced to be environmentally sustainable. We will also see how society will appreciate that tourism is related to local businesses, thereby contributing to the recovery phase and reinforcing its socio-cultural responsibility with the local economies where they develop.
Low-cost chic: democratizing tourism.
This trend is focused on achieving democratization of tourism, making it accessible to all audiences. On the side of the tourist offer, it will be necessary to have more efficient business models, which together with the need above for commitment to the local environment. This will lead us to see the emergence of cross-selling strategies where tourism will intermingle with local industry (food, commerce, agriculture, restaurants, etc.) achieving a more authentic experience. Also, investments in technology will increase. In this context, how can we maintain the profitability and economic sustainability of the businesses? An adaptation to this new reality is required. The doubt will be to see how companies in this context of uncertainty will respond strategically. Our advice will always be on proactivity, anticipation and innovation.
As a society, we need companies to reinvent their business models, generating connections with other sectors of the economy (food, agriculture, fashion, commerce etc.), thereby offering a comprehensive and unique experience to the traveller while contributing to the necessary reactivation of the economy.
Where To Travel To?
There are plenty of new countries that will want to welcome you once again. There will be countries off the beaten track which will want to step up to the demands of tourism. Of course, there will always be the big cities, for example, those who wish to see Inter Milan play or if you wish to travel to London for Fashion Week. However, here are some others to look out for.
La Palma, Canary Islands
If you are looking for where to travel in January, what better place to start the year than in the Canary Islands, away from the cold peninsular winter, and the high prices that Christmas holidays usually bring to the islands. La Palma is a natural treasure within the Spanish geography and without a doubt one of the best destinations to travel in Spain. Laurisilva forests, volcanoes, peaks, viewpoints and natural pools are just part of its charm. Whether you like to hike or just enjoy nature, in La Palma you will find the perfect combination of activities and relaxation.
Iceland, a destination without coronavirus to visit in February
One of the main concerns when travelling is doing it safely. This is where Iceland has played its cards well, betting on testing everyone who arrives on the island to keep its borders open and continue to allow travellers to enter safely. Iceland is not the cheapest destination to travel to, and February is certainly not the hottest month in this wild place. Still, it is an ideal one to discover a phenomenon of those that you have to observe at least once in your life, the auroras Borealis, probably one of the best trips in the world.
The Philippines, the perfect place to visit in April.
Knowing the Philippines is the dream of many – the weather, the food and the people is exquisite! The Philippines has been one of the most restrictive countries due to the pandemic, so it remains to be seen if its borders open for Easter. Its tourist journey has begun and they are always welcoming new people to their country.
Are you ready to travel again?