With the significant rise in the novel coronavirus pandemic, the travel industry has become one of the most-impacted sectors recently. Since there is no vaccine or treatment currently available for the novel coronavirus and the infection spread is linked to travel, it is suggested to keep yourself isolated as much as possible. Due to this fact, all the sub-sector of the travel industry such as airlines, hotel industry, cruise lines, railways, etc have been severely affected.
The tourism and travel industry is considered to be one of the largest industries in the world that contributes 10.4% of the GDP and 10% of the employment globally. The tourism industry is constantly growing every year, worldwide. Though Europe and the United States are consistently the most popular destinations among travellers, new untouched destinations are rapidly emerging to attract more tourists. The impact of COVID-19 has been huge owing to travel bans, quarantine precautions, and the closing of borders by major nations. This will pave the way to reshaping and changing the travel industry in a tremendous way.
COVID-19 Reshaping the Travel Industry
As the travel industry recovers from the pandemic impact, many experts opine that the travel industry will be re-shaped to a great extent. Here are a few trends to watch out for:
Travel Insurance May Become a Necessity: While travel insurance has been there for a long time, it has struggled to find its space among the budget travellers. However, with the pandemic, it is set to become a necessity in the near future.
Digitised Experience is Set to Become a Norm: With hotels and airlines set to focus more on contact-less approach, the tourism industry is set to use digitized experiences for the guests to keep the human contact to minimal. Automated check-in counters, app-based ordering at hotels, maybe some trends that could be interesting to see.
Local Travel May Rise: While international tours may surely rise, however, the local travel may become a big hit once the pandemic starts subsiding. Travellers would like to quench their thirst for wanderlust while staying closer to their homes.
Goodbye to Fly-by Night Operators: One positive impact of the COVID-19 impact on the travel industry is that most fly-by-night operators will eventually shut down and the established and credible ones may be able to bear the impact for a longer duration. What this could mean for travellers is smoother travel experiences thanks to the reliable players that may survive this impact.
Travel Industry – A Helping Hand During COVID-19 Crisis
Amid the crisis situation, the Travel industry has come forward to offer a helping hand in managing the situation:
Many aviation companies have offered to help those who have critical travel needs. They are looking for ways to help through their available network and infrastructure in repatriating citizens of different countries.
Some airlines and hotels have offered its CPR trained staff to volunteer at the hospitals for critical care.
A few airlines are utilizing its aeroplanes to bring in more medical volunteers, free of charge.
Many hotels such as the Taj Hotels of India have been offered to be converted to quarantine centres for medical staff and other patients.
Many other restaurants and luxury hotels are preparing regular meals to feed the homeless and poor during the lockdown situation.
Preparing for a better future Post COVID-19
The trade body and European tourism sector have suggested the government to take appropriate measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. For a better future of the travel industry, the government may consider below implementations:
Simplification and reduction in visa cost.
Removing unnecessary barriers at ports/airports.
Reduction in various taxes such as Air Passenger Duty.
Increase in the budget for promoting tourism.
Hope for a Revived Future
The real impact of COVID can be ascertained only after the pandemic is over. But with subsequent measures and changes in policies by the government, and unified efforts by the travel industry can definitely help in reviving the future. See you all soon on the other side!