The appearance of COVID-19 has affected our lives more than we have ever thought possible. And, it hit us so hard that we are still struggling to stay on our feet and comprehend what is actually going on. When is it going to end? Nobody knows the answer, but we all agree that the coronavirus is here to stay for some time and we will simply need to live with it. Among countless effects that the virus has had on people’s lifestyles, let us take a closer look at coronavirus post-traveling consequences and see what needs to be done in order to prepare for them.
The travel industry at the moment
At the beginning of 2020, coronavirus started spreading like wildfire, causing many countries to close their borders and even impose stay-at-home orders. Many people started working from home and their everyday habits changed drastically. Plenty of restaurants switched to take-outs and unfortunately, some of them were shut down completely. Hotels were either closed or forced to work at their minimal capacity. And, when it comes to airlines, they are certainly one of those that will be deeply affected by the crisis. All the industries and companies we have just mentioned are pieces of the travel industry, so you have probably guessed that it is destined to nosedive too. People staying at home equals the travel industry failing.
What are the tendencies of people traveling at the moment?
Many countries have started welcoming foreigners again, but not all of them are equally cautious. Some require two-week quarantine upon arrival, some will need a negative test for COVID-19, while some will simply accept travelers without checking procedures. People are still afraid and for a good reason. At the time of writing this article, more than 15.6 million people were infected, while more than 640 thousand people lost their battle with this highly contagious disease.
People who choose to travel nowadays usually opt for closer destinations. That makes sense since many worry about their health and how they would be treated in a foreign country in case they get sick. Staying in your homeland provides a certain sense of security. That is why many Europeans choose local tourism and to help soften the blow rather than traveling abroad. However, that is not the only reason why travelers pick closer destinations for their holidays.
Traveling by plane?
Longer trips usually require transport by airplane. Airlines have remained operational, but their practices have changed drastically. To make sure that each traveler is keeping a distance from one another, the number of passengers per plane needed to drop substantially. It is just a question of time when airlines will start charging their passengers more in order to cover the gap in their budget caused by the smaller number of people allowed on board.
People planning long-distance moves that require transport by plane do not have to worry. Freight transport is operating without a hitch at the moment, and our friends from relocation companies can confirm that. Cutting the number of passengers in half might mean that the cost of the ticket will be doubled. But, on the other hand, that will mean more space for luggage which is crucial for relocation.
How will we travel?
Since the end of the COVID-19 crisis is not in sight, we will have to learn to live with this virus and accept that this is our new normal. When it comes to traveling, that means:
- mandatory temperature checks (biometric screening) at airports, on planes, in hotels, etc;
- more touchless appliances wherever possible;
- wearing masks pretty much everywhere;
- having a negative COVID-19 test result – mandatory for entering most countries;
- keeping physical distance;
- improved cleaning and disinfecting protocols;
- two-week quarantine is required in many countries, and that is not going to change any time soon – this is the main reason why travelers will have to think twice before deciding to take a trip.
How about cruises?
The cruising industry has been hit hard by the outbreak of coronavirus right from the start. It is almost impossible to keep physical distance on cruisers on which people spend weeks, some even months. Cruisers are also famous for their ways of serving food, but it seems that self-serving on crowded ships is going to become history. Fewer people will be allowed on board, and all of them will have to be tested before and after the trip.
Coronavirus post-traveling consequences on the hotel industry
Warmth is the heart of hospitality, so you can only imagine how much the hotel industry will suffer due to distancing the hotel staff from the guests. When people are on holiday, they like to be taken care of. Others prepare their food, clean their rooms, and provide all sorts of leisure services such as massages and other treatments. With health and sanitation set as their top priorities, caterers have the difficult task of keeping their guests satisfied and relaxed.
Pools, gyms, spas, restaurants, buffets, and bars are just some of the places where people will not be able to behave as they used to, which can have a huge impact on the hotel industry. Due to social distancing rules, hotels will not be able to use their full capacities, which will again raise the price for those checking in.
Similarly to hotels, the renting industry has to adapt to the new rules. What is interesting in this aspect is that people are now more interested in long-term leases than they were before. Remote working has made it possible for many to work from more desirable destinations and to combine business and leisure activities.
The benefits that the new situation has brought
Let us close the subject with some positive coronavirus post-traveling consequences. If there is anything good that COVID-19 has brought to the travel industry, it is stepping up the levels of sanitation. People are paying more attention to their hygiene and they are more aware of the cleanliness of the spaces they will be spending time in. Another benefit is getting used to online reservation systems. People are encouraged to make transactions and pay for goods and services they need from the comfort of their homes. That is how they are cutting down the risk of getting infected and saving precious time.
Let us know your thoughts concerning traveling during and after the coronavirus pandemic.