It’s fair to say few foresaw the world-shattering shakeup COVID has been, least of all the travel industry. What does the future hold in terms of changes to how we travel?
- Ditching Crowds
There’s nothing quite like the rush of working your way through winding streets while exploring a crowded city. Unfortunately, there are also few better ways for the virus to transmit itself among people right now, so socially distanced travel itineraries and roads and cities less traveled by are bound to be more popular in the near future, at least until things start to (hopefully) return to normal in a year or two.
- Sustainable Travel
Even before COVID, the looming specter of climate change was already set to compel changes within the industry. Airlines already offer passengers the option to pay extra to “counteract” their “carbon footprint,” and carbon taxes are bound to hit airlines as the crisis’ full seriousness becomes more apparent to legislators. Climate-savvy packages are becoming more popular and a better look for companies PR-wise, so look for that to grow in the years to come.
- Hygiene Standards
Pre-COVID, a quick comparative price check of airlines via Google, Kayak, Sky Scanner, Expedia, or similar sites was all the rage. Now, potential passengers are bound to want to know about an airline’s hygiene standards and measures they’re taking to keep clients safe.
- Vaccine Passports
On February 25, 2021, the Biden administration hit 50 million vaccines administered, halfway to their 100 million goal in just over a month in office. That’s crucial because for the first time in modern history, US passports are incredibly weak, with US travelers being barred from entering the EU and other places due to the United States leading the world in COVID cases and deaths under the Trump administration. The United States isn’t alone, either — the UK, China, Iran, Brazil, and other nations have faced travel bans and restrictions due to high case counts. By contrast, nations with comparatively-strong COVID responses such as Germany and Israel may be in better shape in a world of “vaccine passports,” where factors such as your personal vaccine status and the overall efficacy of your nation’s COVID response may impact your ability to travel.
Each of these factors are bound to have a significant impact on the COVID and post-COVID travel industry.