The Corona scare has devastated the economies around the world with the travel and tourism sector being affected the most. This sector is near a standstill and we are not sure when will it restart. Like other sectors, travel and tourism are also going under radical metamorphosis to meet the challenges posed by “New Normal”.

With lockdown restrictions easing out, we all are curious to know how and when we be able to travel again? Whether using airlines will be safe or taking a staycation at your favorite resort be the same as before?

A road trip to Jim Corbett National Park or nearest hill station for a week-long vacation at highly sanitized rental property nearby as recommended by travel advisors. The Travel plan Sounds good, right?

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Let’s sneak into the future to predict new travel trends that will rule the future.

New Travel & Tourism Trends which will Rule the Future
1. Domestic Travel will precede International Travel & Tourism
Travel recovery will begin locally as travelers planning a holiday or a vacation will venture out closer to home to start with. They will prefer traveling domestically, and staying local at their weekend getaways before thinking of international travel in the future. As they say:

‘India will become Incredible Again”.

International travel will probably take more than six months before it starts recovering and will be back only once Corona Vaccine will be available. International travel will be initially happening between countries which are corona free destinations. Nearby countries will be the more preferred choice when international travel begins.

2. Classic Road Trip will be in fashion again
Yes, there will be quicker recovery for drive-to destinations. People are not really sure what will happen when they will take flights but they are more sure that they will have more control and will be more safe while drive to their favorite weekend getaway in their own car and rent our own space. People will look to travel closer to home for vacations. Car rental companies may also flourish provided they assure the customers of deep cleaning and sanitization after each use or even keeping the car idle for 24 hours after each use.

3. Air Travel may become dearer
Flights have to reconfigure its seating system to accommodate social distancing norms, which definitely means less number of people boarding the flight. This definitely leads to aviation companies aiming for more revenue per seat. Also, new health and safety standards which means detailed deep cleaning & sanitization, more masks, gloves, disposables and disinfectant requirements, retraining of airline staff, thermometers, etc will have an impact on the cost of operations.

4. Vacation Homes will be preferred over Big Hotels
Private rental homes will definitely be preferred overcrowded hotels as they pose more risk.

People will choose their trusted brands or vacation homes based on their trust in their hygiene systems and sanitization protocols.
People will look for properties that are centrally located as they will be able to walk than take risky public transportation to commute.
Hotels or properties with minimal touchpoints like online check-in, digital bookings will be preferred
Key Cards, Bollywood nights, and Buffet breakfast will things of past. People will prefer room service.
Properties amidst nature, away from crowded places with good hygiene ratings will also boom.
Also while looking for Airbnb hosts and hotels online you may see the hotels and vacation homes being marked “COVID Safe” like –‘Sanitized, highly clean, COVID-friendly’ — a lot of things like that to basically signal to their customers that they are a safe location.
5. Luxury hotels may be more affordable
People hit hard by economic crisis thrown by COVID-19, will look for value for money options and luxury hotel chains will have few takers at least in the short term. Luxury hotel chains may want to attract their customer and promote tourism by

Dropping their room rents
Offering freebies like a free meal for kids, free spa for couples, free pickup & drop services for example.
This is more true as people will postpone any non-essential travel, or will try to increase their savings and curtail expenditure.

6. Sanitisation will be the prime in Travel & Tourism
There will certainly be a sharp emphasis on hygiene and cleanliness of the property as the customers will make their booking decision based on

New hygiene standards
Digital reservation and minimal human contact and touchpoints
Social distancing across common areas
Health check-ups of guests at the entrance or check-in
Customer Reviews online specially pertaining to hygiene safety
7. Flexibility in Travel and Cancellation Policies will make tourism easier
Considering uncertainties of the future ahead the travel industry is going to make it much easy for travelers to book their next trip at least in the short term. It will be now possible to

book a trip with open tickets,
postpone or reschedule your travel,
cancel your bookings and get a full refund or
transfer it to friends and family
This new flexibility in travel, bookings, and cancellation policies will play a major role in the future of our travel plans.

8. Travel Insurance will become Essential in Travel and Tourism
The post-COVID world will have a greater need for and acceptance of travel insurance, which was often shunned by travelers before. They will now understand the importance of travel insurance and how could it possibly help them.

9. The Role of Travel Advisors will more important
The rise of online booking & reservations had hit the travel agents and travel advisors real hard since the advent of the Internet. But the recent troubles and inconvenience that many of us faced in recent times due to global disruptions caused by COVID-19 have opened our eyes. If anyone booked without a travel advisor during this period, they learned that they should have. Trying to call the airlines for rescheduling, flight status, cancellation suddenly became a herculean task as phone lines were jammed and it had taken 2 -3 business days to get in touch with them. The mayhem and chaos were imminent. Travel advisors and agents are our first point of contact in case of any emergency in such a scenario and their role is certainly going up in the future of travel and tourism.

10. Family Holidays will take precedence
Lockdown has possibly given us enough food for thought- like people in your life are the most important thing to focus upon and that we want to spend our time, energy, and money on our favorite people. We also could not take our family time vacations or summer vacations due to lockdown. Naturally, post-COVID-19, family travel with loved ones, and close friends might be the new next big thing happening in the travel and tourism industry.

Also, Read Reasons You Should Travel More Often – My Life Lessons

Author's Bio: 

Akram Ali is a B.Tech in Compuer Science & Engineering and MBA in International Business with specialisation in Marketing Management from IMT Ghaziabad, he has 7 years of corporate experience in MNCs like Infosys Technologies Ltd, Japyee Group etc in techno functional, business development and Brand Management roles. After his Corporate stint he has ventured into various businesses since last 10 years. The first involved creating and owning India’s one the best luxury fitness chains called “Crunch-Health”, Luxury Salon Chain known as “Crest” and Café Cum Restaurant Called“ Canvas” and “Wheelys Café”. Crunch-Health was featured as one of best Luxury fitness chains in Delhi/NCR and featured as one of the top 30 best designed Fitness centre & Spa across the World as per Hong Kong’s top Interior design magazine. Apart from this he also ventured into Nutraceuticals industry and successfully established and operates distribution chain of wellness products. Most recent of his venture is running his own Digital Marketing Agency known as “Ads Performs” with a belief that original ideas can be turned into digital businesses that are both innovative and profitable. He is a serial entrepreneur and successfully Conceptualizes, Innovates and then works on Executing new and traditional ideas. He loves building and rebuilding Products and Services by using his creativity and ideas which he has been applying in his own “Wheelys Café, an International Coffee Chain from Sweden. His biggest passion lies in playing Indian Classical Percussion Instrument “Tabla” in which he is professionally trained He has been playing and performing since his school days in various concerts and performances, featuring in TV and cultural fests which have won him accolades. He loves reading, travelling and has travelled across many countries and still counting. He also loves to explore new cultures, food and loves making new friends. He also has a flair for writing, literature, poetry. His articles and poetries have been featured in various school and college chronicles. With his background of a bureaucratic family, he has been exposed to various social and welfare issues. His spiritual bent of mind and deep understanding of life philosophy has helped him to counsel many people successfully over a period of time.