How The World of Travel Will Change After COVID-19

September 2, 2020

What the future holds as the world begins to hit the resume button.

While I write this at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, I can spot only 7 bodies sitting and wearing their masks in the already empty airport. When typically the airport sees thousands of passengers in a single day and a bustling chaos all around, I am looking at only one open airport food store and all closed duty free shops. After spending months in lockdown, my first trip out of Canada has shown me the reality of the world we live in right now — and it’s heartbreaking.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways and it is evident that it won’t be the same anymore. Especially the travel industry will see so many changes in the future geared towards a safer world for everyone. One thing people are going to talk about in the next 20 years is how the year 2020 had seen a dramatic decrease in everything related to travel due to the pandemic. From cancelled flights, little or no road trips to border closures, the world has experienced one of the worst times in the history of travel. The collective effort to save lives had the world economy suffer a huge blow as millions of people were forced to stay at home and with this the travel industry has been one of the many sectors that has been significantly impacted.

But how does this affect you or me? Well whether you are an avid traveler or not, you must have heard stories of people unable to travel due to the pandemic restrictions, families unable to reunite, event cancellations and a toll on our mental health are few of the issues we have had. Seeing people with masks on and hand sanitizer stations around airports are not the only things that you will notice as new changes. The wound inflicted by the pandemic has been deep and it hasn’t stopped bleeding yet.

Below you will read about some changes that are going to last for the longest time and things that we need to start getting familiar with.

Airports will have more health screenings

Just how 9/11 saw changes in airport security upgrades all over the world, similarly health screenings will be a ‘big thing’ at all major airports around the globe. With passports, boarding passes and occasional carry ons — face masks will be a ‘normal’ thing that will continue to accompany us.

Airlines need a healthy balance between safety and profits

With more and more people trying to stay home as much as they can, the aviation industry is going to either be very expensive for us to cover their costs or very cheap to make travel lucrative yet again.

Decline in cruise passengers

With no cure for COVID-19 till date, cruise companies are going to be hit badly. Most governments around the world have recommended to avoid cruise trips at all cost because of the risk of spreading the disease among people in closed spaces. Be prepared to get tempted as there will still be great offers on cruise trips but it will be up to you to take the risk or not.

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More bikes and less crowds

To avoid crowded trains or buses, people will most likely be walking more or taking their bikes as a mode of transportation. Not only will this be a safer option but a lot healthier in the long run.

Remote work will be the ‘new normal’

During this pandemic, one thing that most companies realized is that there could be productivity outside the office space. Working from home has entered the mainstream and we can expect people to take longer trips combining work and pleasure to get the best of both worlds.

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Small businesses will lose their grounds

Many local restaurants, bars and small businesses that are dependent on tourists from various places around the world are already being forced to permanently close their businesses. Trying new take-out concepts aren’t being super helpful as they still need to pay rent and salaries to their employees.

Rise of contact free technology

Use of technology to reduce human contact as much possible to keep everyone safe will be another trend. Some of it is in motion already but travelers can expect a lot more convenient ways of checking in, payment processes, abundant sanitizers, social distancing reminders etc everywhere they go.

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Loss of jobs in the travel industry

It is no surprise that hundreds and thousands of people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. One way to help the ‘locals’ who are out of business is by contributing to the community aid. Booking with family guesthouses or eating at a local place will only help them survive the struggle as well as give you a chance to pay it forward.

Plastic waste surge

With more and more restaurants doing delivery and take outs and limited dining options, disposable plates and cups are back at its game — and this time it will be worse than ever. Before the pandemic, many cities around the were taking initiatives to ban the use of plastic to go green but after months of lockdown, consumers and restaurants have become more dependent on single use plastic items to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

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Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unplash

Hope for sustainability

Traveling the world means having a global perspective but it also means that people need to reduce their footprint by being respectful to the culture and environment they are visiting. Less travel will eventually mean cleaner and greener nature, better air quality, blue water, less wildlife habitat loss and less consumption.

This article was originally published here.