The outbreak of COVID-19 towards the end of 2019 was one of the major events in the last 50 years of human history. Along with the world, it also changed the perception of viewing the world. There’s hardly any sector that remained unaffected due to it. Its major impact was, and is still, visible in the travel industry. It primarily happened due to two factors: subsequent lockdowns and travel restrictions.
At present, things are changing in the travel industry, albeit slowly. As it gets back on track due to an improvement in the pandemic situation, most people want to know what its future would look like in the post-pandemic phase. To understand and visualize it, one must analyze all the aspects of the travel industry as a whole. This is the reason why I had an interview with Himanshu Laul, who has successfully completed several years in the travel industry. I was able to get to know his perspective about the travel industry in the post-Covid-19 scenario.
Travel Industry in the Post-COVID-19 Scenario
Lockdowns have reduced significantly in the post-pandemic phase. On the other hand, travel restrictions have also eased in many countries. In the current scenario, local governments are focusing on the prevention of the recurrence of COVID-19. By doing so, they wish to prevent the spread of the virus and its devastating effects on the local economy and its population.
These days, local tourists are contributing more to the tourism industry than their international counterparts. This phenomenon is visible in almost all the nations across the globe that primarily rely on tourism. The screening of foreign nationals at airports is less-intense than in the past in such countries. However, it hasn’t fully stopped yet. It stands out from these developments that the future of the travel industry depends on the control and containment of the COVID-19 infection.
Travel Services will Open up Further in the Coming Months
This is inevitable as many countries across the globe have depleted foreign reserves. The tourism sector can enrich a country’s economy by adding more dollars to it. Therefore, the governments of different countries will make efforts to boost the tourism sector. From the standpoint of tourism, it means that the existing travel restrictions will ease out even further. However, it will be possible only if the Covid situation remains under control.
Another factor that will facilitate the opening of travel services worldwide is the easy availability of testing facilities and vaccines. The vaccine certificate of travelers will ensure their safety as well as the safety of others around them. Testing facilities will help the governments of different countries, especially the ones that rely on tourism, to understand the vulnerability of the local population to the pandemic. This will likely determine the suitability of a country to remain open to international travelers.
The COVID-19 infection infects all humans regardless of their identity. It can infect anyone anywhere. Therefore, the governments of different nations will have to join hands with each other. Their collective effort and prevention will go hand-in-hand to beat COVID-19. In the next few months down the line, the future of the travel industry will depend on how well COVID-19 remains under control.
The covid testing facility will help the government of each host country to find out the number of active cases of infection in its local population. On the other hand, vaccination will keep the local population safe from infection. Together, these aspects will also ensure the safety of international travelers.
Social Distancing will be the Part and Parcel of International Travelling
Only a few people knew about social distancing until a few years ago. But almost everyone knows about it these days. In the next few months or years down the line, it will be an important element of human life.
People catch COVID-19 due to a specific coronavirus, which is notorious for undergoing mutation due to changes in the environment and other factors. The symptoms of the disease caused by the mutated variants may differ from that of the standard variant. Most experts talk about controlling the spread of COVID-19 by mutated variants. They believe an infection due to a mutated variant may render vaccines ineffective.
Social distancing is an effective measure to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 infection due to mutated variants. Conscious travelers will adopt it on their own to keep themselves safe. Governments will also make it mandatory, especially in busy areas. Social distancing will also be followed in flights and all other means of transport.
The Possibility of Lockdowns cannot be Ruled out
At present, to a large extent, the world is safe from COVID-19. But it may surface in a new form due to the mutation of the coronavirus which was responsible for causing it. Strict lockdowns between 2019 and 2021 saved the lives of many people. Given the effectiveness of lockdowns in checking the spread of the infection in the past, they may be used to prevent the spread of a new wave of COVID-19 infection in the future.
International Travelers will Prioritize their Safety while Making their Traveling Decisions
Traveling is a passion for many people. Other than discovering new places, it also enables travelers to learn new things. While most travelers consider traveling to meet both these objectives, safety is a primary concern in international traveling. In the future, most travelers will attach importance to their safety.
Apart from travel expenses, travelers will also try to find out the likelihood of catching the COVID-19 infection while visiting a place before finalizing their decision. They will also consider lockdowns in their scheme of things before finalizing their traveling decision.
No one knows what may happen in the travel industry in the future. But considering the recent developments, I can predict the possible scenarios of the travel industry in the next few months or years down the line. Regardless of whether the aforementioned predictions come true or not, a change in the travel industry is inevitable. Owing to these changes, the travel industry will undergo a major transformation in the coming months. They will transform and redefine the traveling experience of most visitors in the post-pandemic period.