It’s been almost an entire year since the world shut down. One of the hardest hit industries was travel and hospitality. It was months until anyone could travel anywhere even in their home country. Many states are still shuttered for a lot of the travel industry and borders are still closed for many countries.
Vaccines have started to roll out and several countries like New Zealand have essentially eradicated the virus but there are millions of people that need to be vaccinated plus people who don’t want to get the vaccine or can’t.
What will this mean for the travel industry? How will companies maneuver around various factors to reopen and how long will it take for the industry and the supporting industries to recover from this unprecedented and devastating time?
There are requirements for places like Hawaii and any international travel to show proof of a negative test prior to travel. This has worked relatively well and there are now talks to require negative COVID-19 tests for domestic travel as well.
This could encourage some to travel and would ease concerns about the spread of the virus from state to state but it would also create yet another hurdle the airline and travel industry would have to navigate during these already tough times.
Many are hopeful that travel will resume as vaccinations increase. It is thought that travel like cruising for example could even require a vaccine for travelers. Vaccine requirements come with a plethora of questions. How can people prove they have been vaccinated? What about groups that haven’t been vaccinated like children?
That would be an easy answer for cruise lines that are adults only or resorts that are adults only but what about cruise lines like Carnival and Disney Cruise Line who capitalize on families?
Could they begin sailing by not allowing children? Possibly. It would create a way for companies to resume travel and even allow for built-in crowd control. Catering to demographics that are not typical for them would be an easy way to ensure crowds are smaller but would be a sure fire way to irriatate some groups, like families.
That’s not to say that this would be the case forever. But, it would be a way for companies to slowly wade back into making money while ensuring the virus stays at bay.
This could allow for cruises to resume port days. It is likely that ports will require rapid tests and could even require vaccinations. If your entire sailing is vaccinated that’s already taken care of.
This will be much more complicated and slower to resume “normal” operations.
Because international travel will likely turn into a logistical nightmare and will require nations to work together to forumlate a plan this will be one of the last aspects to return to normal operations.
It will also be different for a lot of nations. It will be important that travelers stay up to date on the policies and regulations of the nation they wish to visit and what they will need to do to return home if anything prior to booking the travel.
People are looking to book vacations to make up for the time and energy they lost over the course of this pandemic. Whether it’s that once in a lifetime trip or looking for a great deal, travelers are eager to resume travel though they may be nervous to do it right now.
As things slowly start to return to “normal” people will save for a utilize that PTO to take the trip. If we’ve learned anything over the course of this pandemic it’s that we shouldn’t take things for granted. Once more travel options start to open up people who aren’t struggling to make ends meet right now will once again book and take the trips.
In addition to that, hopeful travelers are booking trips far in advance as a hoping for hope situation. Despite the tremendous lag and dip in tourism and travel, people want to get back to travel and will work hard to do so.
The end of 2020 saw a spike in travel and people are getting resourceful in their own state by finding ways to adventure in their own backyard. 2021 will continue to see a rise in all types of domestic travel with the hope of a return to semi-normalcy by Q2 2022.
Much of this will be dependent on vaccinations and vaccination requirements and stimulating the economy.