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With travel currently highly restricted across the globe, many are wondering what state the industry will be in once the Coronavirus epidemic is hailed to be over. With most people feeling the impact of the freeze in travel, and with many having to have holidays and other events cancelled, the travel companies themselves will be feeling anxious over the situation. Before you start planning or rescheduling your holidays, read our predictions on how the land will lie once the all-clear is given again.
How will travel be affected after the epidemic?
Many people are now in the situation where their summer breaks have been cancelled or postponed. There is a real sense of disappointment for many who were hoping for a week in the sun, or a cultural exploration of far-off lands. With travel being restricted, it is understandable that we are easing our wanderlust by planning trips for the future, when we are able to start globetrotting once again; but will our habits change?
It has been predicted that many will opt for a staycation this year. With it being likely that foreign travel will take longer to return to it’s full capacity, those needing a break after the period of lockdown could choose to holiday in their home country. Many tourist hot spots will likely see a much needed boost in tourism, with hotels and attractions likely to see a spike in sales.
Popular tourist destinations such as the Lake District and other National Parks will hopefully see a surge in visitors, giving the local economy a boost. With something to offer everyone, from family activities to endless sights and rambles for nature lovers, we predict these will be some of the first areas to start buzzing with native holiday makers.
If nature isn’t really your thing, maybe a trip to London to see the sights, or a city break in York or Liverpool to take in some culture or a show might be more up your street. There are endless possibilities to suit all tastes throughout the United Kingdom.
If your preference is to travel overseas, there is good news for you too. There has already been a drop in hotel prices, as well as flight costs. It’s fair to assume that flights will also be emptier for at least several weeks after the all-clear is given to travel. This will be due to a slow uptake on flights being booked, as well as one of the ways that airline companies will be able to reassure travellers that they will be safe to fly again, by enforcing distancing on the plane itself. There are many great deals to be had on flights and accommodation at the moment, with many companies trying to entice holidaymakers with hard-to-resist offers. But there are things to be wary of.
Should I be planning to travel after COVID-19?
It’s important to remember due diligence when making any bookings during this period, paying extra attention to the cancellation terms. Many companies are offering free cancellation or re-booking for a different date if you organised your holiday before the outbreak. If you book a cheap deal when the timescale for the epidemic is still uncertain, these terms may differ and you may lose any deposits or incur costs to move your dates.
If you already have a trip planned, it’s best to monitor the situation closely in the country you’re planning to visit. Many companies have already issued options for those who will be directly affected, but if you are now unable to travel it is wise to contact your agent as soon as possible to find out what your options are.
There will be many highly discounted and genuine deals to take advantage of once the announcement comes that we are safe to travel once again. We predict that by September 2020, things will have returned to normal in terms of business and global movement. In order to recoup losses and attempt to stay afloat through this crisis, many companies are already offering large discounts to keep business moving.
What should I change about how I travel after COVID-19?
After a global pandemic like COVID-19, which has seen as unprecedented impact on life as we know it, it’s safe to assume that changes to our actions and attitudes during this time will be long-lasting. A higher regard for hygiene will be paramount to travellers, especially when travelling overseas. Accommodation and leisure attractions will also be expected to follow suit, with new regulations on hygiene expected to be increased and strictly implemented going forwards.
Choosing more sparsely populated destinations is another change we predict will come into play after global movement resumes, at least for a while. The busy metropolis is something many travellers will likely choose to avoid for a time, opting for quieter areas with more ability to distance from others.
Insurance is something many of us skip over when booking a holiday, but this will quickly become a thing of the past. Travel insurance companies will need to revise their policies, as most people will expect to see cover for outbreaks like COVID-19 which protects them against cancellations or being stranded. This period will likely remain in people’s minds for a long time, so ensure you check any policies you take out in the future for these clauses.
What else do I need to?
Ultimately, the travel sector will see a huge boost in business once it is safe to travel again. There will be a higher uptake of holidays, with many people wishing to make up for lost time and enjoying the freedom of movement once again. Being more mindful of health and cleanliness during this pandemic is something that should continue, with simple things we can do including taking out sufficient travel insurance, and packing hand sanitizer as an essential.
Keep an eye on the situation and if you are planning to travel as soon as you can after the restrictions are lifted, get ahead by making sure you are aware of all the requirements for your journey. Check if you will need a visa for your destination, and if you do require one, have all documentation ready for you application that isn’t time-sensitive. The Visa Processing Centres and Embassies will be inundated with requests for travel visas, so being ready to apply as soon as you are ready is key.