The pandemic has undoubtedly disrupted the travel industry, bringing the world to a standstill as states and countries across the globe issue stay-at-home orders. While we don’t know exactly when travel will come back in full force, we do know travel will come back. As travel starts to slowly return, you’ll notice a lot of changes as the world adapts to the new normal. Will these changes last only during the pandemic or will it totally change how we travel in the near future? Here’s a look at how travel will change in wake of the pandemic.
Safety Comes First!
When we do travel again, health concerns will be a huge factor in our decision-making in terms of both where and how we travel.
Face masks may continue to be a common accessory (it was popular in Asia already, even before COVID-19) to protect travelers. Hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes may continue to be commonly placed throughout the airport. Travel insurance, which was often overlooked previously, will become a frequent add-on to minimize risk. With safety and cleanliness as a priority, airlines and accommodations that address these concerns will be more in-demand.
On our recent blog, we have shared some steps that airlines are doing to maintain the safety of its passengers and employees. These additional measures may continue even once when the pandemic is over. We may see an increase in the number of airlines offering online check-in to minimize in-person customer service interactions at the ticket counter.
Tech companies have been working on innovating the third-party online check-in process as well. With Passnfly, you can collect your boarding pass on your mobile phone regardless of which airline you fly with. Lufthansa Innovation Hub is also working on AirlineCheckins.com, allowing online check-in for flights on more than 100 airlines around the world.
Did you ever imagine you could go straight to your hotel room without having to check-in with the front desk? Online check-in and keyless entry have been emerging in hotels worldwide and will likely persist post-pandemic. It not only helps our environment for reducing the use of plastic keycards, but also gives travelers convenience and reduces the risk of getting infected from the virus. Not to mention, its enhanced security protocol is a plus. Find out more about the changes implemented by hotels in the surge of this pandemic.
Uneven Recovery of Travel
Recovery won’t be equal within travel, with lower risk travel returning first. Domestic travel will bounce back before international travel. Local road trips will come back before air travel and similarly, home rentals before hotels. We’re already seeing some of these lower risk travel trends this summer. Countries and regions that were not hit as hard by the pandemic will open up sooner and recover faster than virus hot spots.
When you do travel again, expect more travel requirements, such as a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of travel purpose (some countries are only allowing essential travel). There will also likely be longer lines at immigration, for temperature checks, testing, and more thorough evaluation.
Stricter Travel Policies
With a lot of unforeseen cancellations, a lot of companies have been impacted financially and may consider restricting its employees’ travel policy. Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate which department or employees will be allowed to travel and for what purposes.
Our platform has a unique feature where you can set your employee’s travel policy. If you need help setting it up, we are here to help!
Slow Return of Major Tourist Spots & Attractions
Museums, galleries, amusement parks, and any other tourist attractions have been known for long queues, crowded places, and diverse visitors from any parts of the world. As these are considered non-essential, immediate closures took place. Several amusement parks have reopened, but you’ll see several restrictions, such as capacity limits, temperature screenings, and modified experiences to limit physical interactions.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC has partially reopened where visitors are required to secure free, timed passes. Glenstone Museum limits the number of visitors to a group of 5 people and advanced reservation is required.
Hong Kong Disneyland now requires online reservations in advance. This step might be adopted across the globe. It will not only reduce physical contact by buying tickets in the admission counter but it will also limit the number of visitors allowed in a certain vicinity.
Remember to check attractions’ new reservation policies before showing up at the spot!