Was wishing to take the next trip to Singapore but now, going for a walk in the nearby park is also not that easy. Exploring new places, cultures, cuisines, and traveling is the one thing that everyone misses. Taking a break from the everyday rat race to rejuvenate, rediscover yourself, and be in solitude is a crucial remedy for stress and anxiety. However, due to the pandemic, one cannot even imagine traveling like before. Instead of just making us feel excited, travelogues are becoming more of a reminder that we cannot be there. Read now about the impact of the pandemic and the tourism industry.
The traveling during the pandemic dropped drastically due to the pandemic-induced restrictions on air travel and other mediums. All the flights, trains, and other transports just stopped and everything came to a halt. People could not travel anywhere. On the other hand, everyone in the travel industry was struck hard. All the people connected in the chain from a travel agent to a luxurious and lavish hotel faced repercussions.
Traumatized Travel Industry
The pandemic expects to witness a decline of 70% during 2020. When the pandemic took a toll over all other sectors, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer estimated that international tourist arrivals fell by almost 72% in January-October 2020. Despite the strict norms and rules, the low traveler confidence led to a plummeting number of travelers. Tourist travelers globally dropped by 900 million as compared to 2019. As a result, international tourism had to bear a loss of almost US$ 935 billion in export revenues. The consequence of this impact is not only the lack of travel but you will be surprised to know it has put 12 million jobs at risk.
Hence, the economic damage increased by USD 1 trillion. To regain the position of the travel industry which is affected by the impact of COVID 19, it has to bring back the jobs and income to a decent level. Moreover, the value of cultural and natural heritage has been affected as well. Moreover, the new strain of coronavirus has been a set back to the gradually cooling situation.
In the US, tourism in Hawaii went down by almost 100% during 2020. Moreover, Florida’s tourism plummeted by 11% during the first quarter of 2020. Comprehensively, families prefer taking stay-cation rather than long trips due to the pandemic. Taking a road trip and planning a last-minute trip is also not that bad. Try it! Air, cruise ship, railway, or bus impose restrictions hence making traveling by itself the new facade for 2021. This is so because of the low gas prices and lack of facilities to travel.
In the US, people who have traveled to countries like the UK, Brazil, Germany, Italy, and several other countries cannot enter the country. However, the rules are not applicable nationally and to permanent residents of the US along with several other relaxations on the entry for people with respect of age, profession, and purpose. In the UK, the president has extended the stay-at-home lockdown till mid-February to slow down the spread of new strain. Along with that, they have also canceled the final exams of the students for safety purposes and online classes have commenced. A similar thing lasted till the end of January 2021 in Scotland and the Netherlands. Germany had forbidden the passengers from the UK via all transports. Moreover, non-essential commodities shops were shut completely to limit social distancing. In Austria as well, leisure centers, restaurants, and non-essential commodity shops shut till January 24.
From Tourism Industry to Innovate Industry
Changes due to pandemic had led to changes in our lifestyle in many ways. Over time, all of us have realized the significance of personal health and hygiene. Moreover, everyone took cognizance of the little things that we did every day but could not do due to the pandemic induced restrictions. However, these changes have made the travel industry an industry of innovation.
There is the introduction of a plethora of technologies and protocols for the safety of the people. From the sanitizing stations and social distancing floor stickers on the entrance to nasal swabs and mobile sanitizing robots, many more tech-savvy protocols are set in motion. Alerts have been introduced which inform the sanitation helpers when cleaning is necessary. Also, adherence to contactless check-in, bag check, and credential authentication is another way to maintain hygiene.
There is a system through which people can now order and pay for food from their respective mobile devices. This goes for duty-free items as well. Moreover, they can receive a contactless delivery anywhere inside the airport. Besides, a new type of cleaning material comprising new photocatalytic devices are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and auto cleaning material will replace the existing ones. Materials such as titanium dioxide, silver, or copper might be employed. It expects that these materials will replace materials on the airports in high alert places. Moreover, other designs of the new terminal building are in the process of bringing work that will be following public health procedures.
Next in Tourism Industry
People do not find the new ways and changes in travel comfortable and their experience also depreciated. The government and private sectors are emphasizing the safety zones, from guidelines, and manuals that can suffice the need of the time. A travel tool kit comprising necessary health ailments and a digital health passport showing the status of the traveler’s health. Also, it will display whether the person is inoculated or not along with the covid test results. Moreover, travel insurance might be compulsory along with medical insurance.
Adaptation to minute changes is also something that takes time. So, these changes in the lifestyle are a barrier to living a normal life. The new normal in traveling is frustrating and tiring for those who want to enjoy their vacation smoothly. The constant fact of the virus keeps bugging them which restricts them from having a fine quality experience of the trip. Also, it impinges the tourism industry. In these unprecedented times, the threat of viruses is concerning. However, gradually the reopening of lockdowns and decreasing number of cases gives a beacon of hope that things might get normal soon. Also, people are hopeful of finally vacationing and reaching out to their favorite nature places.