The pandemic has put a damper on travel for many of us. This is the longest I’ve gone without traveling in over 6 six years. Aside from a short trip to Chicago, I’ve remained in NYC the entire time since the world went into lock down. But with the vaccine rollout speeding up and the world slowly opening up again, I’m feeling optimistic. I myself won’t be traveling until I am fully vaccinated and I cannot wait for that day.
Until then, once we can safely travel again, it is likely to be more important than ever for the global economy. There are many small communities in desperate need right now, and it’s up to us to not let this virus do more damage than it already has.
While the pandemic has devastated the travel world, people have now begun to book trips for the later-half of 2021. From trips to visit family and friends to vacations in warm places, (I’m personally dreaming of a vacation in Grenada), many of us are eager to see how things pan out post-pandemic. Now, the only question is: Where will you travel after Coronavirus?
How the Travel Industry Has Been Devastated By the Pandemic
When it happened, it happened fast. On March 11, 2020, the NBA suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for Coronavirus. People began to start feeling nervous, but what made the pandemic real for many of us was when Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive, showing us that it could happen to anybody.
For travel agents and travel bloggers, the cancellations began to pour in. Flights were grounded, and the government put travel restrictions in place. Cruise ships sailed aimlessly, and Americans abroad were stuck. For the travel and tourism sector, there was a sense of abandonment.
Between March and November, 3.5 million jobs in the travel industry were lost, amounting to nearly 40 percent of all careers related to travel. Hotels all across the country have been struggling to remain afloat, and most have been unable to rehire a good portion of their staff.
As the vaccines roll out across the world, people are eager to get back to traveling. Still, it’s going to take some time before things return to normal, and some things will never be the same.
What Travel Looks Like In 2021
2021 looks to be a good year for travel. While it’s likely that many restrictions will remain in place through the first half of the year, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. That said, there are a few things we can expect to change in the new year.
1. A Renewed Outlook On Travel
If there’s anything this pandemic has done for travelers, it’s that it has taught us to appreciate our freedom of travel. It’s indeed a privilege that many of us took for granted. This has put renewed focus on the passion of traveling over traveling for business.
Now that we know that something like a global pandemic can take that away in an instant, it’s crucial to get the most from our travel experiences. There’s nothing more precious than being able to see the most memorable parts of the world and connect with friends and family in-person.
2. Travel Policies Are Becoming More Responsible
The pandemic has shown us how much of an impact people make on the environment. Many travelers are becoming advocates for better practices and habits when it comes to sustainability. Hopefully, this leads the travel industry to prioritize safety over profit margins.
3. Traveling Will Be More Inclusive
The Black Lives Matter movement has gained momentum and it looks like many companies are beginning to offer services to a more diverse population. People have had more time to think about critical social issues, which will likely bring change for the 2021 travel industry.
4. Road Trips Are Back
For many, traveling by car has been the only feasible option for months, which has led more people to consider road tripping as a way to get out of the house and experience the world. Road trips can be just as exciting as other forms of travel. Expect to see a rise in car-inspired vacations in 2021.
5. Growth In the Travel Advisor Industry
After many had to cancel plans in 2020, more people are beginning to see the value in the expertise and financial protection that comes with booking trips using a travel advisor. This is because the amount you pay in cancellation fees is often higher than the amount you’d pay in commissions to a travel agent who can help in times of confusion and crisis.
Agents offer the connections and knowledge required to navigate the increasingly complex and ever-changing travel environment.
Where Will You Go?
Don’t worry–it takes a lot more than a pandemic to kill the spirit of travel. While this past year has been trying for many of us, hopefully, it’s also helped us appreciate staying closer to home. That said, now is a great time to begin planning your next adventure after the Coronavirus. For instance, why not look at vacations in Grenada?