Impact of pandemic on travel and tourism

5 Feb 2021

Curtain Hug

A small micro-organism has upended over lives, in one way or the other. The practice of social distancing, sanitizing our hands, using face masks have become an indispensable part of our lives. Gone are the times when there was no protocol to follow while traveling from one place to another. Packed public buses; Metros were congested. There used to be massive snarls across the streets to which people barely used to care. People have changed, lifestyle has changed. Even though things are coming back to track at a snail's pace, there is still a long way to go.
Almost every sector was severely affected by the wrath of the Covid-19 pandemic. One such industry is Tourism. Since the government across the world imposed nationwide lockdown, it was pretty obvious the industry that's going to suffer the most was Tourism—the time when people were not even supposed to wander around in their locality. Countries that were a hub for tourism, including Britain, the USA, and European nations, suffered the most. Even in the new year, when everyone thought of ushering a new journey, there was a sore in the number of cases following a new strain of covid-19; countries had to undergo a stringent-lockdown.
Even though Countries like Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands have halted international flights, travel experts see blue skies. The only change this time would be a more cautious journey than before. The pandemic has certainly devastated and decimated the $9 trillion Tourism economy, but there is a reasonable hope that the sector will revamp itself as we have reimaged our lifestyle.
In the wake of the pandemic, people will be more inclined towards less-crowded places. There could be an all-new hygienic class in the hotels, flights, trains since people are willing to pay for health and hygiene without a second thought. Like we say, every cloud has a silver lining. People requested not to leave their house. Even if they wish to travel, they have to do so with precautions that have instilled a sense of pandemic fatigue, and now everyone is desperate to travel with a free mind. Work from home culture accompanied by the advent of the Covid-19 vaccine has paved the way for the tourism and travel business. A slew of renowned destinations is urging travellers to visit them and stay for a while. There are huge discounts offered by hotels.
The lockdown was not that bad; People tried their hands at cooking, art, craft, haircut, and makeover, but camping, trips, hiking, and other outdoor activities were significantly missing. Studies claim that traveling is essential as it boosts mental health and brings joy, energy, focus, and attention.
Travel is a rejuvenating activity that is essential to vent out the stress, sometimes mental anguishment too. The concept of "Sustainable Tourism" is the town's talk that focuses on the impacts of social, economic, and environmental development on the present-day population and future generations.
Almost every profession has been affected. Be it travel & tourism, aviation, transport, railways, hotels. The "New Normal" is something which we will inculcate sooner or later. Things will not be the same as they were before March 2020. Face masks, sanitizers, social distancing will remain ubiquitous. We will continue to look suspiciously at someone coughing, sneezing.Covid-19 will dramatically reshape the future of travel. Travelers will be interested in exploring lesser-known destinations. In return, these places will also have to appease travelers by adopting new measures to manage the crowd.

Tips and Advices -
People stacking up at the airport, railway station, no temperature checks for cough, fever have become things of the past. Some points to keep in mind before planning a trip in dire straits:
- Keenly search for the safest tourist spots now, research the best airline route & hotels.
- The aftermath of the pandemic will be seen in tariff spikes, insurance policies shooting up. Sanitation and hygiene will add up to the priority list.
- We will see the blocked middle seats in movie theatres, trains, airplanes, and everywhere.
- We will have to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances. We can only pray that we cruise through busy local markets without being draped by a bandana or face masks and meet people without the fear of contracting corona.