What does the future of travel look like post-pandemic?
If you joined us last week, you’ll know that the measures in Europe have begun to ease. So with travel restrictions easing somewhat quicker than we originally expected, we’re wondering: what does the future of travel look like in a post Covid-19 world? Will summer vacations be given the go ahead after all? And if they are, will people even dare to travel? How are hotels and venues going to ensure the safety of the customers who are putting them back in business?
Summer’s back on
Exciting news: summer seems to be back on. Although we should probably move tentatively towards the most glorious time of the year, with the peak of the Covid-19 virus having well and truly died down, and restrictions being lifted in the very near future, it looks as though our summer vacations are a real possibility.
Whilst not everyone feels the same way, a travel survey taken on Americans shows results that up to 21.4% of people are willing to take a domestic flight as soon as June 15th, even without the promise of a vaccine being produced in that time.
A further 19.6% of those surveyed want to wait until August 15th, with only 14.3% willing to risk it by July 15th, and 10.8% of people hoping to hop on a plane by July 1st. That’s over half of all surveyed, which certainly suggests that a lot of people are ready to get back to normality, starting with a glorious getaway.
In fact, when it came to taking a trip within driving distance, 54% of Americans are ready to hop right in and take off into the sunset, with an extra 32% of people suggesting that they were thinking the same way, but waiting until July or August to put their plans into action.
Europe and the rest of the world is still risky
When it comes to Europe, Americans aren’t as willing to fly long haul, and who can blame them? With Italy becoming the epicenter of the virus back in the earlier months of the year, and many countries in Europe finding it hard to beat the virus unless they put a hard lockdown in place, mainland Europe, and even the UK, seem a riskier chance to take.
In fact, 42.4% of people surveyed said that they’re waiting on a vaccine before they travel to Europe. A whopping 66% of people won’t head to Asia before a vaccine has been produced either – which makes sense given that that’s where the pandemic began. The most stunning results came back from those asked whether they’d head out on a cruise after June 15th.
Over 60% of people surveyed said they’d never get on a cruise ship again, with a further 26.3% saying they were waiting for a vaccine to be created first. Clearly, confining ourselves to a floating hotel and being miles offshore for days at a time doesn’t appeal to many people right now, especially since the Diamond Princess fiasco back in February left almost 4,000 people stranded in Japan’s waters.
Hotel vs home rental
With cruise ships a definite no-no for the time being, how are hotels fairing? After all, hotels may be on solid ground, but they still need to ensure the safety of their customers and a breakout in a large hotel could easily cause as much havoc should a second wave bombard us further down the line.
When surveyed, a whopping 72.5% of people said they’d be more comfortable staying at a boutique hotel, where there were no more than 200 rooms. Whilst smaller than the other choice of a hotel with 500+ rooms (which only 27.5% of people dare to visit), it’s interesting to note that when further questioned, over 50% of people actually decided that they’d prefer to vacation in a villa or a home rental rather than a hotel at all.
We’re clearly not quite ready to face other humans en masse, and perhaps we don’t completely trust hotels to meet the high cleaning standards that we’ve been warned to put into place for ourselves. After all, during the peak of Covid-19, not everybody adhered to the rules.
For now, we’re much more willing to book our own private villa, apartment, or home rental, knowing that the chance of infection spreading is almost zero. Being in charge of our own family’s health and cleaning up after ourselves in our own way seems like the safest option for now, rather than taking the risk of letting an employed stranger into our rooms each morning to tidy and clean up, or heading down to breakfast with another 200 people trailing after us.
Quite simply – whilst we’re ready to head out into the world, we aren’t sure we’re ready for that much human to human contact.
Protection is key
We’re currently a long way off things going back to how they were before the Covid-19 outbreak, with travelers taking fewer risks for the benefit of their own safety.
It’s crystal clear that before we’ll trust certain modes of transport or accommodation again, certain things need to change. For example:
- Health policies of hotels and venues
- Flexibility regarding cancellations
- Cleaning policies in hotels, venues and on public transport
- Insurance companies reworking their policies
Since many people lost a lot of money on holidays that they simply couldn’t take earlier in the year, it’s expected that there’ll be some trepidation by many who need to get away but can’t afford another big loss. Keeping an eye on insurance companies’ flexibility or small print regarding a second outbreak is vital.
Furthermore, health and cleanliness policies are both things that will become much more obvious to us all going forward. Back in the day, it was a given that cleanliness on public transport wasn’t always ‘up to scratch’, but from now on, we’ll want to see obvious changes to how planes, trains, buses and taxis are kept clean.
Will companies use stronger cleaning supplies? Will unlimited supplies of hand sanitizer be made ready and available for passengers every day? What about in hotels? Do we really need our rooms turning down every morning? Is each room spotless before our arrival? For now, these are still mostly unanswered questions, but they’re questions that will need to be answered soon.
What are your thoughts on the impending changes to our current living situation? Are you excited to get out and about, or nervous about how that could affect our current progress, particularly without the back up and benefit of a vaccine? Will you be heading off to a domestic or long-haul destination this summer? Let us know in the comments. Until next week, stay safe.
Data taken from Magma Global’s Travel Post Covid-19 Survey.