Just as our daily lives are upended by the coronavirus, the future of travel too, remains uncertain. But just recently, news of some countries slowly relaxing their travel restrictions have given us some hope of reviving – and feeding – our wanderlust. Australia and New Zealand are considering a trans-Tasman travel “bubble”, while in Europe, a “travel corridor” is being planned between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Undoubtedly, travel will not be business as usual. At present, travelling abroad remains on hold as many airlines remain grounded. Even when borders do open, travellers need – and must – adapt to a new normal. But what can we expect of our travel plans post-Corona? Here are some ways our travel will change in the future.
We’ll take to our backyard. We will be able to travel again some day. But till that someday comes, leisure travel will focus more on what’s in our own backyard. That’s right. There will be a revival of domestic tourism. Travellers are likely to explore facets of their own country, taking road trips, doing staycations, driving coast-to-coast, and just looking with fresh eyes at what’s in their neighbourhood and beyond.
More do-it-yourself-itineraries. Anyone who has ever made travel plans via a third-party booking website would have gone through many frustrations when the pandemic hit. Hours on the phone, long waits for e-mails to be answered – these are all some of the challenges many went through to change their bookings successfully. Though many agencies have positively amended their changes and cancellation policies, travellers are likely to feel more secure making their own travel plans in future. So independent travel will seem more favourable – from booking their own accommodation to airline tickets and car rental. Need to cancel? It just takes calling each operator directly. No hassle. No worries.
Intimate, remote and secluded hideaways. Social distancing will be at the top of travellers’ minds even as they plan that vacation. Certainly, for those who can afford it, luxury getaways that cater to small group travel such as private resorts, intimate villas or remote islands that offer isolation and bespoke experiences provide the ideal escape. Think Bill Bensley’s Shinta Mani Wild, Nihi Sumba, Pangkor Laut Estate, the Aman and Soneva brands – you get the picture. Discerning travellers would want to avoid group exposures yet be able to balance both safety and leisure as they enjoy the retreat.
Conscious travel, here we come! As life hits the pause button during the pandemic, we see nature reclaiming their places. Conscious travellers are likely to reassess their travel choices, seeking destinations or resorts that work to give back to the community or champion sustainability. Gift back trips, more local authentic interactions and responsible travels will grow naturally from here. Consider resorts such as Bawah Reserve, Six Senses Bhutan, Song Saa Private Island, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort that are leading the way in sustainable tourism and more.