- American travelers are itching to hit the road and travel but remain grounded due to various restrictions worldwide
- The pandemic presents an opportunity for all of us to be better travelers
- Focusing on sustainability, carbon emissions, and being more thoughtful with destinations are all strong travel themes that will be at the forefront of the industry in 2021
With Coronavirus cases continuing in America and abroad, US travelers are itching to hit the road and travel but remain grounded due to various restrictions worldwide.
Because of these worldwide COVID-19 lockdown measures, many Americans will have had to put a pause on holidays, but the travel experts are seeing blue skies despite the turbulence.
The pandemic presents an opportunity for all of us to be better travelers, and more conscientious when it comes to the future of travel. With flights grounded and less travel to tourist hotspots, the environment has improved.
Take Venice for example, residents of the tourist hotspot are noticing a vast improvement in the quality of the canals that run through the city, which are running clear for the first time in years.
A report by ABTA, published in February, found that sustainable travel concerns are playing an increasing role in booking behavior. Focusing on sustainability, carbon emissions, and being more thoughtful with destinations are all strong travel themes that will be at the forefront of the industry in 2021.
The industry will respond with active measures to prioritize a healthy world over profit margins, and the traveler’s conscience will be the driving force behind this.
Imagining what travel will look like when this is all over is hard and it will be difficult for many. But one thing is for sure, it will be different post-pandemic and in many ways for the better.
An opportunity presents itself to rejoin and explore this beautiful world with a thoughtful approach. We should all align the way we travel with the efforts we make to be more sustainable.
We expect people might avoid large, crowded resorts in the future, and focus instead on really visiting and getting to know different places.
Think about staycations
Luckily for us in the United States, there is a wealth of holiday destinations to explore right here, in our county. With terrifying mountains and crystal coastlines and beautiful cities to explore, why not take time to discover our country when restrictions ease?
Access is easier, you can see the sights by train, bike, or on foot – and a staycation can be anything from a one-kilometer trip from your family home to a weekend break in an unexplored region.
Do we need to fly?
The grounding of planes has led to instant relief from noise pollution and helped clear some of the worst kinds of air pollution. When restrictions ease, travelers could be met with long queues, health checks, and higher prices, so minimizing time at airports is something many of us will want to keep doing.
Ask yourself, can we take this trip via another mode of transport? Sometimes there won’t be an option, but it’s important to be aware and ask these questions. If you have lots to take with you, perhaps ship your luggage separately.
There will always be air travel, but Airlines that prioritize their staff’s physical and economic wellbeing, as well as embracing the opportunity to use new technology to make flying greener and healthier will lead the way.
Choose your destination carefully
Destinations that are at the forefront of reducing their carbon footprints will likely be the ones best placed to adapt to a new kind of travel and be able to offer real holidays without harm.
Embrace the ‘new normal’
When booking a hotel, you will now expect to see a program of deep cleaning and sanitization.
Preference for customers now includes contactless check-in, social distancing procedures, and deep cleaning, as well as enhanced PPE on staff, plastic barriers, and revised food and beverage offerings.
Embrace this change and this won’t be going away anytime soon. All of these are all likely to be part of the ‘new normal’.
Traveler habits and expectations will change, and the industry will adapt. New options and packages may need to be developed to offer travelers greater choice, flexibility, and improved customer service. Consumers will look to travel agencies for expert insights and up-to-date industry information.
Strong communication is needed by providers to reassure customers of their safety and hygiene requirements.
By working together in travel as a global community, we can create a more sustainable sector, one that supports local communities and small businesses, avoids over-tourism, and takes care of our planet.