The travel experience will never be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new travel futurology report commissioned by Allianz Partners.
Re-Opening the World – Life After COVID-19 predicts that the pandemic will come to an end sometime in December 2020. However, recently adopted sanitation measures throughout the tourism industry will remain the norm while air travel likely won’t return to pre-COVID levels for several years.
Futurologist Ray Hammond also concludes that road travel will eventually return to normal levels, with major cities around the world continuing to reorganize infrastructure to encourage the use of micromobility such as bicycles and e-scooters.
The report anticipates that short-haul and domestic air travel will be the first to recover with the cruise industry being the “most affected” by the coronavirus crisis. Hotels and resorts will continue to implement enhanced sanitation measures, according to the latest forecast, while all-inclusive properties are likely to remove buffet-style food and drink delivery from their packages.
“Local excursions are likely to be provided exclusively for individual parties and will inevitably be more expensive,” the report warns, adding that only trade meetings, exhibitions and international sporting events are likely to return to normal in the foreseeable future as business travel will be reexamined in this new era of video conferencing.
While things will be different, all signs point to travel surviving in the end.
“Despite these difficulties, many people are still going to have the desire to travel,” the report states. “Although there has been a massive surge in online communication use, most people will still want to travel physically, rather than replace the experience with virtual reality (VR) simulations. Despite recent advances in the capabilities of VR systems, they are not an acceptable alternative to actual visits.”
“It’s impossible to sample local cuisine remotely with VR, virtual travelers can’t meet the locals and wander off the beaten track. VR is a useful tool for researching destinations, but it is no substitute for the real thing.”
Click here to access the complete Re-Opening the World – Life After COVID-19 report.