Out of all industries, ‘Travel and Hospitality’ have been hit the hardest and I would argue that the industry will cease to exist in its current ‘Avatar’. I have heard friends say that they will be uncomfortable taking an Uber going ahead to never boarding a cruise ship ever in their life. Obviously there’s a selection bias of the pandemic being very recent and fear preceding everything else at the moment. But then, a few things are quite evident...
a. A sizeable population of the world experienced a lockdown for the first time. They couldn’t figure out what hit them and nature had a terrific run owing to that. Not bad an outcome, eh!
b. The fragility of everything that we see as normal came to the core when Airlines are on the verge of declaring bankruptcies.
c. Hotels that have been around for several decades have turned into hospitals and perhaps that’s the only source of revenue that they can visualise for now.
d. A few cruise vessels which were the epitome of luxury weren’t allowed to dock by any country.
When things do start to return to “normal”, travel, especially international travel, will look very different. So are we ready for the following once the curtain rises?
Owning the entire row in the aircraft
It seems that the social distancing measures will be around for a few months and you might have the window, middle and aisle seat all to yourself. But then you might end up paying through your nose for the flight as well. The only solace would be that you don’t pay for seat selection.
Long Immigration and security check queues
Were you petrified of them? We believe that the number of people will be drastically lower at the airports, however, optically the queues would be much longer owing to social distancing measures. It would be interesting to see how prepared the airports are for the same. Also be ready for random swab tests!
Will passport be enough for you to travel overseas?
Maybe not and the arrival country may require the COVID-19 negative report as a precursor before arrival. For the first time, the negative seems so positive for the globe.
Travel (but not) at will
We think seasonality will be the name of the game and countries may have two weeks of travel open before they block it again for deep cleaning and sanitising airports/aircraft and even hotels. Maybe an exaggeration but disruptions will continue to be massive.
Change in the way you pack for holidays
Believe masks and sanitisers will be as important as a face wash and the passport. Maybe the airport authorities waive off the 100 ml liquid requirement since you would need dollops and dollops more. Probably a revenue stream for the Gucci’s and LV’s would be to make designer masks because everyone needs them and not just one.
Think twice before boarding if you have a cold
Farting may work out better than coughing and sneezing on the aircraft or at the airport and for that matter anywhere. The social stigma will put a lot of people off, resulting in the potential for more no-shows. Just saying...
Airlines marketing AQI of their aircrafts
Imagine choosing your flight basis the air filtering service standards of the aircraft. Never say never!
Boom in the neglected Insurance sector
Most people will want to ensure their flights going ahead because uncertainty is the name of the game.
Deserted airport lounges, food for thought
What once was craved for with fancy credit card allowing you access to lounges and airlines were chosen basis the quality of food served may no longer be such a fad. People may become averse to eating from a buffet in the current world and let’s see how that evolves.
Clearly there would be changes in the way we travel and we just brought out a few issues which may crop up the next time you plan a trip. But remember, the constant will also change and that shall again be the only constant. This too shall pass, till then stay safe and keep exploring ‘online’ where you need to head next.
Shivali Bhargava is the founder and CEO, Bucket My List. Bucket My List is a boutique travel company catering to the young at heart 50+ age group. Choose either to be a part of small escorted group tours (of maximum 16 people) or get your bespoke holiday experience or just travel for ticking an overdue item off your bucket list. With specialisations ranging across culture, wildlife and history, BML unfolds your destination with a genuineness that no one can offer.
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