The recent times have seen drastic steps being taken by the travel and hospitality industries. Just like any other industry that has shut down, the industry has taken a major hit. The airlines have closed shop and the fear of the pandemic spreading has made it difficult to even imagine travel post Covid19. The travel bug will keep biting people, but the approach will be very cautious. The need of the hour is to see in the physical way how the world will be safe after the virus is contained.
The travel industry will need a massive change in attitude and a sea change in pricing to lure back the tourist. The economy is going to crash as the lock down is unprecedented and there is no way to know how the travel industry is to bounce back. Essential spending will take the edge over recreational travel.
Pricing and value added services to lure back tourists
Even the most ardent traveller will have a few apprehensions when looking for the best options.
- Cruises will tend to be the cheapest when they restart services. The tourist who has never taken a cruise will be the target audience of all marketing campaigns to fill the huge ocean liners. This will be the fall out of the outbreaks that were recorded on cruises. The fear factor will have to be combatted with extra perks and low prices.
- Travellers will look for places where cleanliness will be big on the charts. Hygiene, clean food and sanitization will become important. Every hotel and tourist destination will need to have sanitizers and regular disinfections.
- There will be a massive drop in hotel rates too. The tourism industry had seen more than a 30% drop in hotel prices till 21st March 2020 even before Corona virus infections were declared a global pandemic. There will be a sharp drop in rates as the world adjusts to a new normal before rates stabilize again.
- Vacation rentals, time share apartments and other guest house arrangements may feel more unsafe than hotels to many travellers. The bottom line is that the hotels are more likely to get properly disinfected than alternative lodging arrangements. Other hospitality agents may find it difficult to find advertising budgets and global communication. There is bound to be a negative impact on these types of vacation lodgings that have found favor in the past as cheaper alternatives.
- Airfare will be cheaper till the fear of the pandemic dies out completely. Most tourists will try and defer non-essential travel. This will be a good time to look for deals and make the most of low fares. The destinations that have been largely unaffected or have shown complete recovery from the virus will bounce back as vacation spots. It is more likely that business travel will lead the recovery in the travel segment.
Destinations in nature trails will recover faster
Nature has got a big respite from over tourism in the last couple of months. It is more feasible that nature lovers will flock to areas that have seen dramatic changes in the natural flora and fauna. The activities like camping, trekking and nature retreats will be likelier to bounce back as tourist spots faster. The major reason would be a lower footfall in these regions. Also the true nature lover will love to visit the pristine areas which were earlier contaminated by uncaring humans.
The future of the travel industry will never be bleak for long. All it will take is a few weeks of good news for the recovery to start. The travel bug will always bite the avid tourist. Once the world goes back to pandemic free status the traveller will travel again!