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Coronavirus Travel Insurance

In the U.S. alone, the coronavirus will have erased nearly six million jobs and cost the industry a whopping $910 billion in lost economic output (just as of the end of April 2020). To put this into perspective, it represents seven times a greater economic impact than 9/11 did. Companies large and small in most industries are now desperately trying to figure out how they will move forward into this new unknown world after the coronavirus threat wanes. Customers who ignored buying travel insurance in the past will not soon forget the financially painful consequences of these choices. Here are several other predictions for how traveling will be different in the upcoming post-coronavirus world.

1. Return to Adventure and Luxury Travel Types

Let’s face it, the age of mass travel has forever changed after this event. Adventure travel will be one of the two primary beneficiaries of this sudden collapse in the travel industry. Small groups going on adventure trips nearly always naturally avoid confined spaced and large crowds (or any crowds for that matter). This type of travel leads individuals into nature and helps them to stay naturally healthy and active with exercise and fresh air.

Luxury travel is similarly well positioned for the future. This segment of the industry will likely begin to run ad campaigns emphasizing and reminding travelers of the security and safety of these kinds of more selective trips. For a change, “exclusive” will become the new normal as more travelers will opt for luxury trips that help to avoid the masses. 

2. Smaller Group Tour-Led Travel Will Become More Popular Again

One finding from the pandemic is that it is critical to travel to places along with local experts who are well aware of the realities of security and safety. They do all of the research on what to be careful for and to keep their group members safe. Every traveler will have to become much smarter about their travel habits now. 

Small groups will see a surge in demand, in particular those where all the members are well-acquainted with one another versus traveling with complete strangers (like on massive cruise ships). Smaller groups with tour operators will also perform social distancing better and involve tour guides who know where the nearest medical facilities are in case of a health emergency. This will be heavily advertised and will resonate with the traveling virus-weary public.

3. Travelers May Need To Prove That They Are Not Sick When Arriving at Their Final Destination

New “wellness passports” aside, airports in diverse tourism destinations all over the globe may begin checking for high temperatures and other coronavirus symptoms of arriving tourists in the future and for some time if not permanently. This will certainly be the case while the coronavirus is around and until a proven and widely available vaccine is developed and ready for the masses.

4. A General Decline of Mass Tourism In Favor of Specific Niche Tourism Will Occur

Smaller niche travel groups will steal the thunder of mass tourism really soon. Who would rather get on a huge cruise ship now when he or she can instead go on an interesting niche trip like to culinary, foodie, adventure, cycling, or spiritual destinations? These trips and destinations will be the first to make a real industry come back. 

5. Cruise Ships Will Be Smaller and More Environmentally Friendly In the Future

Welcome to the era of technologically advanced cruising ships. Travel tech will be the newfound hero. The world’s very first hybrid electrically powered boat has already launched in the form of the MS Roald Amundsen, a 530 passenger vessel that sailed out of Norway last July. While Norwegian Cruise owner Hurtigruten may have laid off the 2,600 employees of the ship and dry docked it until further notice, this will be one of the first cruise ships to re-launch after the pandemic is finally better under control. 

A true Tesla-styled evolution of the antiquated cruise line industry may be several years away, but it will now most likely occur. Larger cruise ships are now passé as many travelers will want to avoid sailing around with 5,000 potentially sick strangers when they can instead opt for 50 to 500 fellow passengers. Meanwhile, the case for more environmentally friendly cruise ships is increasing from the most unlikely of sources, the American federal government. 

The general suspicion in U.S. health circles that the mega cruise ships had become massive floating Petri dishes long before the coronavirus emerged, is now becoming a more common thought. The CDC has warned about the potential dangers of mass cruising for some time. This trend is likely to see the furloughing of the mega cruise ship cities in favor of the smaller, safer, and more intimate ones soon.

Travel insurance will also become more popular now than ever before in light of the mass cancellations that became necessary in the wake of the coronavirus lockdowns around the world. Keep in mind that travel insurance covers a lot more than cancellations. A wide variety of coverage, such as emergency medical, baggage loss/delay, emergency evacuation and trip interruptions are just some of the highly compelling benefits found in a travel insurance policy. Travel will not stop, but it will certainly look quite different when it resumes once more.            

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