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Grounded close to home in 2020, pent-up travelers are already satisfying their wanderlust by planning future travel. With the arrival of a coronavirus vaccine, there’s very little doubt that the world’s about to see a post-pandemic travel boom like never before.
The travel industry has taken a serious hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and the results have been catastrophic. In addition to the unimaginable loss of life, airlines have announced thousands of furloughs and layoffs, long-lived independent restaurants are shutting their doors for good, and countries highly reliant on tourism have been devastated economically.
But the travel industry has weathered several storms in the past and is sure to recover from this one as well given people’s growing appetite for travel. With mass coronavirus vaccination programs rolling out around the world, the worst may be over for the travel industry. Although it is unclear how long it will take for the travel industry to recover, it’s clear that the approval of multiple COVID-19 vaccines is helping us see the light at the end of the tunnel.
COVID-19 may have upended the travel industry, but the vaccine will certainly lead to a boom.
A Coronavirus Vaccine Will Give People the Confidence to Travel
In Booking.com’s survey of over 20,000 travelers across 28 countries and territories, over half (53%) of respondents said they won’t be comfortable traveling until there is a coronavirus vaccine or a successful treatment is in place. Now that the coronavirus vaccine has started its roll out in the United States and abroad and several treatments have been approved, many people finally have the confidence to book future travel.
Although it is too soon to know when the vaccine will be widely available to the general public and if proof of vaccination will be required for travel, it seems like hope is finally on the horizon. Even with the vaccine making the rounds, enhanced hygiene policies, social distancing guidelines, and masks are probably here to stay for a while, at least until the vaccine has been widely distributed or the disease is largely eradicated.
People Are Eager to Travel Again
Coronavirus lockdowns have people pent up and longing to travel. Frequent travelers are eager to get back to their jet-setting ways and even homebodies are going a bit stir crazy. We’ve all been locked down to varying degrees with the inability to see new things, experience new tastes or cultures, and socialize with anyone outside of our immediate circles. Even the most introverted among us are craving more human connection.
According to a survey by the World Travel & Tourism Council, a majority of Americans and Canadians surveyed said they are planning to travel in 2021. Out of the 3,000 frequent travelers surveyed in September of 2020, 99 percent said they were ready for a holiday and nearly half were already making plans for 2021.
The Pandemic Has Changed the Way We Look at Travel
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to reevaluate their lives, habits, and priorities. Perhaps you were waiting for the kids to be grown to take your European dream vacation or maybe you were putting off a tour of southeast Asia until retirement – but there’s nothing like a worldwide pandemic to remind you not to put off that trip for a “someday” that may never come.
The combination of being locked down in our own homes while watching hundreds of thousands of lives cut short by COVID-19 may finally give some the motivation to no longer put off that trip they’ve been dreaming of for years. According to a survey by Booking.com, a majority (61%) of travelers said they’re more appreciative of travel and will be more conscious about not taking their ability to travel for granted in the future.
Plus having an amazing trip on the horizon can give you something to look forward to while waiting for this virus to go away for good. You can start now by deciding where you want to travel to and researching all the sights you’d like to see while you’re there.
A Wellness Getaway Has Never Been So Deserved
Many of us sat for too long in front of endless Zoom calls at makeshift desks while becoming teachers to suddenly home-schooled kids. Many of us also put in extra hours as front line healthcare workers or faced extra stress in other essential roles. We were often alone too much yet couldn’t find an uninterrupted moment to ourselves.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a mental health toll on us all so there’s never been a better time to book a relaxing getaway or wellness vacation. For some, anticipating travel is the best part of the entire trip. Looking forward to a trip can ease anxiety and give your mind plenty of positive things to think about, especially during stressful times.
Local Travel Will Also Boom
Some travelers may prefer to stay closer to home when first venturing out into the post-COVID-19 world so international travel won’t be the only thing booming. Domestic travel is expected to be more popular than ever, especially in the United States. Many people are ready to reconnect with the world but may be more comfortable exploring close to home first. Plus, it’s easier to maintain some social distance in smaller towns and natural areas than big cities.
Working remotely has also changed the travel industry for most likely good. Expect people to take longer trips in the future, perhaps combining work and travel like never before. Also, some may want to take advantage of the final days of their work from home situations and book somewhere to stay and work to enjoy a change of scenery.
Travel Insurance Will Be More Important Than Ever
With much uncertainty still lingering around booking international and even domestic travel, purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance plan can give you the sense of security to book that long-awaited and well-deserved trip. Many travel insurance plans now cover trip cancellations and medical expenses related to COVID-19 and some countries, such as Costa Rica, even require a travel insurance plan in order to visit.
When the pandemic first struck in early 2020, many travel insurance plans failed to cover COVID-19-related trip interruptions and medical expenses. Unless you purchase Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, travel insurance typically only covers unexpected and unforeseen events so events like pandemics were excluded from coverage.
Now, some travel insurance companies are changing their tune and offering plans that cover trip cancellation, trip delay, and travel medical coverage for COVID-related issues. This would offer trip reimbursement if you or your travel companion contract COVID-19 and have to cancel your trip. This would also protect you against trip delays related to changing COVID-related guidelines and offer emergency medical coverage if you happened to contract COVID-19 during your travels.
With widespread COVID-19 vaccination in the immediate future and travel insurance plans available to cover COVID-related issues, now’s the time to start making plans and finally look forward to taking those dream vacations.