Sea, Ship, Boat, Ocean, Water, Travel

A Local boat

The tourism industry has been brought to a standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news is that we are all optimistic that the crisis may not be here forever, and we will travel again. Plans are underway in many nations to revive the industry as soon as freedom is declared. Tourism recovery is likely to begin locally where travellers may venture into places closer to their homes before considering international travel. Why is domestic travel likely to recover faster than international travel? Let’s break it down:

Consumer Safety and Confidence. Many airlines have discontinued operations indefinitely to curb the spread of the virus. However, people are still free to use their private means to get to some few destinations right now. When the coronavirus pandemic is finally contained, domestic travel will be on high demand. Customers may be hesitant to board flights because they may not have the confidence to be in public immediately. They are likely to start by trying out local drives to nearby national parks, road trips, camping and hikes. The idea is to try and see the situation normalize because nobody is guaranteed safety, especially in congested places. When confidence is regained, they can continue going further away from their homes. 

Cost implications. The international labour organization (ILO) estimated that at least 25 million jobs might be lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of April 2020, the global unemployment rate reached 190 million mark. Apart from job losses, people in various sectors have had salary cuts. The fact that many people have been left jobless or with little income means that they have to adjust their spending accordingly. Their priority right now is on how to meet their basic needs. Those who will be in a position to go for vacations may opt to start locally since they will be working on a smaller budget. When the situation gradually and steadily normalizes, international travel will begin to take shape slowly.

Tent, Camping, Remote, Campsite

Budget Tented Camp

The complexity of Travel Logistics. The tourism industry experts say that technology will be significant in reviving the industry. This may be characterized by electronic ID’S, passports, and medical screening being put in place to minimize the infections.  Before people get used to this, they may opt for short-term local trips or vacation rentals that are less complex. Self- organized trips may be on high demand because they can allow people to self-disinfect themselves comfortably in a remote setting.

Cottage, Tourist, Countryside, Village

Tourist Cottages in a remote Setting

In brief, travel after COVID-19 will not be the same again. The tourism sector’s recovery is likely to take longer, but yes, domestic travel may recover faster than international travel. Consumers need to feel safe and confident before they board flights, and therefore they would rather be near home than being far away at the beginning. Some may opt to go for local vacations due to lack of enough resources to travel abroad. The travel logistics may be unbearable to some, and this may call for more private and local travel engagements. 

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