COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Travel and Hospitality Sector
Since early 2020, i.e. around the time when the pandemic started, several industries across the globe have been dealt a severe blow. However, none appear to have been quite as affected as the travel and hospitality industry.
You would agree, coronavirus did change the way we travel. From hand sanitizers in hotel lobbies to cabin crew in masks and amid localized lockdowns with contact tracing apps, Covid-19 has today transformed the travel world.
Interestingly, both the companies as well as the customers they serve have been quick to adapt. With major travel destinations now beginning to emerge from the lockdown, what they all need is for the new normal to set in. And even for travelers, many of whom were largely confined to their homes for months & weeks, they are now planning to get back to their favorite beaches, mountains & monuments. Though reopening the entire travel ecosystem might present its own set of challenges.
Listed below are some of the many changes I’m witnessing throughout the industry since the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Local travel: It has been clear since pretty much the start of the pandemic that international travel has taken quite the hit now and not only due to the obvious fact of flights being banned but also because of infection from such long durations of travel, risk factors at the destination, etc. But fret not, for vacationers have instead taken up domestic traveling. As we wait for the curve to be flattened, domestic and local regional travel has observed a major increase, which means local hotel chains and stays are now more popular than they may ever have been.
2. Safety precautions are more important than ever: A lot of studies and research in the recent past has shown that safety and health precautions are now among the top priorities for travelers and understandably so. Be it the destination or the stay options — everything is now based around the ability to maintain proper social distance and other necessary precautions. Many travel portals would be able to vouch for this shift, now that search trends demonstrate an inclination for holidayers to pay more heed to the aforementioned factors than the price.
3. Reliance on personal vehicles: It has been over a year since the coronavirus first emerged and while some countries appear to have regained some control over its trajectory, the fact remains that we still have a lot of work to do. And till we can do that, some modes of travel will continue to be avoided, especially more public forms of transport and travel. Thankfully, a viable alternative has been found in private vehicles. This, in turn, is driving up the need for customization of travel plans to make the experiences more enjoyable. Such levels of personalization, in turn, will need assistance from technology — be it for entertainment, navigation, or other such factors.
One simply cannot deny that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a consequential impact on the world in general, more so on industries such as the travel and hospitality sector. Thankfully, mankind, with its ever so resourceful nature, has been quick to adapt to the changes brought on by the coronavirus. This has been evident in the hospitality and travel trade, where both service providers and travelers have adjusted and made necessary changes to keep the sector moving.
Nonetheless, these changes have necessitated travel companies and hotels to make more intense changes and embrace novel tools to achieve continuity. Now, to continue surviving the pandemic and the future that lays ahead for this industry, the need for modern travel and hospitality solutions is more blatant than ever. So, what are you waiting for? Find yourself a trusted service provider and get started on integrating modern technologies and tools in your business to see to it that you are better prepared for any such uncertainties that we may encounter in the future.