Travelling is one of the many things that have been taken away from people during the pandemic. As people around the world were forced to avoid crowded places and stay home, the entire travel industry faced losses unlike anything seen before. Due to the fear of travelling during the pandemic most vacations over spring break were cancelled and most summer travel plans are also expected to be cancelled. The future of travel is unclear because the desire to see the world is stronger than ever, but the fear of a future pandemic will be present in the future of travel.
The reality is that people do still want to travel as seen in a survey done by Skift Research that shows that one-third of Americans want to travel shortly after restrictions end. In order to attract the first wave of travelers after the pandemic, airlines and cruises are using low prices to attract people back to traveling. However, the first trips made after the pandemic will likely be road trips.
What most people are wondering is whether or not travel in the future will be safe. On airlines, facemasks are currently being required and the cleaning of aircrafts is much more frequent and effective. In the future, there is likely going to be the same amount of cleaning as there is right now. Airports are also likely to start checking the temperature of passengers with thermal cameras. Airports may also change their layouts in order to prevent crowded lines of passengers. After 9/11, the way people travelled changed to make the process more secure and the coronavirus pandemic will make its own changes to make travelling more sanitary.
Many small companies are expected to go out of business. Only large companies may be able to survive the financial challenges that the pandemic has brought. According to the New York Times, approximately 100 million travel sector jobs will be lost because of the coronavirus pandemic. The cruise ship industry is one industry that was hit especially hard. Even though cruising was once a very popular way to travel, the dates for when the ships will be able to sail again keep getting pushed back. It is unsure if the industry will be able to survive, but the stories of ships stranded at sea full of sick passengers is not helping the future of the cruise industry.
The coronavirus will not stop from travelling, in fact, it has only made people appreciate how much of a privilege it is to be able to travel. Especially in the United States, where people have been stuck in their homes for months, many people are waiting for the day where they can travel again. According to Piper Guyton (9), “the coronavirus is not stopping [her] from travelling in the future.” Even though the travel industry is being severely impacted by the pandemic, experts are optimistic that the travel industry will be able to recover in the near future.