2020 has proved to be a very difficult and unprecedented time for everyone on a universal scale, since the presence of COVID-19, the Coronavirus. As a global pandemic, its impact has been devastating to not only the health and well-being of the world’s citizens, but also devastating to world trade and disruptive to the global economy, as documented by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) (*1).
Trade in all its forms has been dramatically affected through the scaling back of production and consumption across the planet. Such turmoil has significantly damaged the travel industry, but with lockdown being eased in different countries, new travel trends are just beginning to emerge, as spotted by The Real Word from Trafalgar, a storytelling hub on travel (*2). These are some of the trends that we can expect to see this year, as follows:-
Due to COVID-19, in April 2020, it is estimated that at least 91% of the world’s population are residing in countries where COVID-19-related restrictions were in place. Now, in June 2020, many countries have eased their local lockdowns, and as this continues, we are starting to see the formation of “Travel Bubbles”. These include agreements whereby people can travel safely between borders without extended quarantine measures. Examples of “Travel Bubbles” include regions, such as:-
Many people will decide to stay closer to home, so that local travel will become more popular. The places that were less frequently visited in the past may now become the new tourist trap.
One of the alarming effects of COVID-19 is the way in which families and friends have been kept apart through lockdown for many weeks. This enforced separation has meant that many birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and other celebrations have been missed. As a result, people may want to make up for lost time, which could mean more family and multi-generational travel, as and when it is safe to travel. Arguably, large family groups may prefer to travel and share accommodation together, so as to minimise contact with other people and practise social distancing.
A high number of American travellers have completely changed their travel plans over the next six months, due to the fear that is felt by them through the presence of COVID-19. It is imperative that travellers start to feel safe and protected, which is where the advent of “touchless travel” emerges. Technology has already started to develop robot cleaners, together with the touchless options, which include electronic passports and boarding passes, facial recognition and contactless fingerprint identification. Let’s not forget that health screening for COVID-19 has already started, while some European airports are producing industry guidelines to screen all passengers. There is also the presence of face-masks, hand sanitisers, and thermal cameras at airports, together with social distancing through the availability of more personal space for travellers.
It is forecast that, due to having been cooped up for a long period of time, many people will be seeking visits to the great outdoors. Through direct contact with nature, its qualities of healing and peace may well be sought, particularly for mental health issues, in which a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression has been demonstrated in documented studies.
What is most apparent is that the travel industry is set for revival, but perhaps its revival means that travel will start to look and feel like a completely different experience. What we wish to affirm at Staff Defence is that we will continue to provide training courses in travel and personal safety to ensure that each individual can enjoy his/her trips at home and/or overseas, always feeling safe, secure and empowered. Why not take a look at our website where you can find a range of courses, each delivered by our team of highly-experienced Instructors (except for e-Learning courses), at the following links:-
Travel Safety Plus Course – https://staffdefence.co.uk/course/travel-safety-plus/
Travel Safe e-Learning Course – https://staffdefence.co.uk/course/travel-safe-e-learning/
Female Travel Safe Awareness Course- https://staffdefence.co.uk/course/female-travel-safe-awareness/
Travel Safe CONDO Course – https://staffdefence.co.uk/course/travel-safe-condo/
Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) Course – https://staffdefence.co.uk/course/h-e-a-t-course/
(*1). COVID-19 and World Trade https://www.wto.org
(*2). 4 Important New Travel Trends that are Beginning to Emerge in the Wake of COVID-19 (9/06/20) https://www.trafalgar.com