The Shift in Travel Choices Post-COVID
I was sitting in my favourite armchair a couple of days ago, enjoying a warm cup of coffee on a rather chilly morning, and something peculiar happened. I found myself reminiscing about the time when I could hop on a plane and travel freely – cafe-hopping in Paris, hiking in the Canadian Rockies, discovering hole-in-the-wall bookstores in Tokyo – you get the picture. That's when I began pondering, "How will the coronavirus affect future tourism around the world?" Well, grab a cup of caffeine (or tea, if that's your thing) and let's dive into the changes we're likely to witness in global tourism post-pandemic.
Now, if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that our perspectives towards travel have significantly changed. That holiday we used to plan desperately – meticulously, even obsessively – doesn't feel the same anymore. There's this newfound inclination for offbeat paths, less crowded locations, and domestic travel. In essence, more and more people are choosing safety, solitude and sustainability over classic tourism. Think small boutique hotels in the countryside instead of bustling city hotels, hiking trips instead of resort holidays, private holiday homes instead of overcrowded cruise liners.
Vigilance over Booking and Accommodations
What's funnier than seeing tourists lugging around huge suitcases filled with travel essentials? Seeing them now lugging around huge suitcases plus a small bag for sanitizers, masks, gloves, et al. Jokes apart, the heightened sense of caution is indeed a welcome change. And accomodations are no exception. Remember how we used to prioritize aesthetics, budget, and location while picking a place to stay? Well, make way for health and safety standards now. Hotels will have to display their cleanliness and hygiene practices openly to earn the trust of travellers and bag those bookings. Hey, you might even find a germ-o-meter listed right below the room amenities, who knows?
I recall a solo trip I embarked on in 2018. I had booked an eclectic B&B in Amsterdam based on its funky décor and proximity to major hotspots. Fast forward to now, and I find myself scouring the site for info about their hygiene protocols, contactless check-in services, and ventilation systems. So yes, the 'Cleanliness' tab gets clicked before the 'free Wi-Fi' one. Strange times indeed!
The Rise of Virtual Tourism
Alright, let's talk about something that's been doing the rounds lately – virtual tourism. This is an exciting shift indeed. Haven't we all imagined slipping into a pair of VR goggles and traversing the narrow alleyways of Venice or exploring the depths of the Great Barrier Reef right from our couch? Well, what was once a far-fetched dream now stands as a promising reality.
This whole concept might seem a bit too 'Black Mirror-ish' to you. Believe me, I thought so too! But then, I took a virtual tour of the Louvre, and boy, was I blown away! It wasn't just a slideshow of paintings; it was a fully immersive 3D tour where I could almost smell the centuries-old art. Although it didn't quite replace the thrill of in-person exploration, it was a glimpse into what the future could hold – A world where we could be globetrotting from our living rooms.
Increasing Significance of Travel Insurance
Talk about travel insurance, and many people would roll their eyes — myself included. We saw it as an unessential added expense that travel agencies used to force upon us. How things have changed! With the unpredictability of the ongoing global scenario, getting a travel insurance policy now feels as important as buying the plane tickets – if not more. Ironically, the once shrugged-off ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage now seems worth every penny.
Being caught up in a tight spot during a trip to Spain is what made me appreciate the importance of travel insurance. Picture this: I was a young adventurous soul finding my way around Barcelona when a sudden illness forced me to cancel my much-awaited excursion to Montserrat. The doctor bills along with the non-refundable tour cost were a harsh blow to my wallet. A classic case of 'you learn from your mistakes', one could say.
In conclusion, the tourism landscape is not just changing – it's metamorphosing, in response to this global crisis. As we navigate through the new normals, the essence of travel might just find itself transforming into something more responsible, mindful, and inclusive. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have another virtual tour to embark upon – the Pyramids of Egypt, here I come!