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The Future of Travel: Staycations, Modifications, and Developments to Keep You Moving

In the age of COVID-19, the travel industry has taken an enormous hit. In 2020, the international tourism industry has taken a decline of 60% than that of previous years. This figure may reach 80% if the recovery is delayed until the end of the year. Those of us with wanderlust were sent into quarantine and lockdown during the spring. Then, once some lockdown restrictions were lifted, the level of restrictions for travel depended on where you live and where you want to go..

Planning a trip these days can be frustrating, as travel restrictions on destinations can change on a daily basis. What has the travel and hospitality industry done to keep consumers interested in travel during the restrictions, while also providing the reassurance that they will be safe? 

Where to Staycation in the Midst of a Pandemic

The trend of staycations was increasing even before the Coronavirus emerged. But recently, local tourism bureaus have developed incentives to keep people visiting their destinations and feed the local economy in the wake of the pandemic. Things like reduced fares on public transportation and discounts on eating out were designed to encourage more people to stay home and enjoy the local neighborhood.

Previously, determining the best places for staycations meant looking at primarily financial factors. What qualifies as a “staycation” distance-wise may vary from person to person. Some consider it staying in their hometown and exploring locally. Others may consider a staycation where they visit a different part of the state they live in. 

A few seasoned travelers will consider a staycation a trip during which they don’t travel internationally. And due to the worldwide travel restrictions, staycations during COVID seem to be one of the best travel options for everyone. 

So, where should I staycation? The answer is easy—your own city, state, or region is the best choice to consider. Even if you’ve lived in a certain city or state for years, chances are, there are more places to fully explore in your home territory. You may be surprised to discover what’s in your own backyard.  

Browse through some online travel blogs for staycation ideas in 2020, and a multitude of possibilities.

What Does the Future Travel Look Like?

While the changes in the travel industry may prompt people to stay home, there are still people who must take a trip. Here are some ways the transportation and hospitality industries are evolving to stay safe and healthy. 

Airlines after Coronavirus

The aviation industry has made drastic changes to its operating procedures and policies during the COVID pandemic. Many major US airlines like Delta, United, and American are now waiving change fees for its passengers to hopefully make them feel more at ease about booking flights. 

The airlines have also increased the cleaning and sanitation efforts in-between flights to reassure passengers that they will be safe while flying. Masks will also be a mandatory requirement on all flights to control the spread of the virus. These measures have helped to restore consumer confidence and gradually return to air travel. 

Developments in the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry has also gone through significant changes to accommodate guests safely since the pandemic began. 

To facilitate social distancing, many hotels are occupied at half capacity. They have implemented improved cleaning procedures and sanitizing conditions. Check-in procedures have become safer due to contactless payment and a mandatory mask requirement in hotel common areas. 

When the lockdowns first began, many restaurants closed temporarily before reopening to a take-out only business. Since late May, many restaurants and bars have reopened to inside dining at limited capacity. Most establishments have installed a hand sanitizer at the entrance for patrons to use as they walk in. Some have even required that a contact card be completed to keep track of virus infections. Patrons have cautiously returned to restaurants and pubs and have adjusted to the new normal of dining out. 

Countries Will Offer Incentives for your Travel

Several countries in the world are looking to bring the people back into their countries by offering travel subsidies after the pandemic is over. Hotels in Mexico are offering free hotel nights and rental cars. Japan has inexpensive travel and discounts for domestic travelers. Sicily is considering offering free hotel nights and discounts on airfare. 

Currently, American travelers are not allowed to visit the above mentioned countries. However, the tourism industry needs the American dollar; we spent $137 billion on international travel in 2017. Consider the incentives that may be offered to bring in American dollars once the travel bans are lifted.

Converting Business Travel to Leisure Trips

Due to the suspension of business travel worldwide, some travel agencies want to keep these travelers active during the pandemic. Corporate travel agencies have taken an enormous hit as their business has come to a halt. For example, TripActions has plans to offer a leisure travel package to its business clients later this month.

The travel and hospitality industry has had to go through many changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry has had to rethink and readjust their operating procedures in order to ensure the safety of consumers and all that work in the industry. Contact Traveler’s Q to discover your corporate travel options in this new perspective.