The future of tourism post COVID: How the industry and travelers will respond

If there’s one industry that has suffered the effects of COVID-19 the most, that would be the tourism industry.

For the past few months, countries have shut their borders, tourism hotspots have closed their doors, and people have been forced to stay back in their homes.

But with the global cases of COVID-19 gradually dwindling and other industries returning to norms, people are starting to ask whether tourism will be back, and if so, when.

Without a doubt, tourism will be back because man will continue to travel and explore the world around him.

When that will be is a question that will vary from country to country, continent to continent, and destinations to destinations.

But when tourism does finally return, things may not be the same as they were before the pandemic.

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How Tourism will most likely look in the near Future  

Greater emphasis will be placed on local tourism
In the first few months that follow the return of tourism, it’s anticipated that only local residents will be allowed at most tourist centers.

This is going to be the case because most countries will still be worried about people coming in from countries where the virus has been more prevalent. So, in order to ensure public safety, priority will be given to domestic tourists.

Although this type of local-first tourism approach may diminish traditional tourism offerings, it can help the global tourism industry in the following ways:

  • Health tourism: As people become more health-oriented, many will visit more domestic pro-health centers on their local tours. 
  • Heritage and culture tourism: There‘s going to be an increased interest in museums, restaurants, history tours, and other local sites since tourists are restricted to local destinations
  • Outdoors tourism: With the fear of COVID-19 still in the heart, many will resort to more outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking, where they can properly distant themselves from direct contact with people. 
  • Family and friends tourism: In places where lockdowns have been enforced, and families and friends have been kept separated, tourism packages focusing on day outings might see an increase rather than week-long excursions.  

A focus on small groups
If at all people get the chance to go on international tours, there will be a strict restriction on the number of people that can be at a given place at any time. Be it at breakfast tables, meetings, hotel rooms, hostel accommodations, flight, or tour groups, people will only be able to stay together in small groups. 

This would mean that instances of cruises with thousands of people on a single ship, crowded theme parks, beach parties, and other crowded theme attractions may be prohibited. 

In terms of mobilization and accommodation, tourists will also want to choose private transportation over public and vacation rentals over hotels. This will provide them with more control over who and how many people they come in contact with on their vacation, limiting the risk of infection and increasing peace of mind.