Since the pandemic came into existence, wanderers are left wondering if they will ever get to travel again. Cruise lines have suspended their schedules, airlines have stopped taking off, and public transportation has come to a historic standstill. As we continue to practice social distancing, tourists attractions remain shut and tourism industry are experiencing the ripples.
Although we are unsure whether this is a distant dream still or no, travel eventually will become a part of our normal routine. However, you could expect some twists there. Here is a prediction on future of travel:
- Public transportation and business travel: Let us accept that taking a metro or calling for an Uber or entering the public bus will never be the same again. Several changes and implementations will take place for protecting the passengers and staff. Disinfecting the facilities and surface well would be a priority. You would notice people wearing gloves and respiratory protection for months post lockdown. The face masks is already mandatory in places like Thailand and South Korea currently. Social distancing will become the new norm. Moreover, companies will cut down on business travel costs and expect to have more and more discussions over video conferences.
2. Airports and Airlines: There is going to be a war against congested lines. This would not only be at check-in points but the entry gate and immigration as well. For far too long, airports have mulled over using technology for speeding these processes, especially domestic airports. Some changes expected in airports and airlines are –
- Bringing in biometric screenings, temperature checks, digital documentation setup, are some of the systems that airports could implement.
- As you are aware, Europe has been worse hit with COVID 19. Considering this aspect, Schengen visa applications could get tough as test results and vaccination documents might become a necessity while applying for the same. The information was updated on Schengen visa website.
- Oh, expect some surge on ticket prices too!
- Meanwhile in India, Mumbai airport have already released post-lockdown measures.
- Delhi International airport will resume their operations post-lockdown from terminal 3. According to PTI, entry gates, self-check-in machines, and check-in bays would be allocated to airlines for avoiding overcrowding of passengers.
- As for hygiene, KLM, United Airlines, and Lufthansa have made face masks obligatory.
- On the other hand, Japan Airlines and Emirates are practicing social distancing.
- Etihad are preparing passenger kits before passengers board the flight.
- Passengers, on the other hand, are doing away with middle seats onboard.
3. Hotels: You cannot wait for things to get back to normal, can you? But the truth is, change is inevitable. This is going to impact the way you choose your accommodation as well. We could witness sudden increase in bookings for small and boutique properties or renting of private homes or villas. The best part is bigger hotels are already aware of your concerns and this is what the following brands have planned:
- The ‘Stay With Peace of Mind’ program of Anantara aims to build one existing health and safety measures.
- Marriott International has launched a new internal platform for promoting hotel cleanliness.
- Hilton too announced new hygiene programme to reassure the existing as well as old consumers after the lockdown.
- Hyatt international’s accreditation process by the Global Briorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) will include cleaning, infectious and disinfection disease prevention programme. More than 900 Hyatt hotels will observe this schedule.
- Kempinski reassures that guests would require to wear white gloves.
4. Road trip rage: Experts already have opined that short destinations means welcome of road trip. Also, an open road, favourite track playing in the background, blue skies is not that bad after staying home for three to four months, right? Although the borders within the country might still experience restrictions, you may need to search for options within your state. The metro cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Bengaluru in India have hosts of options.
5. Choice of destination and packing lists: At the moment, close-to-home destinations will matter. People will prefer to take their own vehicle, short-distance flights, and passenger rail to explore the nearby places. Densely populated places need to take a backseat for a while. Packing will definitely see a change with more of hand sanitisers and face masks taking space in the luggage. Soon, airlines could make the disinfectant a compulsory product onboard.
People will step out for travel again, be it for leisure or business. But being informed becomes a necessity after the pandemic. Several companies and country Government have launched apps which give you on-the-go updates about high-risk places, tracking of potential patients, and daily COVID 19 reports.
Hence, have these apps handy on your phones before you step out to experience the new world again. And yes, stay safe always!