What to expect if you are travelling this year
We could all be forgiven for finding life a bit of a struggle right now. The constant news of mutations, lockdowns, restrictions and redundancies are bound to chip away at even the most positive person. There are, however, signs of recovery and a growing belief that we are winning the battle against this global pandemic. The benefits of the vaccine rollout are emerging, new medicines and treatments are being released and most importantly, there is confidence around the policies and procedures that can help reduce the risk of spreading covid.
Travel has been one of the worst-hit industries in all of this, but rather than lie down and lick our wounds, the industry has been looking at ways to get people back exploring as soon as possible.
It has long been reported that local travel will be the go-to this year, but the media is awash with theories and hypothesis as to when we will see the return of international escapism, and whilst the next few months are unlikely to produce an abundance of change, there is hope for beyond that.
So, here are a few things to expect from travel in 2021:
1. Demand vs Supply
The choice of when to travel is a very personal one but for many, the wanderlust is too much to ignore. Whilst the numbers of people heading abroad is likely to be lower, the availability of rooms and services is also likely to be heavily diminished. Many businesses will not have survived the last year and those that have will likely be operating at a reduced capacity, in some places down to 30%. We realise it may feel too soon to be booking a trip now, but those that leave it to book late may find themselves struggling for availability.
Everyone is aware of how quickly things can change, therefore, travel providers are working hard to keep up with this. You can expect the good companies out there to provide continued confidence for people to book by offering flexible cancellations and itinerary amendments. Other companies will be working hard to regain trust after the mishaps of 2020.
3. Passports and certificates
With the rapid deployment of vaccines, the focus is now looking at how destinations, airlines and other providers can facilitate the safe return of tourists. Countries are developing vaccine passports to encourage people to come and visit again, with some airlines already stating that they will not accept anyone without proof of vaccine or antibodies. It is still too early to state how this will turn out, but be prepared to have to provide proof of inoculation to travel freely.
6. Safety guidelines and procedures
Whether you are boarding a flight, checking into a hotel or going out for dinner, you should make yourself aware of the guidelines that are in place and what is expected of you as a consumer. This is where having a good tour operator is strongly advised, as they will ensure that you are up-to-date with local practices and procedures. Certainly, wearing masks, using hand sanitiser and distancing from others is here to stay for the foreseeable.
What does all this mean for travel in the next 12 months? It means that people should have confidence that the majority of service providers and companies are working hard to ensure that you can still enjoy travel and exploration. You can continue to enjoy getting outdoors and learning about new cultures and countries and using travel as a form of education. Most importantly, travel can still offer that escapism and opportunity to switch off from everyday life and spend quality time with your loved ones. Many people may not be feeling this right now, but we believe it won’t be long for the pendulum to swing in our favour once more.
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