Has Coronavirus Changed Travel Forever? 5 Trends and Opportunities We’ll See

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The global outbreak of Coronavirus has already changed so many elements of our lives in a matter of months; thousands of people have lost their jobs, and those lucky enough to keep their jobs have had to adjust the way they work, and all children have had to be homeschooled. Of course, one of the industries that has been hit hardest at this time is the travel industry. All travel has ground to a halt, and it will still be months until we see the return of travel for pleasure. While this has been a bleak time for many, it’s not all bad. If we can see past all the dark clouds, we can see the trends and opportunities that are likely to arise due to our current circumstances. So, what are these trends and opportunities? Let’s take a closer look at 5 you can expect to see in the coming months and years as the world returns to normal.

Travel After Coronavirus Trend: Micro-Adventures

With current travel restrictions and a new heightened sense of uncertainty around traveling, more people are likely to opt for local adventures or fast weekends away. This is a far more accessible choice than intercontinental travel, mainly because you can skip the airport and simply drive somewhere in your car.
These days, there is a clear desire to escape from the high-pressure city life that so many live. In fact, it is estimated that by 2030, 87 percent of the US population will live in urban areas. This thirst for the rediscovery of nature can be quenched easily, and for little money, with micro-adventures.
Companies like Airbnb are hosting intimate groups of no more than 12 to “epic, off-the-beaten-path locations,” where they are immersed in unique cultures and communities that would be hard to reach on their own. Airbnb says that participants will be able to “learn, make personal connections, seek challenges and grow.” While Airbnb is the biggest name attached to this trend, there are many other small businesses positioning themselves to serve travelers once social distancing ends.

Travel After Coronavirus Trend: Upskilling Vacations

While many people’s jobs are essentially at a standstill right now, a lot of people are finding themselves in a unique position where they finally have time to focus on skills they’ve always wanted to learn. There’s no better way to gain knowledge and insight than through traveling, and there are a vast array of learning experiences already there. You can take a cookery course in Salvador, learn how to paint landscapes in Italy’s Adriatic Coast, learn perfume making in the French Riviera and go on a yoga retreat in the fishing village of Taghazout, Morocco. It’s likely that travel companies of this niche will see an increase once post-pandemic life resumes and travel is deemed safe again, as people continue to use travel as a way to not only relax, but to grow.

Travel After Coronavirus Trend: Eco-Travel

As a society, we’re becoming much more conscious and worried about the impact we’re having on our environment. And, with all the reports of the ways in which the world has recovered as humans have largely stayed indoors, many eco-conscious travelers are going to look for ways to cut their personal footprint. Eco-travel has been important to many travelers for a while, but, in part thanks to the movement led by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, there has been a significant increase in the number of people choosing to travel long-distance by train or car, rather than by air, or in choosing to vacation within 3-12 hours’ drive of their home.

Travel After Coronavirus Trend: Digital Nomad Vacations

With ever-increasing numbers of people suffering from “burnout” (in other words, spending too much time and energy on work and not enough time on their mental health), the prospect of taking a break to focus on wellness is becoming tempting to many. And, while social media has been a glue holding us together in this difficult time, people are going to be ready to let it go when life returns to a semblance of normality.
Growing numbers of people are deciding to put their careers on hold to go off in search of adventure. The new trend of taking themed sabbaticals is becoming more and more popular as folks step away from their careers so that they can make a positive change about the way they live their lives.
While taking a year off to explore the world sounds wonderful, it’s not always feasible. Enter companies like Remote Year, who organize trips for those who want to work and live like a local in cities around the world for a month at a time, alongside a community of other professionals from different backgrounds and industries.

Travel After Coronavirus Opportunity: Touchless Travel

The fear of contracting viruses and illnesses from surfaces isn’t one that will suddenly disappear the moment coronavirus is no longer a pandemic. It’s highly likely we’re all going to be carrying hand sanitizer and paying via contactless methods for good. So, it only makes sense that we’ll be looking for “touchless” travel – ways in which we can continue to see the world without the risks traditional travel poses. While some believe that this will come in the form of biometrics (in Sweden more than 4,000 people have already had a microchip inserted into their hand for access onto trains), it’s more likely that people in the US, UK, and other parts of the world will prefer to use wearables. In the coming months and years, we’ll see apps and smart devices that allow us to travel without contact.
While Coronavirus has brought the global economy and travel industry to a standstill, it won’t all be bad. As it has forced us to slow down, we’ll seek out this same feeling on our weekends and as we step away from our hectic schedules to go away on vacations. We’ll see an increase in people not flying across the world to sight-see in other cities, but traveling into nature to build skills, do a digital detox, or simply slow down. If you see a future in which you explore, build skills, and get back to nature in an eco-friendly way, you’ll love what we’re doing over at Escaplore. Click here to find out more about how to get involved.

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