Introduced by Jackie De Burca
I am a 52 year-old travel writer and author, living away from my home city of Dublin, with compromised lungs due to childhood pneumonia.
I hope with all my heart that I can treat this subject with the respect and due diligence it truly deserves. I have been self-isolating well before we had the official lockdown here in Spain. Just like all of you, I have gone through my own deep and sometimes frightening reaction to what is happening around the world due to COVID-19. There have been days when I couldn’t concentrate on anything meaningful.
Then I experienced a level of acceptance and decided to reach out to lots of amazing travel experts, who agreed to contribute even though their own lives have been turned upside down – a phrase that under the current circumstances seems like an understatement.
So at a time when I have no idea when I will be able to visit my 81-year old Dad and lovely Step Mama (family in-joke) in Dublin, I know my situation right now is good. I am doing well, being looked after by my wonderful partner, Joao Paulo, and through all of this, I want to see the distant light shining at the end of what I feel may be a long tunnel. This is why I have been in touch with these great people who also wish to look to the future – post-coronavirus and try to envisage how we will travel again when it is considered safe to do so.
I have realised that I took Ireland for granted. Excuse the cliché, but there is no place like home.
Maria and Ciaran Cotter, Maptrekking – Current location: stranded in Albania – originally from Ireland
What I am looking forward to is seeing Ireland with a new sense of appreciation. Viewing the same things as always but taking the time to understand. Ireland is not a sun holiday destination. When visiting there, rain should always be expected. It adds to the experience and beauty it offers. I had forgotten how close all the incredible sights are and it took being away from home to truly find it.
At Maptrekking we embrace the art of travelling slowly. We spend a month or more living like the locals and experiencing life as they would. Meaningful travel without the expectation of change from those around us; this is what brought us to Albania.
We have learned that tourism can be a double-edged sword. It allows for growth but can bring over development. Our own ‘first world countries’ are not handling this pandemic well in comparison to Albania where we are currently stuck. Although our peers describe it as inferior, Albania is proving its ability to survive better than most.
Travel is being postponed and with it grows the ever-increasing tension to escape our homes. Once Corona has stopped, we fear a lot of travellers from developed countries could resume having a ‘my way or the high way’ mindset when travelling. We hope this is not the case since it takes away from the natural beauty a country has to offer.
Aloha spirit …why I also love local here in Hawaii
Noel Morata, This Hawaii Life – Current location: Hawaii
Covid 19 has really taken a toll on travelling around the world and impacting both economically and health perspectives. The travel industry is definitely going to take a long time to get back into sync especially as many people will be afraid to go far distances. But this would be a great time to eventually explore locally and support those local tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels in your area that desperately need help to keep their businesses afloat and employees paid.
An easy planned day trip with a tourist site, restaurant and visiting some local art galleries or gift shops would really be a boon for local visitors and supporting the local economy.
Things are just as bad here in Hawaii with tourism as the major industry and visitors being the lifeblood of what drives the economy here. If you are planning on visiting Oahu some day, check out these top things to do in Honolulu and around the island for inspiration and planning a trip to Hawaii some day.
In Italy, the celebrities and politicians are promoting domestic tourism post COVID-19
Stefania Gatta, Italian Tourist Board – Current location: London, UK (from Italy) – Please note that this is a personal opinion not an official comment
My personal opinion, also in the light of the latest UK government directive not to book any travel indefinitely and the struggles of the airlines, is that probably the summer is lost, maybe we can hope for the winter season, all being well we can plan to relaunch with the winter sports season. I think that if the situation improves in Italy , there will be mainly domestic tourism, a lot of celebrities and politicians are already inviting Italians to holiday in Italy this summer.
Again the UK relies heavily on air transport and the airlines’ situation is not clear at the moment, other countries like Germany or Austria & Switzerland and even France will be probably the first to go back to Italy as you can travel there by car.
I most wish to go back to Rome, my city, and where my family is, and to re-visit my favourite monument in the world: the Pantheon.
We will be supporting our local tourism in New Zealand
Maureen Spencer, So Many Places! So Little Time! – Current location: New Zealand
Here in New Zealand, Tourism has been our number one export earner for many years. Our economy is very dependent on tourism. We are a geographically isolated country and the large majority of our tourists arrive by air. We have already been notified that as a result of the Covid 19 lockdown, our own very famous and well-respected airline, Air New Zealand, is “planning to be a domestic airline with limited international services” after our borders open once again.
Our plan is to be doing a lot of local travelling within New Zealand, not only to support our tourism industry but also to enjoy and appreciate the very, very beautiful country we have. We have magnificent mountains, wonderful wildlife, a wide range of beaches from calm golden sand beaches to rugged black iron sand beaches and everything in between. We have natural hot springs, some even on a beach, underground caves and glowworms, and forests and farmlands.
One of our favourite places is Great Barrier Island which is an hours flight from Auckland or 4-5 hours ferry ride but it is a world of its own. It is an unspoiled paradise with a population of only 900 people and has majestic mountains covered in native rainforest, beautiful beaches, great hiking tracks and with no light pollution, has a Dark Sky Sanctuary status and the night skies are simply magic. We indeed have a magnificent country and we hope that you will get the opportunity to visit us sometime in the future.
Supporting mostly local regions after the worst is over in the Czech Republic
Veronika Primm, Travel Geekery – Current location: Czech Republic
My home country, the Czech Republic, introduced strict measures to contain the virus early on and was put on a lockdown straight from the beginning. After a month, even though the pandemic is still around, some of the bans are slowly being lifted. It’s now commonly understood that travel within the borders will become possible soon again. Since most local tourist destinations have suffered badly, they’ll need Czechs’ attention to all things local. Domestic tourism is expected to shoot through the roof.
I too will be exploring a lot more of my home country, because it’s beautiful. Oftentimes we need to be slightly forced to turn our attention to the local sights and places, instead of travelling half the world to see something similar, yet in a foreign land.
Of course I long to travel internationally, too. Especially once the winter hits, I really really hope it’ll be possible to escape some place warm. I’d like it to be Koh Phangan, Thailand. It’s right there where the first news of the coronavirus caught us in February this year. I’ll see it as a great blessing if we’ll be able to spend the winter there again and support the businesses there too, as it’s highly likely many will not make it until the next season.
Encouraging local soul says Swede, Alex, who lives in Málaga
Alex Waltner, Swedish Nomad – Current location: Malaga, Spain
After Covid-19, I believe it will be more important than ever to support local economies and those who own small to medium local businesses while travelling. While larger all-inclusive resorts employ many people, most of their profits are being funnelled to the owners rather than back into the local community, whereas if you stay at a family-owned guesthouse or eat in local restaurants, your money supports the locals directly and offer them a chance to feed their families.
These local businesses are often what gives the soul to places we travel too. It’s their passion and lifeworks that sets it apart from other destinations.
And to avoid losing the charm of destinations around the world, it’s important to show appreciation and along with money show what’s really important to keep in a world after Covid-19.
I’m already seing many talking about how they must support the economy of their own countries when this is all over, and discovering one’s own country is likely to be a trend this year and perhaps the next year as well.
But we shouldn’t forget to support those destinations that we long for, be it abroad or domestic, it’s important to make an extra effort when possible to give back to those who have brought joy into our lives.
My photo to the right is of a local woman in Sapa, Vietnam: a place that I want to go back to since they have been hit hard due to lack of tourists.
I have a dream – Road Trip! Life after COVID-19
Tim Sams, Tim Sams Travel USA – Current location: Melbroune, Florida, USA
My favourite area of the #TimSamsTravelUSA is a Dream Road Trip from Saint Augustine, Fl to Savannah, GA, and ending up in Charleston S.C. These areas are very historic to the USA. They have weathered pirates, hurricanes, earthquakes, major flooding, and multiple wars. The cities are still going through thick and thin and will endure the Coved-19 as well.
In 2020 it’s a completely different type of war and battle. The battles are being fought by first responders, nurses, and doctors with our Free Market Health Care System.
I personally think it’s something that viruses and diseases has happened before but not on this scale in modern history. I will not finger point at any political party but only pray we come out the other side together with a different perspective on how we treat each other as Americans with different opinions.
I can’t wait to see my favourite hotels, restaurants, and historic sites with happier, more patient and more appreciative US citizens.
I can’t wait to get out of my lockdown home and eat and travel my way north from the Space Coast of Florida to Georgia and South Carolina! We are all of this together and its our responsibility to help bring tourism and travel back online as quickly as possible. Get your dream road trip ready and help out your favorite places to eat, stay and things to do on your dream road trip to help provide moral and financial support for the places to survive for the next generation.
Live Life Today, Travel USA
Baja road trip for the ultimate feeling of freedom
Jenn and Ed Coleman, Coleman Concierge– Current location: Huntsville, Alabama, USA
With all the chaos in the world following the COVID-19 pandemic, I am grateful that the worst we have suffered is a few cancelled trips (and carnage in our 401k). It feels like the world is closer and farther away at the same time. I long for carefree days of travel, someplace wild and free where I can howl at the moon and see an ocean of stars overhead at night. There’s nothing that epitomises freedom to me more than taking a Baja road trip.
After a day of driving through beautiful coastal cities in Baja Norte, you’re at the edge of the great crossing of the Baja Desert. For 400 km, there’s nothing but empty road and the strangest plants you’ve ever seen. As soon as you clear the other side, you’re next to grey whale birthing lagoons on the Pacific Ocean where the ways come close enough to your boat to kiss. Crossing over to the Sea of Cortez, you reach bays of unimaginable shades of blue. If you make it all the way to the tip at Cabo, you’ll see the iconic and aptly rock formation Land’s End.
It’s these dreams of natural social distancing, without walls, airports, lines, or crowds that flutter in my brain when times get tough. I know there’s freedom out there. I’ve tasted it before and will feel it again someday soon.
Travel may become more desirable and more expensive initially
Elisabeth Wieselthaler-Toelly, Vice President, Global PR & Media Relations, San Francisco Travel – Current location: Stranded in Vienna, Austria
It may take a while until people feel 100 per cent comfortable taking an airplane or staying at a hotel. Nevertheless, I believe that, once the world has resolved the COVID-19 issue (which I’m sure we will, no matter what), travel will be as desirable as ever. Maybe even more desirable, since we will appreciate the freedom to travel more, having been confined to our homes for a while.
Travel might be more expensive for a while, since a lot of budget carriers will probably not survive this. For example, going from Vienna to Barcelona for 25 EUR round trip will probably not be an option any more. While this will mean fewer options for a lot of people, it will also mean more quality of life and fewer issues with overtourism for the locals.
I am currently stuck in Vienna, Austria and can’t wait to see the Golden Gate Bridge again from above when approaching SFO airport on my flight back. San Francisco will definitely be the first place that I will visit again!
Sustainable, mindful and meaningful
Denise Brown, Co-Founder, Sababu Safaris, Current location: New York
More than ever do I believe in the power of travel and the good it brings into this unpredictable world. Once the crisis passes, a new kind of traveller will emerge. Post Covid-19 travellers will be craving meaningful human connections and investing more time and energy in purposeful activities wherever they go. I have experienced firsthand the transformative power of travel and its ability to create lasting change in the world, especially when done in a more intentional and more meaningful way.
I believe that at its core, travel is an investment in new experiences, meaningful memories, shared connections and personal growth as we meet new people, explore parts unknown, and gain a deeper appreciation of cultural diversity. And this is what I believe most people will want to focus on – sustainable travel with a purpose.
The place I long to visit the most after this is all over is Tanzania, the most beautiful country on the face of the earth! 🙂 In today’s world, we find ourselves over-connected at a shallow level and under-connected at a deeper, more meaningful level. Spending time in Tanzania absolutely switched that around for me and made me focus on what’s really important in life.
Sustainable and more people focused
Joanna Styles, Writer, Guide to Malaga, Current location: Málaga
In just a few short weeks, it feels as if the world of travel has had the (flying) carpet pulled out from under its feet. We’ve gone from a calendar of events, trips and flights to a world of blank pages. And what do you put on those pages at the moment?
The answer is nothing – planning forms the essence of travel and at the moment, we can make zero plans. What lies ahead for the travel industry?
My gut feeling suggests that nothing will be the same again after Covid-19. I’m wondering which airlines will be flying; how many of the great independent businesses in Malaga will come out on the other side; and will people want to stand knee deep in crowds at events ever again…
I’m hopeful that as well as being different, the travel scene in Malaga (and everywhere) will be better. More sustainable, more people-based, more about the experience and less about the profit. Guide to Malaga showcases the best in tourism – not for nothing is our logo “The tourism we all want” and I’d love to see this come into its own. The potential is certainly there – here’s hoping that post Covid-19 Malaga shines as one of the world’s top destinations for quality experiences.
While we’re on lockdown, I’m longing to visit the Pergola on Muelle Uno, my absolute favourite place in Malaga. I can’t wait to marvel at the amazing sculpture, breathe in the sea breeze and look out over the blue Mediterranean. And I hope my next stroll under it is sooner rather than later.
Mindful, slower travel that helps us feel connected
Jane Clements Life Coach, Current location: Catalonia
Once the COVID-19 crisis is over I believe that people will choose to travel in a more mindful way. By mindful travel I mean that many will want their travel to have more meaning and for every part of the experience to count.
Social isolation, quarantine and lockdowns are encouraging more of us to look inwards and to consider what’s important. I think stronger connections with loved ones and deeper meaningful experiences will become ever more important in the future and this will be reflected in the choice of travel destinations. I forsee travellers choosing yoga, wellness or mindfulness retreats, connecting with nature or getting back to basics whilst supporting local communities and smaller ventures.
I think that travellers will slow down and take their time exploring a small region or they will use their time to learn new skills. Maybe more of us will choose camping, kayaking or cycling, getting back to basics and spending evenings chatting around a campfire or watching the sunset.
I want to return to New Zealand which ticks all of the above boxes. It has landscapes on a scale umlike any others in the world, her cities feel like small towns and rural communities which uphold traditional values. Independent shops are full of artisan handicrafts while restaurants and supermarkets usually offer locally sourced and regional produce.
Travel will be transformed and become transformative
Simona Polli, Responsible and transformational travel specialist and blogger, Travel-OFF, Current location: Tuscany, Italy
I have always been a keen traveller eager to discover far-away destinations. This year I intended to go back to Australia, where I lived for two years and never returned to for 10 years. It’s hard at the moment to think when and how we will be able to travel again but what we can be sure of is that the way we travel will be transformed.
I am confident this challenging moment we are living through will help us to become more conscious of our impact and grateful for the opportunity to travel again. Hopefully, we will travel more responsibly and sustainably, being aware that travel can be a transformative experience.
It may take quite a lot of time before we will be able to travel without any restrictions so, in the meantime, it could be a good opportunity to explore a bit more beyond our own backyard!
Staycations will definitely be an increasing trend as more and more people will feel safer to travel close to Home and I personally think this is a great thing.
Sometimes we want to travel to the other side of the world but hardly know the place we are from. That’s what happened to me when I was younger but since I have come back to Italy I have committed myself to learn more about my Homeplace because I think it is crucial to know our roots before venturing into the world and be able to fully appreciate what travel can teach us.
Meaningful experiences with a mind-body connection
Sustainable travel was already a type of tourism that was growing before the worldwide pandemic. But after COVID-19, I feel that many people will change their behaviour and experience more meaningful vacations.
We’ll probably have to avoid crowded places for a while. So, I believe travellers will see this a an opportunity to travel to less crowded places. Maybe they’ll want to live an experience that can have a real impact on their life, such as going on a yoga holiday for example.
Going on a yoga retreat after the pandemic would actually be a great idea, especially if you feel stressed and overwhelmed.
It’s the perfect way to take care of yourself, relax, try new activities, clear your mind and eat healthy food. It’s beneficial for you and usually takes you to uncrowded places. Last year, I went to New York City and I discovered the « City that never sleeps » with its crowded streets, thousands of businessmen, workers and tourists.
Next time I’ll go to New York, I would like to go outside of Manhattan and attend a yoga retreat. That’ll give me the opportunity to discover a completely different aspect of this amazing state.
People will wish to make positive life choices
Day one of quarantine was definitely the hardest. Feeling out of control and out of work in a surreal situation that at home was the same but on the media an ever growing nightmare.
Now into week three I’m settling into a routine, is this what being retired is like? I’ve been out twice, cancelled a weekend away and our holiday home bookings. What is next?
I think people will be slow to book a trip, not knowing when, then not really believing that restrictions have been lifted. Once reality has set in they will initially stay closer to home in their own country or a short haul destination.
This shake up will have made people think about life, about their lives and what they want out of them. When things have really settled down they will want to get on with life in a more positive, let’s do this while we can, way.
I’ll on a short break as soon as I can. My passion is Spanish Boutique Hotels and I’ve a long list that I want to visit. I’ll start with one of those. The tourism industry will in need of a huge boost and I’m going to do my bit here in Spain. I feel in need of some simple but missed pleasures – wine and tapas under the sunshine while watching the hustle and bustle of the people going by.
Vaccinations certificates will be brought back
Talek Nantes, Creator of Travels with Talek Current location: New York
The coronavirus pandemics will change the face of travel for quite some time to come. Some years ago, travellers were required to have a vaccination certificate with a record of all the inoculations and vaccinations a traveller had undergone. As many diseases were eradicated, the certificate was no longer required for most countries. In the future, however, I believe many countries will require this type of certification again.
Travellers will go to their medical professional, get vaccinated against the current and possibly other diseases, record these vaccinations in some sort of “health passport” for lack of a better word and only then will they be allowed to enter a specific country.
Singapore introduced an app that recorded and followed all coronavirus infected citizens in an effort to contain the pandemic on their island. It is likely other countries will initiate some similar preventive measure.
This coronavirus has ushered in a new reality and the travel industry will never be the same again. I’m OK with this. Don’t love it but, I’ll deal with it. As long as I can continue traveling and visiting beautiful places like China, I’ll suck it up and submit to future vaccination.
A digital document folder?
Abdul Sacoor, Marketing Mentor for Travel Professionals, Current location: London, England
Planning your holidays on a postcoronavirus era will require a bit more effort, in my opinion. This because the world is in constant adjustment due to the virus outbreak. Nevertheless, as avid travellers that we all are, I believe that we will also adjust to the new times, because travel is our passion and that won’t change so easily
One thing is for sure, the queues at the immigration will be longer than before. All the passengers will be scrutinised when they land at an airport and if you’re coming from a outbreak hotspot, the probability to have increased health check ups might be higher.
Another adjustment I see will be in our documents folder. We will all need a certificate of immunity to comply with the international regulations. They might do it digitally, who knows.
Some things will never be the same again, the safety in flying, the queues at the boarding gates and the uncertainty of having processes in place at the country of arrival will question our purpose of travelling.
So, we might start to reset our mindset to this new reality and hopefully when countries are more prepared to face outbreaks like this, the new normal starts to make sense again.
What other changes can we expect? One way or the other, as soon as this is all over, I am ready to rewrite the course of history and get ready to go back to the Cala Bassa beach (if you never been, I present you my condolences, relax and have a nice and mouth watering ice cream and enjoy the beautiful sun and the outstanding Ibizian atmosphere.
Seeking the allure of the wildnerness
Denis Gagnon, Writer at BonVoyageurs – Current location: Potomac, Maryland, USA
The COVID-19 virus will most probably be conquered in the near future, but it will not be exterminated until a vaccine is widely available in another year or two, and that has important ramifications for how we travel in the meantime.
With increased awareness and concerns about personal health and safety, travellers will most likely navigate towards destinations and travel experiences which minimize the risk of infection. The wilderness of Alaska, the fjords of Norway or the safe beaches of Tel Aviv may thus prove more alluring than the dense crowds of Manhattan, the grand bazaar of Istanbul, or the Super Bowl in Tampa.
Luxury travel may well recover more quickly than other parts of the travel industry because it caters to people who will have been less impacted by the loss of discretionary income caused by the economic recession and also because luxury travel offers a more personalised (and implicitly a less risky) form of travel. Luxury hotels and restaurants as well as luxury cruise lines will rebound sharply and we at BonVoyageurs will be resuming our travels with the same (and maybe more) joie de vivre as before !
Experiences in the Great Outdoors
Lee Murrin, Writer at Fitness World Explorer – Current location: Dublin, Ireland (originally from Cornwall, England)
During this uncertain time with the world upside down, time for reflection may have made people look on their life experiences. What have they experienced so far as individuals, and the quality family experiences they have had. Hopefully reflecting on fond memories and on the freedom they had to travel and experience amazing places.
Although there is no fast return to travel and we may not be advised to do so by the experts for many months to come.
Once it becomes safe to do so I think there will be a hunger for travel again and many people looking to travel further afield many who hadn’t previously considered doing so. If they have the finances to travel looking to invest in life Experiences not material things.
My hope is people will have a greater desire to experience the great outdoors and the amazing sites of nature. So much is uncertain but until we know more about a safe return I hope people are prioritising their health and getting busy researching future travel adventures. The place I most long to revisit is North America to explore and hike in the national parks.
Go off the beaten track
Have you ever experienced overtourism on your travels? This relatively new word popped up in recent years to define excessive amounts of tourists overcrowding a destination. While we can agree having to compete with the masses for space at popular destinations is unfavourable from a tourist’s perspective, it’s become evident that overtourism has led to negative impacts on locals’ quality of life, too.
One such location that began to suffer a lot from overtourism before the world ground to a halt was Kyoto, Japan. I noticed such a huge contrasts in the space of a few years – from having picturesque spots like Yasaka Pagoda in Gion almost to myself during my first visit, to having to battle massive tour groups in narrow alleyways on the next. The old-world charm was definitely tarnished by being elbowed in the ribs repeatedly!
Once travel picks up again, I’m thinking people who have travelled in the recent and unpleasant age of overtourism will be reluctant to put themselves in those situations again. Hopefully, they’ll be curious to seek out lesser-known destinations for authenticity (and fewer crowds). I especially want to explore more of Japan off the beaten path when the timing is right!
Looking forward to leading pilgrims along the Camino when it is possible again
Alex Chang, Owner of Fresco Tours – Current location: Bilbao, Spain
As a tour operator in Spain that caters to international clients, there is a great sense of uncertainty during this complex time. There is no doubt that the effects of social distancing and staying at home has helped Spain flatten the curve and although there is still work to be done, we know that things will return to normal. The only question is when.
While new information surfaces every day and each country and state adopts different methods and policies to confront the epidemic, it is impossible to predict when borders will reopen, airlines will resume with their flights, and the confidence travellers will have to move internationally.
To help us manage our logistics, we’ve adopted a policy of looking ahead to the short time frame of 60 days to determine which tours we will need to postpone. At the moment, we remain hopeful that we will be able to lead our pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago in the fall of 2020 and enjoy their camaraderie, laughter, and spirit along the Way.
In the meantime, we are retracing our past footsteps and reliving the walks we’ve made over the past 10 years via our “Virtual Camino de Santiago”. join with hashtag #FrescoToursVirtualCamino
While it doesn’t do much to keep us in shape physically, it certainly helps maintain our spirits up and be excited to return to the trail!
Natural attractions gain popularity
When the pandemic will be over and the borders will open again, I expect that natural attractions will be more popular than ever. Fear won’t disappear from one day to another, and a significant number of tourists will head to less popular and more remote locations to avoid the crowds and be outdoors instead of visiting museums and other enclosed places in cities. My family and I can’t wait to go on another road trip to Norway to spend time on the shore of beautiful fjords or hike to the iconic “rocks” again. It’s a perfect destination for post-pandemic times, as the country is huge and plenty of places to explore
This shift in traveling will ease the pressure on tourism that threatens numerous cities such as Venice or Barcelona, just to mention a few. The hospitality industry will be a bit more sustainable, at least for a while.
We will visit expansive remote areas
Charlotte Tweed, CEO of A Wandering Web Travels – Current location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
After COVID-19, a surge in day trips and visits to smaller communities with fewer people is probable. Travelling long distances may take some time again as people will be fearful of the monsters that may or may not be up ahead. Visits to open areas, parks, and remote areas will also increase as people will want less contact with other humans but will need to fuel the built-in desire to explore.
Also foreseeable is a change to airline policies. Reductions or elimination of cancellation or change fees for those travelling who are sick should be addressed. Mandatory screening for illnesses, such as taking temperatures, at airports is likely.
A reduction in the use of public transit such as trains and buses is also to be expected as people may gravitate toward rental cars to keep their space sanitised.
Large group tours may lose appeal while people favour smaller, even individualized, personalized tours with a private guide, or self-guided options. The size of group tours could likely reduce to no more than ten people, including the guide and driver.
With all the negativity and fear being spread, I still find solace in travel and dreaming of places I long to visit again. Italy is that place for me. From the outstanding archaeological sites like Pompeii, to the medieval walled towns adorning the Tuscan hills, to the fresh foods and sauces, to the sweet limoncello with a punch, to the expressive people—I can’t wait to experience it all again.
Family focused, measured and mindful
I think moving forward travel will be measured, mindful and intentional. It would not be frivolous anymore – not to hop around destinations, take selfies at cool locations or to show off how many places you have been to. We would go back to normal at some point, but it would be gradual. I think international travel would be for essential business needs and for family reunions. We would see a rise in local travel and more people will take a holiday closer to home.
As for me, while our family travel bucket list is endless, we would prioritiSe visiting our family in India. We were hoping to visit the Italian Alps or go back to Africa this year, but I would be rather be visiting my Dad and in-laws in India before any other travel. My dad was supposed to come to visit us in Dallas which got put on hold because of Covid-19. Luckily, he lives with my sister in Chennai and is in good hands but I would love to go see him and the rest of the family. Africa and Italy might have to wait!
Multi-Generational holidays that connect with heritage
The recent COVID-19 pandemic is something no one has experienced before and the only solace I find is that, in a strange way, it’s comforting to know we’re all in this together. Our world may truly be bonded by it for a long time to come. This shared experience has torn us all apart in similar ways, torn many of us from our jobs – or our jobs from us, as is the case for those in the travel industry. It has separated families and friends in ways that have us seeking new technologies and old-school methods alike to stay connected.
As an Italian-American travel writer who writes a lot about Italy and the food in Italy, this experience has me thinking about friends there, and what my grandparents and great-grandparents must have been feeling as they said goodbye to their family in Naples, Italy to shove off for distant shores in America.
It’s a little ironic that we now spent our days in isolation at home in Naples, Florida revisiting family recipes and eating way too much.
Most certainly, the way we travel after COVID-19 will have to change, and maybe even for the better. I’m hopeful that more families will make plans to travel and bring the kids and grandparents along as well in multi-generational trips and heritage travel, and perhaps even visit those places that remind us of who we are, what’s important, and our ancestors who in so many cases endured far worse than we will ever have to in our lifetime.
Family travel memories …looking forward to slower family travel in the future
Currently starting on week 4 of not leaving the house, it’s so hard to imagine travel after covid-19 has been contained! We have been taking a trip every two months prior to this and while it never felt rushed, I do think when we can travel again it will be at a little slower pace.
With all of us home for so much longer, we’ve had more time to reminisce on our past trips! We’ve been watching more travel documentaries, making connections to places we’ve been in the past, and looking back through photos more often. We’ve also talked more about the trips we took before we had kids; it’s been fun to spend time talking with them about adventures we had solo.
I think the more reflective, thoughtful way of spending more time talking about the experiences we’ve already had, in addition to getting excited about the next trip we’re planning, will be a positive silver lining for all of us from living through the pandemic! It’s corny but true; I’m most excited to travel to my favourite places near where we live. Get a taste for the mountains we call home with this list of easy hikes near Asheville, NC!
We will want to connect in person with family and friends
Heather Cowper, Founder, Travel blogger and publisher of Heather On Her Travels – Current location: Bristol, UK
At the moment I can see from my much diminished blog traffic that everyone’s thoughts are on getting through this crisis with health, sanity and bank balance intact, rather than on thinking about travel. But once we turn the corner and the virus appears to be under control I predict that we’ll all start looking forward and planning to travel again.
Come the summer and autumn I expect that we’ll be keen to rearrange travel plans that we had to postpone in the spring, so that as soon as it’s safe to travel there may be a surge of demand, and goodness knows we’ll all need a holiday by then! The question is what shape the travel industry will be in by then and we may not find there’s as much choice or good deals, as travel businesses large and small may not have survived the crisis.
It’s also likely that the lockdown that’s in place around the world will need to be lifted gradually to avoid a second wave of infections. This factor, together with the caution that’s all been instilled into us, is likely to mean that domestic tourism recovers first, as we all decide to explore what’s closest to home and reconnect in person with friends and family.
We will want to see family and friends in safe settings
Cristina Leyva Owner CRISANDKIM #crisandkimtraveldesigners – Current location: Marbella, Spain
“I’m going on a trip” is one of the hot topics that most people who are confined to their homes are starting to think about, and right now we are thinking about where we will go when all of this has passed.
One thing that we have clear at @crisandkimtraveldesigners is that the first journeys that will be made between July and September will be close trips, by car or by plane around Europe to see family, friends and the sea or the countryside in the middle of nature according to the client’s personal taste.
It is also clear that spacious villas will be a popular choice for our customers, as they will be places that visitors can feel safe. Additionally, to reduce or remove fear, people will choose destinations such as high-quality hotels that can demonstrate an excellent approach towards security, sanitisation and hygiene.
At the same time, we are going to see a change in travel trends, with clients seeking ecological, natural and healthy experiences. So I am convinced that those destinations and places that can facilitate this offer together with health security are going to be the first to grow.
A couple of the destinations within Europe that I would recommend are the Scottish Highlands or Lapland. These are isolated places that offer wonderful nature, gastronomy and experiences in private properties. These will surely be amongst the most attractive destinations to visit in the short term and where I plan to go this summer – or when it is safe to travel again.
Here in Spain, I would recommend Andalusia, where you can stay in a house near the sea or in the countryside in a striking setting such as in Ronda. From there you can make day trips to the white villages, the Alhambra in Granada, ride a horse and enjoy the local gastronomy
I’m looking forwards to taking the TGV to my favourite destination – beautiful Nice in France’s sunny south
It seems like only a few weeks ago that we were planning or had booked trips for 2020. Like many others, I visualised strolling through hilltop villages, enjoying a beer in Old Nice or even a game of boules! A trip to the Mezzogiorno to explore the Italian Region of Puglia and its Trulli dwellings was planned and another to revisit the Dordogne in France to do some research for my forthcoming travel app and see friends. Finally, a return to Ireland was envisaged following a great family holiday there last year.
However, in common with many others, I have had to revise my plans and accept that, while some limited travel may be possible later in the year, it will be 2021 before things start getting back to anything like normal. Having said that, maybe we should take the opportunity to rethink how we travel and this could be the time to do just that.
Already we are seeing huge improvements in air quality – a colleague in Sausolito, California noted she could now see clearly over San Francisco Bay, a completely new experience for her. I’ve noticed the same here in the UK and perhaps we should all be seeking to travel less by air and make greater use of public transport where possible. Another trend may be for us all to remain closer to home – the so-called ‘staycation’ could become increasingly popular.
Yes, let’s all look forward to resuming our travels soon but let’s also try to be more responsible in how we do it. Perhaps go by train where possible and to that end I’m looking forwards to taking the TGV to my favourite destination – beautiful Nice in France’s sunny south!
We will travel more by train
If there is one thing the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted then it’s how our normal way of living and travelling has impacted our beautiful planet. As travellers, we want to discover the beauty of the world out there, not ruin it. Therefore, I think it’s important to adopt a more sustainable way of travelling. Starting by prioritising train travel over air travel.
Travelling by train has always been a beautiful way to get where you’re going, transforming your travel into a journey. You get to see landscapes you would never get to see from a plane or car. Trains cross through countrysides and open up places that would otherwise remain unseen.
In Europe, we are lucky to have amazing rail networks. Travelling by train is very often overlooked because it is considered too slow and tedious but it’s actually not as difficult as we would think.
There are more and more high-speed trains and in certain cases, it’s way quicker than flying! Also, stations are always located in the city centres which means that it will save you time once you get there.
If you are looking for an adventure, you can choose to take an Interrail pass that will give you access to all European countries.
Going on a train ride is part of the journey. It doesn’t mean you will travel less. You will actually travel more but in a different way and more importantly, you’ll protect our beautiful planet.
The place I want to go first will be by train and is Harry Potter Studios in London.
As much as I like Harry Potter, I would never have thought it’d be the place that I want to go the most but yet here we are.
My cousin and I have been trying to organise a trip there for years. She is a massive fan and I always wanted to take her there (as I live in the UK). This year, all stars were finally aligned and we booked everything for July.
Although I know it won’t happen in July, the first thing I want to do after this crisis is enjoying my family and go there with her.
The airline industry will experience a procedural facelife
While no one can completely predict how life will change after COVID-19, it isn’t a complete mystery either. Often, at least in Western media, the majority of people concentrate too much on the fact that a mass viral outbreak has not personally happened in their region. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened anywhere though; many countries in Asia, Africa, and beyond have lived through viral outbreaks.
However, in any global crisis, public health or otherwise, there are behavioural changes that are incorporated into the “new normal” moving forward. In the particular case of COVID-19, the airline industry will experience a procedure facelift when it comes to cleaning practices and reservation flexibility.
Airlines have recently released their cleaning practices for their planes, and it is information that helps reassure passengers of their safety aboard the plane. Whether or not airlines were already disinfecting between each flight is another question, but it is a practice that is sure to stick around even after the crisis has passed. Airlines have also seen an immense amount of support for airlines that first jumped on flexible cancellation policies – the ones that didn’t wait until they were FORCED to offer refunds.
People, in general, are more willing to book flights when there is less of a risk, so hopefully, airlines either lower their fees for changes or offer airline credit for flight cancellations – because people WILL rebook. Lastly, airlines SHOULD learn the value of saving money for emergencies and not reinvesting all of their profits into their own stock. The airline industry has witnessed three major crises in the past decade, and apparently they still haven’t learned the importance of a rainy day fund. In any case, I’m just waiting for travel to resume so I can make my way back to Mexico!
I might wear a face mask when it is possible to fly again safely
Jeanine Consoli, Freelance Writer and Travel Blogger at JConsTravel – Current location:
Washington Crossing, PA , USA
What will travel look like after COVID-19? I believe after a short pause, we will go back to exploring our world. As the globe recovers from the virus and slowly begins to open again, we will get on planes and travel to the destinations of our dreams. As a travel writer and blogger, the journey is not only my passion, it’s my occupation. It is a massive part of my life.
I have two upcoming trips planned to Europe this summer. I have reservations to fly to Greece in late May to celebrate my daughters’ college graduation. Each day I stop myself from canceling the plans with the hope that we will be able to go. I will wait until the last moment possible before I take that action.
In August, my husband and I are flying to Ireland to celebrate his dream of golfing in the Emerald Isle. We believe we will make that dream a reality. In the future, I long to return to London, which is one of my favorite cities. We went during the spring of 2016 and miss our visits to Borough Market, enjoying high tea at Claridge’s, and views of Big Ben.
I still want to travel. I might wear a face mask on my upcoming flight, which is something I have never done before and make sure to wash my hands incessantly, but even with more precautions, COVID-19 will not stop me.
There will be a huge focus on policies regarding sanitisation and hygiene
Dott. Valentino Coletto, CEO & Owner of Reframed who help people relocate – Current location: Cittadella, Italy
To be honest I can’t make a prophecy and especially in this period of emergency no ones can have a crystal ball to see the future but I can tell you what our customers ask us over the phone or via email. When choosing the travel package, the customers, especially the older ones, are going to pay more attention to hotels that guarantee greater safety and security according to their policies regarding sanitisation and hygiene.
They request increased standards about those topics and they also have more questions about how the different areas of the facilities (restaurant, bar, spa, gym) are being managed and controlled by the staff. Right now we see these matters are their major concern, surely more important than saving money.
Sanitisation processes on airplanes are also another issue that customers are asking about and the airlines would deal with them more carefully by explaining how their planes are safe and every flight too.
Without doubt, travellers especially in the first period will be more than welcome to accept more checks at airports through technologically advanced tools and protocols to limit the spread of diseases thanks to more in-depth and faster checks of both passengers and workers at these hubs.
When it is safe to fly travel again, I most look forward to going back, to Paphos, Cyprus.
I will be more conscious of hygiene
Tiffany Williams, Creator of Leolivingfree – Current location: Mexico
Once this virus has been resolved, there will be positive and negative effects on the travel world. I have the sense that those people who were initially contemplating international travel via airline or cruise ship will no longer be inclined to do so. This fear can impact major regions such as Europe and Asia, China, in particular, deterring people from visiting. Many small businesses will suffer from this loss of prospective clients, and unlike the heavy-hitters of the travel industry, they will not be able to recover.
I do believe the travel & tourism industry will temporarily revise their changes and cancellation policies to increase flexibility. Being so strict with these policies especially during global pandemics is bad for business.
People will travel more consciously and cautiously once the coronavirus is stabilised. The number of people travelling during the off-season or to lesser-known towns to avoid large crowds will increase I don’t think we will see a lot of tourist-flooded beaches and attractions. This can reduce over-tourism.
As for hygiene, travellers and adventure eaters will demand higher levels of sanitation and food safety in their accommodations and eateries. I also think that those frequent flyers will appreciate their ability to travel and see it as a privilege that can be taken away not an undeniable right regardless of which country your passport is from.
As for me, I will be more conscious of how what I do affects others and put more stress on hygiene while travelling.
I think the cruise industry will make a comeback
Lauren Covino Smith, Expat Chronicles – Current location: Barcelona
If any industry has taken a hard hit from the effects of COVID-19 it is undoubtedly travel. Airlines, hotels, theme parks, attractions and of course cruise lines are estimated to have lost billions of dollars in revenue collectively. Not to mention leaving thousands without work.
And while these companies are suffering tremendous loss at the current state of the world, there will come a day in the near future (sooner than later we hope!) when the travel industry bounces back. Bigger than ever? Many are speculating…
Well before the Coronavirus took the planet by storm, the cruise industry was already the centre of controversy in the travel world. From cleanliness/quality issues, environmental concerns and tourist crowding complaints by port cities, cruises have developed somewhat of a questionable reputation.
But as someone who has been on more than half a dozen cruises, I happen to think it’s a fantastic way to travel. I still do today. I appreciate the industry’s effort to follow emissions guidelines and respond to environmental concerns as best as they can. And I also believe this industry will emerge as one of the greatest comebacks post pandemic and here are the reasons why.
First, my family and I were relocated from the U.S. to Barcelona in August 2017 just one week after the horrific terrorist attack on La Rambla. As terrified as we were to move to a city that was on high alert, it was also the very best time. The city was heavily armed with police in all tourist areas and actually never felt safer.
The same will happen once the global travel restrictions are finally lifted. Cruise lines will take more preventative measures than ever before to ensure their vessels are spotless and disinfected from floor to ceiling. Increased health standards and better equipped medical facilities will be put in place to protect travelers.
Service by staff should be exceptional for cruise companies, since rebuilding the confidence and faith of travellers lies in their hands! And finally, quality of food will be kept under a watchful eye to ensure only the very best cooking methods are put in place.
Anything less than a stellar response from the cruise industry will be detrimental to its future. Which is also why the very best booking deals and discounts will be available in the coming months. Travelers would be silly not to take advantage of them!
Just like the post-terror attack in Barcelona, the very best time to plan a cruise will be once the travel restrictions across the world are lifted and our freedom to travel is once again granted.
Quote from the Forbes article: “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship. CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment.”
Virtual vs reality
Matthew Brown, Travel blogger at Still as Life – Current location: Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia
COVID-19 has increased the popularity of virtual travel and I think this will continue. Immersive technology is improving rapidly, however, there is nothing that truly emulates being somewhere. No level of AI & VR is able to replicate the feeling of climbing up to the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye, battling against 30 mph winds, warm sun one moment, cool spots of speckled snow the next.
There’s nothing like walking the streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town and feeling like you have stepped into both history and a movie set. Visiting a place in VR, at the back of your mind you know you aren’t really there, you aren’t really feeling it.
I see travel splitting into two markets, virtual and real. Those that don’t have a desire to truly feel a place will be satisfied with VR. Those that need to know what it is like to walk across the causeway at the Brough of Birsay and look to the left as a freak wave whipped up by the wind roars over the causeway leaving you sopping wet, those people will drive physical travel after COVID-19.
The unexpected things that AI and VR can’t yet account for make the experience truly unique, and truly show you what a place is like. You can’t get that from VR. My wife and I left Scotland in mid-March, 2020, halfway through our trip there and we can’t wait to go back as soon as it’s safe to travel!
More people may consider becoming vegans or vegetarians
Once travel becomes possible again, I think we will see a much greater interest in vegetarian and vegan travel. People are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers associated with eating animals. In addition to common health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer, our consumption of animals is also creating epidemics and pandemics like COVID-19.
Experts believe that the current pandemic started in a wet market in China, where animals are sold for human consumption. And this is not at all unusual. In fact, more than 75% of emerging infectious diseases originate in animals and then make the jump to humans. If we want to avoid more pandemics like this in the future, the most effective thing we can do is switch to a plant-based diet.
Fortunately, eating plant-based while traveling has never been easier. Over the past few years, veggie options have sprung up like mushrooms all around the world. There’s no need to be afraid of missing out on local specialties, as these are often available in vegan versions. You can dig into a vegan feijoada in Rio de Janeiro, a vegan currywurst in Berlin, or a vegan bowl of ramen in Kyoto.
And in addition to these veganized dishes, there are many lesser-known local specialties that are already vegan by default. By seeking these out, you can delve deeper into the local cuisine and culture of the places you visit.
An increased focus in off-the-beaten-track tours
Sarah Bartesaghi Truong, Founder of VeniVidiParis – Current location: Paris, France
As an expert in the luxury end of the market, I think we are in for an extended lull in bookings, even once the health side of the pandemic has been sorted, because disposable income, even for UHNWI, has taken a hit. Most of our customers hail from the US, who are behind us on the curve of contagion, so I doubt they will be back for the Spring and Summer, which are usually our stronger months.
As far as how things will be once the dust has settled down, I think the long term negative effects will be:
– homestays, like Airbnb, will take a massive hit, as people will worry about the hygiene conditions much more than they did before;
– group travel will be hit as well, with negative ripple effects on coach rental companies and independent guides;
– for a while, much less appetite for experiences with locals, for hygiene reasons (going for a cooking class at the home of a stranger, for instance);
– attractions drawing very large crowds (in Paris, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower come to mind) will have to devise ways to avoid overcrowding (I am thinking stricter timed-entry tickets and fixed maximum capacity for smaller spaces… access to Mona Lisa will have to be rationed!).
As far as positive effects are concerned, I foresee:
– more travel in off-peak season;
– the exponential growth of virtual guides (with apps like Gesso mushrooming everywhere);
– hopefully, growth for companies like us that offer small group, off-the-beaten-track tours.
Increased focus on travel insurance
We used to live in Abu Dhabi and would often be visited by friends and family from back home. They were leaving their worries behind, flying down to get some sun and have a good time. Most of them would forget to bring sunscreen and would almost immediately be burned by the scorching desert sun. Another thing many of them would forget about was travel insurance. It just wasn’t on their mind.
When we asked about why that is, the answer was always just that nothing ever happened to them. Could it really be true that you need to be sick or have an accident abroad before travel insurance becomes a priority for you? It appears so.
However, after COVID-19, this is hardly a problem anymore. For the next many years, one would expect and hope that travel insurance is at the top of people’s travel plan! Only time can tell, but it sure looks like we are entering the golden age of the travel insurance companies. Hopefully, they’ll be decent about and not try to take too much advantage of people’s fears.
To the right is our photo from Iceland, which is definitely the country we’re most longing to go back to
Staycations are being promoted in some countries
I personally believe that the “aftermath” phase for the travel industry will be a slow process and probably happening not before late Summer. The “Domino effect” of country lockdowns at a global level will revert in the recuperation period as mobility will be challenged by the airlines uncertain routing strategy.
Some countries in Europe, historical hosts of holiday travel experiences, such as Spain and Italy for example, heavily affected by delayed sanitary responses and bent by the post virus economical recessions. These places are already inspiring travellers to spend “staycations” this summer in their countries to help with the recovery of their local economy. This is already happening in different industries, such as food and fashion, with a vision of proximity and sustainability.
The big question mark are the airlines, what will they be able to recover? But mostly, how fast?
In the Balearic islands for example, one of the key Mediterranean epicenters for European tourism, Palma de Mallorca airport welcomed more than 30 Million passengers in 2019, with a track record of consistent growth; it is most possible that, when all is over, we could witness a considerable reduction in flight slots. In the Far east, China inbound airlift is growing back at a rate of 25% week over week, according to Bloomberg but International airlift is being reduced constantly.
When all of this will be finally over, I will be spending a week in Jamaica, discovering parts of the Island that are less known, such as the Blue Mountains or some of the off-the-beaten paths natural waterfalls.
Affected by an economic impact in the disposal budget, travel will become, in the aftermath, something more precious that we will probably spend little less on but with much more qualitative trips. Fly less and travel better.
Staycations will be the most popular choice initially
Irene Caswell, Freelance Travel and Lifestyle Writer, Hashtagtravelling.com – Current location: England, UK
Complacency is a thing of the past. There are lessons for us all to learn including governments, businesses to individuals. There’s no going back to how things were before. You cannot unlearn the experiences from this period in history.
Travel will recover though. Virtual reality can never replace live interaction in personal or business relationships. Tourism is a major element of the UK and global economies but it will need to strategise to build confidence. We’re all too fully aware of how viruses themselves travel. Who would have thought a few weeks ago that cleaning the weekly food shop before you put it away would become second nature?
Once the government gives us the green light I think most people will begin to venture out again with a visit to their local pub or restaurant. Staycations will be the most popular choice initially as it will feel safer to remain close to home for a while. We’ve all been following the stories of cruise ships refused entry to ports and updates from those quarantined in hotels around the world. Social media has brought it all up close and personal. Longer term, people will start travelling far and wide again although maybe with a little less insouciance.
There are many places on my travel wish list. Like all travel writers I’ve had trips cancelled since the pandemic begun. I’m hoping I’ll still be able to travel to Canada in the autumn but that might be too optimistic. I toured the Languedoc vineyards last summer and look forward to returning to enjoy more of that elegant lifestyle of wine, food and culture.
Focus on fun staycations or day trips
Carmen Edelson, Founder of Carmen’s Luxury Travel – Current location: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
Once the world starts opening up again for travel, I don’t think there will be an immediate surge. People will still be suffering financially, or perhaps some will be too scared to join crowded airports or cruise ships right away. However, I believe towards the end of the year near the holidays, things will hopefully start getting back to normal.
During this time of transition, everyone should try and support their local businesses, and perhaps focus on fun staycations or day trips in their area.
The first couple of trips I’m looking forward to going on are to both Cuba and the Canary Islands to visit my family. I’m used to only seeing them a couple times a year, but it has been difficult not knowing when exactly the next time we will be reunited. Above all else though, it is important to remain hopeful and positive; this too shall pass.
Walking and working: my favourite type of holiday
Matthew Hirtes, Author, Travel Writer & Copywriter – – Current location: Gran Canaria, Spain
How will we travel after COVID-19? It’s a difficult question to answer because we’re still not sure when lockdowns will finish and travel restrictions lifted. However, people will be desperate to return to travelling. Despite this, I think the frenzy for flight will be tempered. People will practise social distancing.
Overfamiliar cities will be shunned in favour of lesser-known hordes-free destinations. That’s my head writing. But my heart says there will be a fair share of tourists who will want to visit old haunts with the ease of putting your feet into your favourite pair of comfortable slippers.
That’s not the reason I want to return to La Palma. The last time I visited this Canary Island was for Telegraph Travel to review a couple of hotels. I’d love to go back and explore La Palma using my favourite mode of transport: my own two feet. That’s my idea of a holiday: a walking/working one.
The Little Museum of Dublin explores this
Trevor White, Director of The Little Museum of Dublin – – Current location: Dublin, Ireland
At this strange and troubling moment in history, all of us face a threat to our health – and to our way of life.
But this is not the first time that people have faced such a challenge. For example, in August 1348 we know that the Black Death reached Ireland. By that Christmas the plague had taken the lives of nearly 14,000 Dubliners.
In charting human struggles, museums provide much-needed perspective, by reminding us of previous ordeals. But they also remind us of our fortitude.
Together we will find our way through to the future. It won’t be easy, and there may well be further hurdles along the way, but we are resilient, and we will thrive once again.
In the meantime, as someone who recognises the value of the Little Museum, you may want to engage with our work online, via our website or on social media.
And if you can afford to do so, please support our team by buying a Solidarity Ticket. This ticket can be used to visit the museum once any time in the next two years.
To buy your Solidarity Ticket for €15, just click here.
If you would prefer to become a member of the museum, which is a registered charity, please click here. Membership costs from €30. It grants you unlimited access for a year from the day the museum reopens.
Your generosity will sustain and prepare us for the moment when we can open our doors and welcome you once again.
Until then, I invite you to draw inspiration from the rich history of our city and the fortitude of our citizens.
With thanks, love and hope from all of us to all of you, Trevor White
Airline industry observations and many other great insights from Tourism Lecturer, Maria Murphy
Maria Murphy, Tourism Lecturer at GMIT – Current location: Galway, Ireland
My personal feelings and opinion regarding Travel and Tourism in Ireland
In some ways I think it will be a very different world when this is all over. But in other ways, people will go back to doing what they always did, including eating out in restaurants, drinking in pubs and coffee shops and travelling. But they might do it differently.
Different generations will react differently. Generation Z, Snowflakes, Generation Y and some millennials, who when it came to travel were more cautious to begin with than the previous generations. Many of their travel experiences were shaped by annual family ski holidays, five-star resorts and parent’s credit cards. Yes, they will still have the desire to travel, but maybe not the financial whereabouts. They may end up, like our generations, having to work first and then travel. Or indeed work whilst taking that year in Australia, rather than just travelling around it.
But the more notable differences will be seen with the consumer behaviour and travel preferences of the bulk of the Millenials, Generation X and the Baby Boomers. For those Irish that were badly affected economically by the crisis, travel will be a luxury they will not be able to afford for the foreseeable future.
And for those not financially impacted, I do believe they will be more cautious about where they travel to, the number and quality of trips they take and will be more socially and environmentally aware. To begin with, they will want the confidence of travelling nearer to home so this in turn will be good for the Domestic Irish travel market.
In Ireland we have a great quality product that in 2018 was enjoyed by over 11 million international visitors. Whilst there will be a significant drop in these figures for some time to come, the Irish will be dying to get out and explore and re-discover their beautiful island.
I always believed Transport had huge impacts on climate change. Another silver lining will emerge from this crisis when it comes to how we travel. There will be a lot of consolidation with the airlines and Ryanair will be one of the largest players in a much reduced sector. Air travel will be more expensive, despite the lower oil prices, as a result of fewer routes being available. But Ryanair will have a large share of this market. Aer Lingus may perhaps be bought back by the Irish Government and run as our state carrier.
People may choose private cars over public transport from a hygiene perspective. But walking and cycling routes and infrastructure will hopefully get high priority in terms of funding and improvement which is great for health and sustainability reasons.
For the Accommodation product, people will want reassurance around cleanliness and hygiene standards. This will have an impact for businesses like Airbnb and Homestay or self-catering, which may require a certification of hygiene from a cleaning company after each guest or more regulations to be put in place by the industry. There will be far fewer properties in Ireland available on Airbnb and Homestay as owners may choose to go back to renting out properties to long term tenants instead, which will bring many positives and help towards alleviating our homeless crisis. Travellers will be more likely to choose smaller boutique hotels or luxury hostels which are better value and more regulated. But they will still be looking for Luxury but for Less rather than choosing big brand hotels.
There will be many positives for small, medium and local enterprises, cottage industry and artisan products across the regions. These include attractions, activities, retail, food and beverage businesses. In particular, family owned businesses that demonstrated good social responsible practises during the crisis and were seen to be ‘doing the right thing’ will be better supported than the large chains and mass produced products. Businesses that supported local communities, closed
when they were supposed to, opened if they could and fed the front-line workers, often for free or through donations. And those that responded quickly and innovatively with new forms of distribution of their goods, which still allowed people to get what they needed during the crisis such as Take away, delivery, on-line payments, etc. will prosper.
There were so many positive stories throughout the crisis of community and people helping each other. Hopefully that will continue and people throughout the world will be nicer and kinder.
Predictions are that many tourism and hospitality jobs will be replaced by robots in areas such as check-in, cleaning, service, etc. But I believe visitors and customers will be more hungry for human interaction, good customer services and the personal touches. And Irish people have buckets of that to offer. And that is where little old Ireland and the Irish people will come into its own. And rediscover and take pride in their own land and have it ready for the international visitors when they start to return.
As for tourism and travel right now, I guess it’s as unpredictable as my future career in it!
While sitting here at my kitchen table (home in Bray) in front of daffodils propped in a vase, to the sound of my sister mowing the lawn (deciding she can live without facetime for an hour!). It’s amazing really, how these homely additions can create such a subtle warmth, especially compared to my student home in Galway where a vase would be replaced by maybe a half empty naggin of vodka (never mine!), most likely finding a clutch owned by one of the girls with maybe a false eyelash hanging out and the remnants of coins from the taxi the night before splurged all over the counter.
This time a month ago I’d be just finished my multimedia lecture, heading back to the house that I share with nine other girls (not as crazy as you’d think). Now, however due to the current situation, I am at home completing my 3rd year of International Tourism Management remotely using online materials and forums… and well my little house in Galway seems like almost a distant memory!
Whenever I find myself in a strop during this quarantine, I try to shake it off reminding myself that I’m in much more of a privileged situation than many. I’ve managed to have some enlightening moments… being grateful for a home with flowers in vases and rather lovely (and equally testing) family members, quality time with a little sister whose not so little anymore, an appreciation for technology but craving for conversations with actual 3D friends/work colleagues/lectures/shopkeeper/baristas/librarians and any human that does not share my DNA and a massive admiration for all of these people … who, I have come to realise fill my day with purpose.
As for tourism and travel right now, I guess it’s as unpredictable as my future career in it! I’m not sure it will ever go back to the way it was, but I take comfort in the innate ability us humans have to evolve, adapt and grow in testing times!
So, I’m optimistic a new way will be carved. So I guess I’ll wade my way through online lectures (where someone without fail will interrupt the class, purposefully switching their mic on, blaring Imagine Dragons to grace the ears of 30 students and a rather irritated lecturer!) drifting in and out of my reoccurring daydream of myself, on a beach, soaking up them delicious sun rays, trading the sound of lawnmowers for crashing waves, cocktail shakers and a mumble of happy chatter from relaxed folk whiling away their time. (Can you tell I’ve watched Mamma Mia on repeat!).
Although our current students are undergoing understandable shock, our numbers may go up in the future
Maria Murphy, Lecturer at GMIT – Current location: Galway, Ireland
As a Tourism and Hospitality lecturer for the past twenty years, in the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, on the west coast of Ireland, I am monitoring all this carefully, to see how this crisis will affect our current students and future graduates, often referred to as the ‘Snowflake’ generation. In 2019/20, GMIT’s hotel school has approximately 600 students attending programmes, with 300 students (full-time & part-time) expected to graduate this year and looking for full time positions.
In 2009, this number was approximately 1,200 – 1,500, so the sector in Ireland has seen a big drop in students choosing a career in Tourism and Hospitality in recent years. Businesses in turn were faced with huge skills gaps and shortages, particularly in the hospitality and food sectors.
On Wednesday, March 4th, GMIT Hotel School welcomed over 150 employers for their annual Tourism and Hospitality Careers Fair in the Galway Campus. Representatives from the Irish and International hotel,
tourism and hospitality industry travelled to Galway to offer both placement and graduate opportunities in an industry that’s biggest challenge at the time, was to source well trained and committed placement students and employees.
For the students, the world was to be their oyster. Their biggest challenge in fact, was ‘which job to choose and where in the world to go’? The polar opposite to when I graduated in the 1990s. We were all leaving Ireland for very different reasons and certainly not with the same choices to make.
Unfortunately, now for those 2020 businesses, graduates and students, they will be entering a very different world when this COVID-19 issue is resolved.
It is too early to predict how many businesses in Ireland will not re-open. But the priority for those that do will be to retain the employees that they had to let go during the crisis. Staff shortages and finding talented employees will no longer be their biggest challenge.
Students and graduates on the other hand will still have the desire to travel and will not be as affected by many of the concerns around international travel facing the older generations (Baby Boomers and Generation X) such as health, safety and quality assurance. The choice of jobs however will be less, and competition will be greater for key positions and career progression.
The biggest challenge for the Irish Tourism and Hospitality educational sector prior to Covid 19 were dwindling student numbers and the ceasing and consolidation of many tourism and hospitality programmes across the institutes and the country. The recession of 2008 saw a large increase in students choosing to study in this field. Perhaps this will be the case again in our new Covid-19 world! So maybe every cloud …………..!
I believe that health tourism and retreats will see a significant increase
Jackie De Burca, Creator of Travel Inspires, & Author of Salvador Dalí at Home – Current location: Valencia, Spain
When the huge, menacing dark cloud that has been sitting on top of the world lifts, I feel we will be more health-conscious than ever before. As we say in Ireland, “Your health is your wealth.” All of us have had plenty of time to think and to embrace what is really important in life after all. We have had our own health and that of our loved ones under threat.
I believe that when we emerge from cocooning many people will feel a new connection to themselves, humanity and the world at large. Health and mindful activities that can be enjoyed in beautiful retreat settings will be valued more than before.
What better way to treat yourself and anyone that you love, than to spend time in an idyllic setting – in a place where health, rejuvenation and perhaps some personal development are top of the list!
When it is considered safe to travel again, the very first place I will travel to is Dublin to see my lovely Dad and Step Mama!!! Further in the future, I would like to discover the indigenous tourism in British Columbia.
Sustained SEO and marketing efforts will help companies bounce back
Paul Johnson, Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog – Current location: Cumbria, England UK
It’s going to be a struggle for the travel industry as for many the main season this year will have already passed by the time we see any notable recovery. Those who will be best placed to bounce back will be those who have managed to sustain some level of marketing, SEO, etc. throughout the crisis, who will emerge with a stronger footing when we come out the other end.
Given that we could be looking towards the back end of the year before we travel internationally again, I am looking forward to the possibility of going to Switzerland in the winter. We were in Gstaad last Summer and had an amazing time.
Eugene Costello, Author & journalist for Daily Mail, Sunday World and various newspapers
….”So I did some research (spent ten minutes on Google) and learnt that Ruzafa is variously described as either the Soho or the Shoreditch of Valencia. (In fact, it’s neither, and is not an especially helpful comparison.) But it is packed with townhouses split into apartments, and mansion blocks, and if you throw a tennis ball in any direction from one’s balcony, there’s a very high chance that you’ll hit a bar, restaurant or café. My kinda place, I thought.”
Follow Eugene’s colourful experiences in his series Home Thoughts From A Fraud: Love In The Time of Corona