Impact of COVID-19 on Travel Industry
How is the travel industry affected by COVID-19?
The short answer: never been worse.
- cities are in lock-down
- travelers are canceling bookings for tours, accommodations and flights
- attractions are closed
Small businesses are dying, while the rest are trying to survive and optimize their cash flow as much as possible
Depending on how long this crisis will last, our behavior as travelers will be more – or a lot more – impacted.
As our experience is in the luxury travel and private experiences business, here are our thoughts about how travel will change.
Two predictions for the future of tours
1. The new age will be that of individual travel and private tours
After weeks, possibly months of isolation and self-avoidance, travelers will have second thoughts before engaging in any tours with large groups. Especially, if it’s about exploring with a group of strangers in a foreign country.
As an alternative, our bet is that people will shift towards exploring on their own and preffering private tours. Actually, this is a trend that was already happening.
According to this Arival report from 2019, U.S. travelers had already a clear preference for private tours and small groups.
Then, on a general level, 50% of people are already exploring on their own and these changes will only increase the percentage.
2. Focus on price-sensitive activities and better value for money
COVID-19 is causing both a health and a financial crisis that will most likely alter people’s budget spend. In this regard, travel and tours, specifically, will be a more concerned subject for travelers.
Even when travel starts to recover, it will begin with flights and accommodation at the forefront, so the expectation is for people to become more interested in budget-friendly travel and services will be in a second places when it comes to health and safety consideration.