While the exact timeline of recovery from COVID 19 is unclear (many predict a possible two – to six-month window) the impact will eventually pass. Once this is all over, people will travel again. However, we need to understand now that the tourism industry will be facing a new post-COVID19 reality where companies are all competing for wary travelers.
Some of the predictable consequences will be:
1) A gradual come back, not a rush.
Unless any sort of miraculous drug or vaccine has been suddenly discovered, it is expected that the COVID 19 virus will be gradually less frequent as much as the recovered and the immune population increases. The pace that it happens throughout the world will vary because each country will be in a different stage of recovery. People little by little will feel enough confident to risk an adventure away from home and to risk spending some money on it.
2) The new criteria for choosing destinations
Your preferred destinations such as the exotic ones or the most popular ones may not be the targets anymore. In the beginning of the new scenario, tourist will be wary looking for safer places such as the domestic destinations, the less crowded ones or the ones where the pandemic stands most ahead in the declining curve cycle, leaving the riskier destinations for a future opportunity. Another expected behavior will be shorter trips and smaller amounts of destinations gathered during the same holiday.
3) The other side of the coin
Some destinations may not accept your visit, so be prepared! During the decline of the COVID 19 pandemic it will be perfectly normal if a country opens its borders selectively, choosing from which origins tourists may enter or not. Or maybe accepting their enter after a quarantine period. These policies will change quick from time to time, depending on each country policy.
4) Yes, there will be promotions, but…
Following the economic laws, we shall expect that most of the tourism industry players – such as hotels and air companies – will be eager to attract customers as soon as they are allowed to operate again. The low demand scenario during the first months will lead to a price competition between the companies and soon good promotion opportunities will show up. In other hand it is likely that some preferred destinations, such as big economic centers soon get disputed leading to the opposite, to a sudden price rise. It would be very difficult to predict.
No matter what happens, after the ups and downs everything will return to normality. The transition time is the only missing variable.