Future of Travelling after COVID

Future of Traveling after COVID-19

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has put the entire world population under lockdown. Not only do the international borders but also borders within a nation have been sealed. Truly, the Coronavirus has changed everything that human beings have never imagined of.

Talking about the travel industry, it has toppled global travel too. It has brought travel and tourism to a near-standstill.

Countries at Risk from Falling Tourism

Data from the World Travel & Tourism Council shows Mexico is the most vulnerable country, followed by Spain and Italy with 15.5%, 14.3%, and 13.0% of its GDP relying on travel and tourism respectively. In the United States alone, 16.8 million jobs in the travel sector have been jeopardized.

Take a look at the following chart that illustrates countries that are most vulnerable to the Coronavirus impact on tourism –













United Kingdom


United States














South Korea


Things Have Started to Take a ‘U’ Turn in Many Travel Destinations Including Dubai

But, slowly and gradually – things have started to change. There are a few countries that couldn’t hold on to simply lockdown by restricting foreign travelers. One of the recent destinations that have reopened its borders for international tourists is Dubai. World-famous for some of the superlative attractions, high-end shopping malls, swanky hotels, and balmy beaches, the desert city is confident about bringing business back once again.

The emirate is all set to boost its economy that’s been hard hit by the Coronavirus after several months of closed borders and grounded flights. It sees its aggressive testing as well as sanitization campaigns everywhere – from airports to hotels and malls. Tourism accounts for 11.5% of Dubai’s GDP. Before COVID-19 struck, Dubai expected a whopping 20 million visitors in 2020. Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism told to one of the global news channels, “We’re very excited about this because tourism is a key pillar for Dubai. We have been making sure that the public and visitors’ health and safety is of utmost importance.” He further added, “I think we have to be realistic. What happened on a global scale, it’s not something any one of us would have imagined,” he said. “We of course still are very confident, optimistic in a growth surge, and of course we’ve made sure that during this period of time... Dubai remains top of mind.”

To achieve this – where many countries are still getting Goosebumps – Dubai Tourism carried out a series of marketing campaigns. Some of them are called “We Will See You Soon” (came in June) and “Ready When You Are” (the latest rendition). These campaigns further made sure that safety precautions are well-maintained.

Besides, the Dubai Tourism board has sought help from social media influencers, who have been taking up this opportunity to encourage visitors to plan a trip to Dubai. One of the leading travel vloggers, Nas Daily who has around 2 million followers on Instagram has been uploading live videos from the Burj Khalifa. Such influencers have a huge impact on their followers.

What Travel Could Look Like after COVID-19?

For the first time in history, countries that boast close to 90% of the world’s population have travel restrictions. This is a fact. While they are gearing up and trying out every possible way to make things happen, it’s simply not that easy keeping these facts and figures in mind – more than 100 million travel and tourism jobs and 25 million aviation jobs are at risk.

Nonetheless, the travel industry will bounce back. People will start traveling, but it won’t be the same. Health safety protocols will need to be in place. Further, the use of digital technologies could restore trust and will play an important role in shaping the future of travel. Here are a few key areas where digital technologies will take over the traditional way of traveling that includes checking-in at vacation rentals or hotels, security checks at airports, etc.

  • Touchless Travel: Automation across will become the new norm. Touchless travel is going to be everywhere – from check-ins at accommodations to airport curbside – keeping the current COVID scenario in mind. Biometrics are getting well accepted as hand scanners and physical fingerprints are phased out. Having said that, one cannot deny a significant risk of infection at the time of touching surfaces, exchanging travel documents, boarding, border control, and security. This poses a threat to both staff and travelers. Adequate care should be taken to ensure not only these technologies are inclusive but also measures are taken into consideration to eliminate any potential risk.
  • Healthy Travel after COVID-19: Everyone’s concerned about feeling safe while traveling or, at least, when thinking about visiting places after COVID-19. Although several countries have reopened borders, there isn’t any stipulated standard on the acceptable norm or level of risk for reopening borders. Only at the behest of the travelers, airlines and travel companies can use the personal data including their travel history and health conditions to compile an individual risk profile.

Amid all the efforts to develop or improve health standards using digital technologies for the travel and tourism industry, the use of thermal cameras at various places including the airports are slowly taking over. Also, many nations have started installing contact-tracing and symptom-tracking apps while collaborating with tech giants like Google and Apple. All these would not only enhance the travel experience but also help return to a more relaxed and confident trip.

Social Distancing in the Sky – How Effective Will It Be?

When the domestic flights resumed, airlines were advised to block the middle seats and if possible, limit the number of people in premium cabins. This practice seems to have been continuing till now. “Public health officials will still encourage social distancing and that airlines might continue blocking middle seats or limiting the number of people in premium cabins”, said aviation expert Henry Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research Group. Besides, various measures are being considered when it comes to providing more space between individual passengers in line at security as well as boarding and de-boarding planes.


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