What’s happening with travel, the industry and our plans?

Hi, I’m Acha. I am a socially conscious foodie, basically a Gen-Xer Bringing you researcher insights with city-country insights on real-world issues, come-on climate change and inequality.

Hey, it’s Acha

Travel around the world has been suspended for virtually all of us for the foreseeable future, and while this may have helped our bank balances, I’m sure we’re all desperate to get back out there and get back to exploring.

The future is still as of yet unpredictable, but what we can be sure of us that it will look vastly different to what we were used to pre COVID-19. Although the where and how questions are still left unanswered, there are still some answers we’ve done the job of answering for you.

Some of your questions answered

Will I ever travel? Yes, you will one day again travel. Of course, this can only happen once stringent measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of passengers and once borders reopen. Currently, there is 90% of the world still living under travel restrictions – something unprecedented that we would have laughed about only 6 months ago, who is to say the next few months will not likewise surprise us.

At the moment, some countries are lifting their internal lockdowns (such as New Zealand) after a successful response to managing the national COVID-19 outbreak. However it is unlikely that worldwide all borders will be open before the end of 2020, as some countries are not faring as well in responding to their national outbreaks of the virus. So worst case scenario; expect to keep that bikini filled suitcase in the attic or under your bed until at least 2021 or throw in a raincoat and make the most of a British summer.

How will I travel? There will be new health and safety protocol put into place in order to ensure the safety of passengers while travelling but as of the moment, as we are still learning about the virus and its transmission everyday we do not know exactly what that will look like.

What we can expect is innovation (did you know that the last pandemic, the Spanish Flu, is the reason we have passports today?). What we can imagine though, is that human contact will be reduced with the introduction of touch-less travel. Our advances in technology in the last 40 years means that we can introduce more innovative ways to travel, with automation becoming the new norm.

Things such as a contactless fingerprint or iris and face recognition could be used rather than the manual checking of passports/identification and all booking and checking in processes can be moved online (as is already available now although manual options are still available). This in itself is a tricky space to move into as facial recognition technology has been proven to not be as fool-proof as you would imagine.

Where will I travel? For those of us in the UK, the best place for us to travel is within Europe as being close to home means that it will be easier for us to return if any travel restrictions change within destination countries. Many countries in Europe have begun easing their lockdown restrictions (including us in the UK) and some are now accepting tourists into the country again. As of last Friday, Brits have been allowed to enter Croatia and Portugal is allowing entry from next Saturday – however, as flights are limited some alternative routes may need to be taken to reach your destination e.g. taking a ferry to Germany and driving to Croatia from there. Spain, Italy and Greece will be open to EU visitors from June for the former two and July for the latter, however with the UK freshly out of the EU this may raise further politics around whether the UK falls within international entries or European.

How will I travel? Our best intentions will likely lead us to prioritizing our safety while travelling, so other options are bound to seem more accessible now, like hopping on a ferry to the continental mainland instead of a flight from a crowded airport for a mini-break. Until we return, the bustling cities and beaches of the med await our arrival.

Photo by Michael Block on Pexels.com

Look out for next week’s topic.

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