According to Rick Clough reporter for Bloomberg, commercial air traffic is on track to drop by 8.9% this year, which would be the biggest decline since 1978 and only the fourth year that air travel has fallen in that time frame. This doesn’t really come as much of a surprise as the current pandemic has meant the cancellation of a lot of travel and has meant bans on traveling in and out of certain countries. No one knows how long this crisis will continue, and when the world will come out the other side. However, at some point, the virus will be contained, and life will go back to normal – but what will normal be?
**This is a collaborative post.
With the increasing pressure to reduce carbon footprints combined with the fact that we will have to adapt to new ways traveling or not traveling during this pandemic, it looks as though the way we travel will change for the future.
It is clear that travel is a large contributing factor to this virus spreading, and it is in times of crisis like this that innovators are inspired to create new ways of doing things and solutions to these problems. As companies and innovators look for more solutions for businesses to rely upon in terms of technology, these solutions may dissuade future business travel. This could be things like artificial intelligence and advanced machinery to solve issues before sending employees abroad. Companies may now invest in more telecommunication between sites and spend less on expensive airfare and hotel stay. This will cause airlines to take a hit, given that business travelers who take up 12% of all airline seats account for nearly 75% of annual profit.
The tourism sector is so far seeing the most drastic hit, as flights are canceled, cruises have a bad rep, and who knows if the cruise industry will recover? Hotels will suffer too and then any other business in any area that relies on tourism and tourists. While there is no doubt that people will be keen to explore the world and relax on a beach again once the pandemic subsides, it may take some time before the industry that hires about one in 10 people recovers. It may also change the way people book holidays now. People will be more cautious out of fear of contracting an illness or ending up being stuck somewhere abroad and not being able to get back. While before you might have been searching for ‘How to get to the Galapagos Islands’, you will now be looking for the safety of a country and how to get home if something happens. Solutions and innovations will arise, though, and the world and the travel industry will change as a result.
Employees and institutions might find they like parts of the new, more remote status quo, but it’s not just work either; it’s in our personal lives too. People might actually find that they like the way things will change and how the disruptions we experience, for example, having more deliveries of goods, doing more cooking and less eating out and more indoor entertainment over live entertainment.
All these changes suggest a way of business and life in which people travel much less than you do now.