5 travel & tourism trends post COVID 19

1. Airports

Frankfurt Airport

Airports will be less crowded. Which is not such good news for many brands in F&B, lifestyle, electronics and more which were getting reasonably large volumes from retailing at airports. But for flyers, lesser crowded airports may still not make flying more pleasurable as health-checks may get added to check-in routines, enhancing the wait at airports.

2. Luxury Hotels

A fine Luxury Hotel

Luxury hotels may come cheaper. With demand likely to remain sluggish for some time ahead, the luxury segment may have no choice but to reduce tariffs. Lower occupancy and lower room rates will be a double whammy for the starred chains. Tough!

3. Cruises

Cruises in the North of the Globe

Cruises may be shunned for a while. This sector is heavily impacted globally. Even the Trump package in the US has not benefitted the cruise liners because most of them were entities registered in tax-havens. So, the cruise business is in really big trouble. Indians have been checking out cruises in South East Asia, the Caribbean and to Alaska in reasonably large numbers. That flow is going to move into negative territory for some time.

4. Road Trips

Just hitting the road and enjoying freedom

Road-trips may find greater favor. Families and youngsters are likely to opt for more of drive-outs, especially on long weekends and for short vacations. So, near-city travel is likely to see an uptick. Such vacationers may not however be high-ticket customers; more likely to be budget travelers looking for clean comfort and hygiene rather than frills and luxury.

5. Shopping

Shopping

Shopping will suffer serious setback. Indians are known to be shopaholics. The reason Bangkok, Dubai and the like are favorite destinations are not just because of the sight-seeing, but because of the shopping. Even group travelers travelling on Indian tours to Europe actually get exclusive time to shop. With travel itself getting curtailed, the shopping binges will also have to recede till better times.

Customer will have more choice, more flexibility. While business was booming over the past few years, many service providers had started to become arrogant and inflexible. Indigo airlines, for example, had started to charge for almost everything, except the water served in a paper tumbler, and for the loo. Some of that is likely to change: airlines and hotels are likely to be more accommodating on postponements, cancellation, early check-ins, late check-outs especially for loyalty customers. So upgrades, extras and freebies would be welcome surprises at many places that had forgotten the true meaning of ‘hospitality’!


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