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Published On: Mon, Mar 29th, 2021

Will Leisure Travel Recover After the Pandemic?

Leisure travel has been one of the hardest-hit industries since the pandemic began, and will likely take the longest to return to pre-covid-19 levels. It used to be easy to travel abroad. Simply get your visa, select your destination, and book your travel arrangements. But as the whole world slowly reopens for travel, the recovery has been slow and gradual, at best. 

The New Normal 

Even when leisure travel does pick up again, it’s going to be a totally different experience. Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida posted an attendance of 10.92 million people in 2019, which was a theme park record. That number is drastically down, as is air travel, after new standards were implemented to protect passengers and ensure that aviation does not become a super spreader event. 

photo courtesy of standard luggage

There are a number of things being done aboard airplanes to minimize the risk of transmission: 

  • Physical distancing 
  • Face coverings 
  • Temperature screening 
  • Simplified service in the cabin
  • Additional cleaning 

As a passenger, you will have to take more personal responsibility for your own safety. You’ll want to double-check your flight schedule before travel, print out boarding pass and baggage tags ahead of time, and check your own health to make sure you are fit to travel before going to the airport. Of course, much of the compliance depends on what world and local governments decide to do as the pandemic continues. 

How the Pandemic Could Increase Airfare and Rental Car Costs

Social distancing might well increase the price of your plane ticket if the airlines decide to sell less tickets and keep some seats empty. When you take into consideration that it costs about the same amount of money to operate an airplane whether it is full or one-third full, it makes sense that airfares could rise in the short-term with fewer people allowed on each flight. These measures would likely be short-term. 

Rental car companies in Florida and other high-demand tourist areas were devastated by the decrease in travel, and car rental prices spiked for a few months. The one saving grace has been a rush of consumers trying to avoid the perils of flying during the covid-19 outbreak, who opt instead to rent cars. Increased demand has helped stabilize prices.

This puts a lot more drivers on the road who are celebrating vacations or holidays. There’s a direct correlation between this increase and a higher incidence of car wrecks. If you go on vacation, you may want to keep a car accident lawyer on speed dial just in case you find yourself involved in a mishap. Driving your car might keep you away from potential COVID carriers, but you’ll be forced to deal with the other drivers on the road.

If you opt to drive, check the regulations in the state you are traveling to to make sure there aren’t any special quarantine orders in place when you arrive. If you are traveling internationally, the State Department has a set of regulations in place for going to different countries. 

Travel and the Recovery 

Airlines are starting to beef up schedules after being grounded for months. Uncertainty still hangs in the air because nobody knows if tourism will recover quickly. Meantime, hotels and airlines are hoping that vaccines, in addition to faster-moving green lanes for travelers that have been pre-screened, will fuel growth. 

Tourism marketing strategies will undoubtedly change, but perhaps better packages will be offered to the consumer. For those who love to travel, there is always hope the silver lining is lower prices and better deals.

Author: Annabelle E

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