The Rapid Evolution of Travel Post Pandemic
 
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The Rapid Evolution of Travel Post Pandemic

20 Feb 23

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Let’s explore the rapid evolution of travel post-pandemic. Before 2020, many of those who love to travel threw caution to the wind. It was all about how far we can go and how limitless the possibilities seemed. After such a long time of regarding travel as a luxury, we’ve started seeing the appeal and accessibility. We were getting more and more comfortable with low-cost airlines, budget hotel stays, travel flash sales, 1-dirham travel promos, and several other exciting gimmicks. Now, as the world opens up again, it's the perfect time to consider International Tour Packages for your next adventure.

Post-pandemic uncertainty

Post-pandemic uncertainty

Suddenly, it crept up on us at the beginning of 2020. Suddenly, there were border restrictions. Our dream destinations and travel bucket lists had to wait on the back burner. Each nation had to make some big decisions in order to suppress the spread of the virus and prioritise the health and safety of everyone.

We had to stay home and be uncertain when it would be over. The wait went from a week to a month. A month became six months, and suddenly a whole year passed.

First-hand reflection as a travel service provider

First-hand reflection as a travel service provider

AFC Holidays as a travel service provider for UAE residents and nationals were a first-hand witness to this uncertainty. We had great plans to take our community of travellers to bigger destinations. We wanted to improve with each passing year and best ourselves at all costs.

Through all the wait and uncertainty, surprisingly our hopeful outlook never wavered. We had faith that the world would be open again. Furthermore, we remained positive that this was just an opportunity to improve the way we serve. We realized at some point post-pandemic that this may just be an opportunity for travel to evolve. Fortunately, our partners from all parts of the globe thought so too.

Prioritizing health and safety measures

Prioritizing health and safety measures

Before, the only thing that we worried about when it comes to travelling was the visa applications or eligibility to enter visa-free.

Looking back now, with the priorities we hold back then, travel insurance pre-pandemic used to just be a formal requirement in case of cancellations or lost baggage, and some other standard things. But now, travel insurance prioritizes health reasons more than ever, with the introduction of ones that make sure to cover cases affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Not to mention most of our airline, hotel, and local service providers also evolved, coming out with better protocols to provide a reliable and safe service. This of course includes improved cleaning and safety practices. (At this point we’re certain some of us wonder how we ever lived without them before).

hotel

Can you believe we used to be comfortable holding the same serving utensils after others at hotel buffet breakfasts? Or how many instances have we touched or used something after another person has, without thinking about if that person had a simple cough or cold?

Not shaming anyone, it’s just fascinating in retrospect how comfortable and blissful it all truly was. We were more carefree and had few worries about such things. This is one of the simplest examples of the evolution of travel post-pandemic

The rising role of technology in travel

There was a noticeable growth in our dependence on technology, especially during the earliest days of the pandemic. We all had to get innovative in sourcing our essentials and living our daily lives without the option of going out.

Our smartphones started serving a more integral role aside from a tool for communication or a source of entertainment and news. It started off with ordering deliveries of food and groceries through our mobile phones. Fast forward to the current post-pandemic age where almost all transactions could be conducted in the digital space.

This now includes booking and online flight check-ins, some would also book their hotels online. One may now scope the internet for all sorts of travel services, even visa applications.

Nothing quite pushed travel to be more digital than the pandemic. Reducing the physical aspects of the transactions simply made the whole process smoother and more efficient.

Travel becomes more flexible and inclusive

We knew for sure that travel might just go through an evolution post-pandemic. In 2021, the UNWTO announced the theme for World Tourism Day as “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”— celebrating the travel industry’s move to have a more inclusive development through all its sectors. Highlighting the industry’s sentiment in making sure to open more opportunities for millions of people in the world.

It has since shed light on the importance of taking post-pandemic growth as a stimulus for all industry players to build back up big or small. For travel to be more accessible for anyone, especially people of determination. It has also looked at the importance of the heart of tourism– the people. The ones that build tourism and advocate for the true immersion of travelling. Especially the importance of having the local community be more involved in overseeing where they see their respective local tourism initiatives’ headed.

Travel becomes more flexible and inclusive

This was further backed up by the 2022 theme “Rethinking Tourism: From Crisis to Transformation” shifting the focus towards the importance of restarting towards greener, smarter, and safer tourism. Inspiring the industry to shift the priorities back to the planet and rural development. Urging multiple sectors to invest more in education and innovation. And finally, advocating for more empowerment in gender equality and the youth.

Since then, travel policies have become more flexible and understanding. Booking and cancellation policies have become more emphatic in response to the world’s shifting priorities. Seeking to alleviate any underlying worries that travellers may have, that keep them from confidently going about their respective travel plans. This has greatly given comfort to those who felt anxious about the thought of wanting to make plans to travel.

Evolution of travel priorities post-pandemic

Lastly, something worth validating is how the pandemic definitely reshaped the way we travel. Travellers seek to be more informed and prepared. Some even opted to stay closer, going for staycations instead of long-haul trips.

There was an observable rise in visiting destinations where not many people go. Travellers have stopped chasing after popular destinations in place of emerging and unique destinations. The fear of missing out has taken a back seat and given the spotlight for meaningful experiences and the importance of exploration.

unique destinations

On the other hand, for a time there was the phase of “revenge travel”, where some people felt a reignited inspiration to travel more. Some people spent more money than usual, on extravagant and lavish vacations to make up for the couple of years they ended up missing due to the pandemic.

This resolution was brought over by the realization that there is great value in travelling that was once taken for granted. They missed the kind of joy that travel can bring and had a great drive to experience the freedom of exploration and adventure once again.

Revenge travel, however, is a fleeting phenomenon. ‘Cause even if you’re spending more than usual or opting for lesser-known destinations. The biggest priority for everyone is that they’re mindful of the health and safety guidelines that come with travelling.

We love taking you places

The Evolution of Travel Post-Pandemic

This is us celebrating the travel industry. Finally, we are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and we are just happy to be part of the kind of industry that will grow and evolve with the times. No matter the rough patch or how rocky it gets.

Today, AFC Holidays stands as one of many travel service establishments that graciously survived one of the biggest crises to ever challenge the industry. Coming out of it with passion and inspiration, with more insight into how exactly we could be better than we were before the pandemic. Ensuring safe and quality travels more than ever, and ensuring that at every step of our travellers’ journey, we are there to maintain an informed and smart way to travel in the post-pandemic age of the tourism industry.

Make sure to check AFC Holidays for new and exciting travel destinations that you can travel to. You can also check our recent travel post: Singapore Travel Guide: Before You Go to learn about how to get started planning your trip to Singapore.

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