The recent pandemic caused by the onset of the Covid-19 has changed our society significantly. From the millions laid off of their jobs to the decrease in social interactions between people, everything has been affected by the pandemic.
However, one of the least talked about changes that have occurred due to this pandemic is its effect on the global travel market.
Tourism as an industry has been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic and, although it is slowly recovering, the effects have been disastrous. Statista covers and estimates how at the beginning of 2020 that the global tourism market would be sitting at $711.944 billion. Recently, it’s revalued at only $396.370 billion, which is about a 50 percent cut. Clearly, Covid-19 had been detrimental to this industry, but how is it changing the future of global travel?
Numerous locations around the world receive little to no attention. And, they are not known as hotspots for tourism.
With Covid-19 raging across the world, some people have taken vacations but would prefer to not be around anybody and risk catching the virus.
Due to this, some have begun to pick relatively remote travel destinations that provide them with gorgeous scenery and relatively few people. The World Economic Forum recently covered how smaller countries like New Zealand have begun to encourage tourism in recent years due to the stimulation it manages to bring to the economy.
These overlooked locations are starting to get the attention they deserve, ironically, due to the global pandemic. The travel industry as a whole may be hurting, but smaller countries may actually be doing better comparatively.
More Attention on the Effect of Spending
Most of the time, tourists take their spending’s effect on the economy of the country they visit for granted. After seeing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on small businesses, however, it has become clear that even marginal spending can help keep local businesses afloat. More than 60 percent of business closures that occurred during the pandemic are even expected to remain permanent according to CNN.
This has been a wake-up call for many travelers who previously believed that small businesses did not rely on income earned from tourists. Even in your own town, it’s likely that small businesses have gone out of business without your local neighbors buying products. Just imagine that scale but in a country where tourism is a major factor within their economy. Supporting small businesses should be in the mind of any socially-conscious traveler. Next time you hit the road remember: where you spend your money matters.
Fewer International Moves Stimulated by Education
A downside of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the restriction of education to international students. Student visas have seen restrictions placed on them as countries closed their borders and restricted flights. Fortunately, trade schools have been a rising trend in the last few years and some, such as the General Assembly, have helped make education accessible to all by offering international programs.
With study abroad being restricted, it’s more likely than not that the number of online degree programs available will increase. If students are not going overseas to study permanently or for study abroad, though, some worry that this lack of exposure may lead to even less travel in the future. Overcoming this means introducing young adults to the wonders of the world in some other fashion. Historically, college and university present two great opportunities to see the world through study abroad, but students will have to learn about the world in other ways now.
Covid-19 is changing everything about how the world operates and nothing will ever be the same. These changes are hard to predict, but predicting them is extremely important to see what the world will look like after the pandemic settles down. The global travel industry is changing in new and unforeseen ways. With any luck, people will begin to gain an understanding of the importance of tourism and how it can stimulate local economies.
Bio: Trevor Mahoney is an avid writer with experience ranging from education to technology. He is currently wrapping up his studies at Santa Clara University with a BSc in Finance.