There is no doubt the Coronavirus has had severe downstream effects on the travel inudstry, but what does travel after the COVID-19 look like? The world continues to work together to minimize the virus and thus minimizing the travel for the time being. As the Morning Star article puts it “aggressive containment measures with an immediate severe economic impact could help contain the virus spread, leading to lesser long-term negative economic implications.”
And yes we have seen the severe economic impact on the travel industry:
- The ban on travel from Europe to the United States has extended the halt in the flow of potential travelers entering and leaving the U.S.
- 50 million travel and tourism jobs are at risk around the world due to the current pandemic.
- The tourism industry accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP and jobs.
- Airports are laying off 100,000+ employees
As a Property Manager for Airbnb Rentals, I am personally seeing the effects of COVID-19. But lets take a look at the silver linings. I can see this time as a time to winterize your winter cabins, re-model that bathroom or kitchen you’ve been thinking about but have too many bookings to do so. Take a breath and take your time but not too much time because the travel industry is believed to be one of the industry’s that will (as it has in the past epidemics) to bounce back stronger after the Coronavirus.
Phocuswire continues to believe that once coronavirus fears fade, air traffic will improve and could overshoot normalized demand for a period as pent-up demand (for example, postponed family vacations or business conferences) is released. So, despite weak short-term earnings, we anticipate the travel downturn to be short-lived and companies with strong balance sheets to be able to weather the storm.
“Despite the challenges, it won’t be this way forever,” says John Lovell, president of leisure travel and supplier relations and networks at Travel Leaders Group. “Travel and tourism is a highly resilient industry that has come back again and again from diseases and natural disasters.”
“I think when this has finally come under control it will create a huge need to travel,” said Samantha Brown, who hosts “Places to Love” on PBS. “And I’m not talking just travel to far places … but small trips to more local and state destinations. We will want to move and most importantly reconnect to people.”
Wherever people go, there is sure to be a sense of “mindfulness and appreciation for the local people and vibrant tapestries of cultures for the destinations we visit,” according to Tom Marchant, co-founder of luxury travel operator Black Tomato. “After weeks and perhaps months staying home, this longing for authentic human connection and togetherness will be stronger than ever … but there will be less of a cookie-cutter travel mentality.”
Look for deals but focus on value. Assuming the coronavirus crisis is over, don’t hesitate to book if you find a bargain for late spring or summer. But don’t focus exclusively on price. Instead, look at the overall value of the deal. Are they throwing in attraction tickets or including meals?
Focus on longevity. Stay away from too-good-to-be-true offers from unknown operators. Chances are, these are fire sales from desperate companies on the verge of bankruptcy. Focus on well-known brands that are financially stable.
Consider travel insurance. A reputable insurance policy will protect you if an operator goes out of business. If you can’t find a good policy, use a credit card to make your purchase. It can also offer protections from financial insolvency.
Bottom line: Travel will continue after the coronavirus outbreak. The industry will return sooner than you think, and with some great deals.