As we adjust to our new reality of social distancing and hand sanitizer on tap, the travel industry has also had to make some major adjustments in order to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from airlines and hotels changing their practices, travellers are going to have to rethink a lot of their habits and attitude, too. Naturally, those unable to go to the ‘hot spots’ will seek out alternatives and discover the joy of going off-the-beaten-path, like in Belize.
The purpose of our trips will change
Travel has become easy. It wasn’t hard to book a last-minute flight, pack a bag, and figure things out when you landed. Now, travel is likely to require more thought, which means we’ll have to shift our focus. So while each of our individual drives to travel will be different, we are all likely to travel less; it’ll be a lot more important to really understand why we want to travel somewhere so that we can truly appreciate it. For example, Belize offers real opportunities for holidays without harm: low-volume eco-tourism, strong community roots, and authentic cultural experiences.
A visit is an investment in the destination
According to World Nomads, travellers will also be motivated to help the communities in places they love after witnessing the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. “Travel, which had lifted millions of people out of poverty, is a force for positive change in the world, and in future, travellers will be motivated to spend their dollars wisely so they have the most impact on the communities in the destinations they love.” Socially responsible travel will be more difficult in the short term as we adjust to a new normal, but in the long-run, more travellers will gravitate towards making environmentally and socially responsible choices.
Unplugging in Belize
Read more on Lonely Planet’s analysis of re-thinking travel here.