Why Travellers Need to Rethink their Travel Attitude

by Carolee Chanona
Xunantunich Belize

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

Each visit to one of Belize’s 103 protected areas helps fund it’s conservation. The falls at Rio Blanco National Park, photo courtesy APAMO Belize.

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

After stay-at-home orders across the world, some will be seeking solace and a digital detox; essentially, a change from our daily reality. For some, the purpose of our travel will shift to reconnecting with nature and self. Belize offers quaint and quiet corners of the country to unplug. Trust us, you’ll want to go where the wifi is weak. That may be on an intimate private island offshore Southern Belize; like Royal Belize, Ray Caye, or Coral Caye. Or, disconnect on a private reserve with the sounds of the rainforest; like Hidden Valley Inn, Mystic River ResortCopal Tree Lodge, or the Lodge at Chaa Creek.
Coral Caye

Coral Caye, a Coppola Hideaway

We must rethink once we are able to travel – people will keep this attitude and want to avoid crowded destinations. Whether this means travelling to spend more time in nature or choosing places that see fewer visitors comes down to each of us individually. However, what it does mean is that travellers will make decisions on their next destinations that are less about the physical location itself, but what it has to offer them on a personal level.
Read more on Lonely Planet’s analysis of re-thinking travel here. 


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