Travel & Covid-19 – The perfect storm?

Travel and Covid-19: The perfect storm

Covid has accelerated the digital evolution in tours and leisure activities.

Investors were taking note of tours and activities as a sector. Many big travel players view this sector as a growing product portfolio.  

The Covid-19 pandemic saw this development halted. Suddenly businesses saw their customer base dwindle into almost nothing. This saw the closure or hibernation of many travel, tour and activity-based businesses. Others found themselves scrambling to virtualise tours or open safely.

Ultimately, businesses that were perhaps already on shaky ground prior to the pandemic, operationally or in terms of finances, or both, found themselves with a huge headache and many disgruntled staff and travellers to compensate. However, businesses with a solid infrastructure and a pandemic-proof financial protection solution were able to use this time to take stock and strategise ways to adapt to restrictions such as social distancing or reduced flight numbers managed to come out on top and not only survive multiple travel bans but flourish. 

Demand for new technology

The general agreement is that the pandemic has accelerated much in attractions and technology use. The need to update antiquated technology following the boom of virtual accessibility has led the industry to search for contactless solutions and meet increased customer expectations. 

Disney Parks and Resorts has had to adapt systems to reduce capacity and requires customers to specify the park and day of a visit once the ticket has been purchased. 

Larger companies have more access to resources to adapt their experiences. Smaller businesses don’t need to make significant changes. Still, they can focus on making themselves stand out among the competition and finding ways to reopen safely while remaining a fun experience for their customer base. 

In the future, one tech company Connect&Go stresses the importance of implementing contactless technology and how CEO, Anthony Palermo, sees more packaging of technology with tickets, passes, credit and debit cards and possibly passports being rolled out into one application. 

Affinidi is a Singapore-based technology company founded by global investment firm Temasek in 2020. Affinidi uses decentralised technologies to enable the creation and sharing of verifiable digital credentials, empowering individuals and organisations to have control of their personal data.

Since its launch, the company’s works have focused on COVID health credentials solutions.

Travel and new demand for luxury

Exhausted from being stuck inside due to pandemic lockdowns, the bug that’s now catching is the travel bug. Global traffic on online travel agencies rose to its highest point in November 2021. All of the top ten travel searches looking ahead to 2022 referenced cruising. 

What we know is that cruise travel is trending upward, and as new-to-cruising prospects and younger generations jump on board, the potential is high for a more robust cruise economy by as early as 2024. There’s never been a better time for cruise operators to refine or even disrupt their marketing strategies.

The average passenger is expected to spend 6% more next year on seafaring travels than in 2019. Cruise ships will likely carry fewer passengers, which suggests that the situation must be approached carefully, considering strategic planning. 

Covid has highlighted the need for luxury and enjoying the finer things in life. Statista reports that the demand for luxury cruises will increase exponentially in two to four years. 

Video Content in travel

When planning a trip, people are turning to video content and platforms. 95% of adults ages 18-54 who intend to travel use YouTube videos in their research. Of the top spenders in travel, 75% say that YouTube videos help them decide whom to book. 

Video content is rapidly becoming the new face of social media content and has inspired the desire to travel. Viewers say watching videos motivates them to start planning trips.