How Coronavirus Will Affect The Travel Industry
Did someone say June…? The United States is officially entering their fourth month dealing extensively with the novel coronavirus, but in many areas things are beginning to retreat back to “normal”. Thousands of industries have taken the brunt of the economic impacts, perhaps topping that list is travel. Flights and reservations worldwide came to a jolting halt, and only recently have things begun to turn again. If your travel plans had previously been postponed, you may be starting to reconsider. So how will the coronavirus affect the travel industry moving forward? While only time can truly tell, experts have weighed in their predictions.
Perhaps the most immediate and noticeable change will be in airline prices. With far less demand for air travel, experts predict a direct impact that could result in record low airfares. One analyst at Stifel forecasts that demand may not return to normal until at least mid 2021, meaning airlines have a lot of seats to make up for. Some predict the need to fill seats will have airlines slashing prices, while others anticipate it could have the reverse effect, making prices skyrocket to make up for empty seats. Either way, expect prices to be out of the norm and to change quickly over the next year.
One thing we can be certain of is that our experiences with airline travel will be very different. Major airlines like Delta have already made a commitment to keep plane capacity lower than 60% through at least September. Preserving social distancing guidelines will be a priority on board, meaning you may not have to talk with those chatty flight neighbors for a while. Lastly, expect that sanitization is the new normal. Your carry on essentials may become Clorox wipes, face masks, and hand sanitizer from now on.
Trend Towards Domestic Travel
Expect that the next year ahead will have some adjustments in terms of travel trends. Prior to coronavirus, trends were aiming towards quicker, last minute travels purchased due to low airfares and the ease of airbnbs. Going forward, industry experts expect to see a huge spike in domestic travel, with the reinvigoration of the road trip. Rather than jumping on a quick weekend flight, travelers are anticipated to make more consideration before their trips, relying on their car as their main means of transportation. Feeling safer with their personal space and belongings with them, travelers will be much more likely to explore their local tourist destinations.
Post Trip Quarantine
Lastly, expect that your post trip plans will change as well. Pre-COVID, travelers could book trips and return to their work routine with ease. Moving forward, expect that employers, and even state and country legislation, could enact policies that require you to quarantine upon your return. This may mean making adjustments to your travel plans and PTO alignment.
Where Does This Leave Timberline?
So what does all of this mean for us? Well, we’ve always thrived in small group settings. As for local spots? Our area of expertise. For over 30 years we’ve been committed to bringing you challenge and fun along your journeys through the best our country has to offer, and we won’t be stopping anytime soon. We feel entirely confident that despite the waves that 2020 has thrown, we are more equipped and prepared to take you, safely, to the places that will make your jaw drop. Travel will resume, and we will be right there, eager to hit the trail. Check out our 2020 and 2021 itineraries here.