Will Travel Be Back to Normal in 2021?
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about if travel will be back to normal in 2021.
Those with wanderlust in their souls have had their worst year in 2020. The ongoing pandemic has grounded airplanes, closed down resorts, left beaches and mountain trails deserted, and forced millions to spend their vacations at home.
From a travel standpoint, 2020 is already lost. We have a new year ahead of us, though. While this year’s options for winter events will be limited, with even the world’s most famous tourist cities locking down due to new spikes in case numbers, we can hope that next year will be much better, both for travelers and the industry.
Plans and realities
According to industry surveys, people plan to travel more in 2021 than they did in 2019 to make up for the lost year. Travel agencies are optimistic about the beginning of next year, hoping to see strong increases in bookings across the board, due especially to the travelers’ intentions to book more “make up” vacations as early as the beginning of next year.
The intentions of travelers and the hopes of industry players are one thing. The realities of the coming year might, in turn, paint a completely different picture. The recovery of the travel industry, as well as the realization of travel plans depends in a great measure of the way the pandemic evolves across Europe and the world.
Case numbers and restrictions
Across Europe and North America, case numbers are on the rise again, with several European countries now seeing more cases than in the first wave of the pandemic, back in the spring. As a response, they have taken measures just as tough as during the first wave. In many European countries, restaurants and bars are closing, hotels can only work at a very limited capacity, schools are closed, and there are even curfews in place to slow the spread of the disease.
In most countries, the traditional Christmas and New Years’ celebrations are already canceled.
The strict measures taken by the authorities across Europe will hopefully reduce case numbers enough for the countries to reopen and return to normal, at least in part, in the first months of next year.
On and off
Next year will likely be an endless string of imposing and easing restrictions as authorities will try to find the middle ground between not choking the economy and not overwhelming the countries’ healthcare systems. These on-and-off measures will probably create windows of opportunity for travelers to sneak in vacations. For the time being, airplanes, hotels and restaurants will likely be forced to work at a reduced capacity, and this will likely impact the prices, too – depending on the demand, the prices may go up or down in different areas.
The way things stand right now, travel will not be back to the pre-2020 normal next year. Instead, it will come with restrictions, extra paperwork, perhaps extensive testing and other public health measures.Specialists only expect the world of travel to return to a state similar to 2019 much later – by 2023, some say, perhaps sooner if a working vaccine is finally developed. But that’s a story for another time.