2020 is the year of huge shifts. The pandemic may have permanently changed the way we go about normal activities – from dining out to travel.
The travel industry experienced one of the biggest negative impacts of Covid-19 with massive layoffs and restrictions that have delayed recovery. In addition, going on holidays and quick trips in nearby areas have turned into inconvenient (and hazardous) undertakings.
Getting overseas work for expats has also become uncertain with regions having different border policies that may change the very next day. However, there are some parts of the world slowly reopening to make way for economic recovery.
As we close the year with the information we know now, many of us may be wondering how travel will look like in this 2021. From our perspective here in Hong Kong and Asia in general, international and domestic travel will pivot to provide more protection to travellers and further prepare everyone better for unexpected events.
Here’s how we see travel in 2021:
DECREASED BUSINESS TRAVEL
Online interactions will be the norm even for traditional businesses. Video conferencing and collaborative software have allowed companies to operate through the pandemic which means 2021 will be a year of reinforcing digital infrastructures. With a bulk of operations moving to the digital space – from hiring to client management – we foresee less frequent business travels.
This trend could mean two things:
- Skill-based overseas work or the need for foreign hires will be fulfilled locally.
- A less nomadic life for digital nomads.
For businesses who may find more roadblocks while adapting, we also foresee the greater need for liability insurance and business travel insurance to cover all their bases.
THE EMERGENCE OF TRAVEL CONSULTANTS
As people resume travelling, they will need to outline their itinerary to safely navigate through the new changes for different countries. Travellers will need expert advice on border and health policies to lessen risks and unnecessary stress.
Top travel consultants will be highly sought after by travellers to help them plan holidays. This could signal an opportunity for travel agencies. As information becomes more complex, agents and tour operators will be expected to take care of all transportation arrangements with more attention to details regarding health regulations and customer safety.
Thus, the cost of travel may also increase and the coverage policies of travel insurance will see plenty of changes.
PRIVATE AIR TRAVEL FOR BUSINESSES
According to industry reports, private jets are experiencing an exceptionally high level of bookings as of Q2 2020. Specifically, most of the booked flights are reserved for new customers. For various reasons, air travel is indispensable means of transportation. Pre-pandemic, commercial flights used to be easier and safer. In 2021, people will begin to turn to private jets to maximize safety, comfort and convenience.
PREFERENCE FOR LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
Social distancing will be permanently integrated into public transportation which makes international travel more costly (because airfare will cost more to make up for fewer passengers). Because of this, people will be keener on local destinations and itineraries that require less contact with other people such as bike tours, hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.
Travel is foreseen to be far different from how we knew it. Clearly, new ways of getting to a destination will need to be both safe and sustainable at the same time. Information sharing is crucial and we have to be cautious about more things at least until there is a vaccine. For now, businesses and travel-enthusiasts must adapt.
Get in touch with Village Insurance Direct for travel and liability insurance with Covid-19 cover. We can help find the right policy for your needs.