The Future of Travel: Why You Need to Be Concerned

January 23, 2021 Marsha Mowers

Higher prices.  Less choices. Lack of clear testing protocols.

This is why as a traveller, you need to be concerned for the future.

In some ways, the travel industry is a victim of our own success. Travel has perhaps come too easy.

We have allowed anyone to be able to pick where they want to go and when, and for the price they want, almost in the way they call a taxi.  We’ve become – myself included – used to jumping on a plane, in my case regularly for work, with the same process that we all get on the subway. Getting in an Uber, being dropped off at the airport twenty minutes later was a regular commute for me and many, many others. 

I remember once, when I represented NYC & Company, being on the ferry to Porter Airlines and a gentleman said, wittily, “Do you come here often?,” because we routinely saw each other on flights.  

I understand it’s different for someone who doesn’t work in travel to understand why we are all upset lately. I 100% get this.  I haven’t worked in the travel industry for long – my background was always public relations which led me into destination marketing. 

There’s a blame game scenario emerging during this pandemic, and one of the more prominent victims is the travel industry, despite being at the very bottom of the list of causes. We recently covered the situation here.

We are all, hopefully, going to have the opportunity to travel again soon.  For some, soon might mean this fall, for others it could mean next year.  But one day – my god I wish it was tomorrow! – we will travel again. 

And when we do, I predict – things will be very, very different. 

The idea of maybe doing a stopover for a few days on your way to a longer destination might not exist. With airlines cutting routes, the chances of being able to choose your flight on a date that you want, likely won’t work.

The idea of doing a super short getaway because you don’t really have the vacation days but you just want to do something, won’t likely exist.  The three or five day packages won’t be there. Shorter vacations rely on the opportunity to return based on the frequency of flights. If a tour operator is only offering flights once a week to destination, the options are limited to those.

We’re also going to see a real surge for demand.  It’s basic economics – when demand surges and supply is limited, prices go up.  My guess is that the same people who were vocal on social media about shutting down travel will be the first ones to complain their price to go to their favourite all inclusive has nearly doubled.

What travellers do need to be aware of is that since Canada instituted the negative testing requirements to enter, things have gone haywire. 

We’ve seen it in the news of travellers being held back because they can’t get a negative test to return home to Canada.  They are penalized, socially, for having gone in the first place. There is lack of protocol at the airlines – what is considered an acceptable test and how is it verified? Former Minister of Transport Marc Garneau even admitted the potential for fraudulent proof of tests is a very real concern and it’s a currently an issue worldwide.

But not everyone who hops on a plane to Jamaica is headed for a mojito on the beach. We shouldn’t travel shame someone who’s flown to Kingston to look after a sick parent, or who made a last-minute trip to deal with a dying aunt or uncle. Besides, if we’re going to talk about not travelling anywhere during lockdown, we need to make sure those who have cottages outside of the city are also reprimanded for any surreptitious trips they might take at a time when we’re told to stay home.

The industry has already stepped up in terms of protocols. What’s needed now is clear testing regulations so our industry can start our recovery.

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One response to “The Future of Travel: Why You Need to Be Concerned”

  1. Kate B. says:

    I disagree with much of your comments and can only speak to one airline. The pilots, flight attendants, etc are suffering economically and want to get back to work.This particular airline has what most think too many protocols in place to keep their staff and clients safe. I personally have no issue with people flying.

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