07/08/2020 Sylvana Vassileva Gallery

Keep calm and go travel

HOW THE PANDEMIC WILL CHANGE THE WAY WE TRAVEL, REST AND EAT OUTSIDE?

The global tourism industry is in a wait-and-see mode and there is no clear answer as to when the situation will calm down. One thing is for sure – travel, places to stay and meals in restaurants will no longer be what they used to be.

A ‘new normal” is underway.

Traveling gives us the opportunity to contact with others, to find inspiration, to get to know foreign cultures and to support local economies around the world. At the same time, however, we cannot ignore its negative impact on the environment. Now that the coronavirus has compelled millions of people to stay home, we have seen the Earth literary rest.

Here are the predictions of the leaders in the tourism industry about how the way we will travel in the future will change.

Slow return

All experts are saying that travel will resume gradually over the course of months, if not years. Initially, people will probably stick to local destinations, will not venture too far from their homes, preferring to travel to closer locations by their personal car to avoid contact with strangers.

New standards for hotels

Everyone who starts traveling again will be especially careful at first. Many large hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton have announced higher standards of hygiene and cleanliness. In order to be successful right now, hotels need to clearly state what they are doing to keep their customers safe.

Experts are saying that it will be necessary to provide for new registration and leaving procedures, with new sanitary protocols, mandatory for all public activities, following all the instructions of the health authorities. Measures such as digitalization of processes, reduction of the use of paper and reduction of the number of service personnel in contact with customers are also envisaged. This will provide more space and the opportunity for social distancing with the guests.

The rise of villas 

Even with such strict measures, more and more people will seek to stay away from strangers, which is why the demand for villas to be rented for a vacation will increase.

Big changes for aviation

After the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001, the security measures at airports around the world have been drastically improved. The time required to stay at the airport before the flight has also been increased.

According to experts, it is currently expected to make the health examinations of passengers more precise. Non-contact temperature measuring scanners are already in use at some of the world’s major airports.

Recently, Emirates has become the first airline company to apply COVID-19 rapid tests. JetBlue, American, Delta and United have announced that passengers and flight attendants will be required to wear face masks during flights. Big changes are yet to come – from the places for checking luggage to the areas for boarding the plane and the distance between passengers on board.

The London studio Factorydesign has designed an isolation screen divider kit to completely ensure social distancing during the flight. This will allow airlines to offer increased protection for passengers by temporarily dividing seats in the cabin. The isolation has been designed to be easy to clean and also includes a personal kit that contains a mask, hand-sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

The problem for the cruise industry

The cruise industry will face a huge challenge. The business model of ‘large-volume cruises’ will need to be seriously reconsidered. Experts see this as an opportunity for the port destinations to introduce safeguards against ‘overtourism”.

'Overtourism' and sustainability

In addition to the restrictions on the number of cruise passengers, we can also see restrictions on the number of visitors who are allowed to visit historical sites, as well as the time they are allowed to stay in the sites. As with any difficult situation, now people will probably be more reasonable about how they use their time and money. They are expected to save more and undertake fewer but more meaningful trips.

Restaurants

The coronavirus will also bring changes in the restaurant business. The physical menus, cash payments, buffets and common oil and vinegar bottles will largely be abandoned, industry experts predict.

Regarding spaces, more originality will be sought in decadent interiors, which guarantee solitude. After the pandemic, we will see more and more open-space kitchens as they promote ‘transparency’. A new form of architectural modernism is expected to emerge, which is expressed in simple lines, strict geometry, modern antibacterial materials and surfaces.

Prior to the pandemic, it was recommended restaurants to provide 1.4 square meters of space for each table. However, against the background of the crisis, the World Health Organization has recommended that this area be increased to 2.5 square meters.

Toilets are the biggest challenge for the industry. It is envisaged that most doors in them are removed, with the exception of those of individual cabins. The doors to remain will be opened and closed by foot or by sensors. Thus, the robotic toilets in Japanese style will become mandatory and customers will rarely if ever, touch again a tap, a soap dispenser or a hand dryer.

 

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