In the travel space, almost every popular travel blog or magazine prominently features the term ‘bucket list’. Primarily, brands often center their travel marketing around creating customer interest in aspirational travel. The miles and points space is no different. Many have the enthusiasm and the desire to make that ‘bucket list’ trip a reality by using their miles and points. However, as Coronavirus upends the entire travel industry, what does it hold for the future ‘bucket list’ travel destinations? Is an era of travel going to fade for a new one to emerge?
Coronavirus Travel Impact
In response to the spread of Coronavirus, governments around the world have put restrictions or completely shut off travel temporarily. Even after travel opens up internationally, many travelers will look to first dip their toes into the water before diving in.
In such a scenario, we’ll see an initial bump in shorter and local domestic travel. Chinese tourists are already showing that trend based on how they traveled around China during the day May day holiday. What does that mean for bucket list travel? In the short run, many tourists may simply be unable or unwilling to hit their bucket list destinations directly once travel opens up.
A few weeks back, I wrote about how the whole influencer saga is now panning out. As companies cut their marketing budgets further, we could well see fewer Instagram influencers active on social media. Simply put, fewer people will be promoting that ‘ideal life’ on social media channels. Also, Covid19 will change the perception of travelers. Travelers will be more risk averse in the short run. They’ll choose more pragmatic and attainable travel destinations instead of aspirational ones.
In a recent interview, we saw Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin urge Americans to travel around their own country by pointing out that there’s lots to see in America. Domestic travel could well fuel the comeback of the travel industry. Along with the US, expect major global markets like India and China to take a similar approach towards promoting domestic travel.
The Pundit’s Mantra
While the cause may be a horrible one, the effect could be good in the long run. People could well explore destinations they didn’t think about before. Many in the world could develop a better and deeper appreciation of their own countries and culture by exploring them in depth.
As much as I love global travel, the new travel rebound could well usher in a new era of exploration. This could just be a function of many bucket list destinations simply not being accessible in the short run. Instead of simply ticking items off a bucket list, many could possibly want to explore cities, towns and villages in their own backyards. The ones that weren’t marketed well enough and hence, were often ignored. As bad as the situation is, I’m hoping this will be the silver lining as the clouds clear slowly.
Will you pursue your bucket list items right after travel restrictions are lifted? Has the pandemic prompted you to change your travel habits and goals? Tell us in the comments section.
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