Andrew J. Wein - Jun 22, 2020
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The borders are going to reopen, the holidays are approaching and the desire for traveling is returning. Will tourism after the pandemic resume completely or will our relationship to travel change? The trend will certainly be to travel less but better.

After long months of confinement and restrictions of our freedom of movement during this pandemic, we will gradually be able to get on with our lives. The holidays are approaching and everyone is longing for a change of scenery. Are we going to resume our habits or are we going to rethink the way we travel?

First and foremost, there are economic issues. For those who have lost their jobs or part of their income and those who are worried about the future, the vacation budget will be the first hurdle. Then there is the health issue related to the pandemic, which is also a source of anxiety. But beyond that, there is now the ecological issue. Is it really reasonable to jump on the first plane to go on a trip?

Travelling without a Plane

For many environmental NGOs, flying today has become a habit to combat. They loudly and clearly state that airplane tourism is incompatible with saving the planet. Faced with the alarming environmental impacts of the air sector and the resumption of traffic, Notre Choix and the Climate Action Network are launching, with the participation of ADEME, a campaign to promote air-free travel. The airplane accounts for 40% of the emissions linked to transport in the tourism sector, reminds the association. "In July 2019, 230,000 airplanes flew every day in the world. With the approach of the summer holidays, it is more necessary than ever to question our relationship to holidays and travel. Do we necessarily have to go far away to have a good holiday? "asks Valentin Desfontaines, head of sustainable mobility at the Climate Action Network.

Travelling Less Often but for Longer

On the side of tourism professionals, the net cessation of their activities has been so violent that it is hard to believe that nothing is going to change. On the other hand, in the medium term, it is very likely that tourism after the pandemic will evolve towards slower travel.

Does this mean that mass tourism will disappear? No, definitely not!

Tourism is about leisure time, it is its fuel and society will not go back on that. We will not question the right to tourism for all in order to reserve travel for the richest. We can hope that tourism will change but without affecting the accessibility of travel.

A New Generation of Travelers

It's the young people who will make a revolution! More eco-friendly travel, using milder, less polluting means of transport, taking one's time to discover a region, a culture and meeting its inhabitants, that's what travel will look like in a few years to come. Young people are much more aware of the importance of travel. Of course, it takes time, but the relationship with work is also changing, it could well be that one can work for a few years and take several months to travel.

The Closer and Virtual Journey

What if travel no longer rhymes with long-distance? The experience of confinement and the crisis linked to this pandemic will leave its mark on people's minds. Even if the governments, out of concern for economic recovery, is reviving the air and automotive sectors, encouraging customers to consume and make the tourism industry work, the citizens are not quite the same as they were before COVID-19 and neither is the world.

Because they are less inclined this year to go abroad, they could start to rediscover local travel. Holidays close-by allow us to use more eco-friendly and less restrictive modes of transport. Virtual travel could also develop in the future. Tourism that, thanks to technology, would allow us to travel without moving, we could visit Sydney thanks to robots or move in time as in ancient Rome reconstituted by 3D images.

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