After another day of cancelling tours to North Korea, we are now sitting in the (new) YPT office in Cambodia, trying to plan the future, and thinking about how travel will change for us and our customers.
Obviously we do not have an actual crystal ball, but we are happy to predict how we think things are likely to change.
Regionalized travel will be the first to return
Bulgaria announced that it was essentially opening to tourism today. Countries such as Belarus having not closed at all. This will probably mean that Europeans will be traveling in Europe before they travel to other continents. This largely being replicated throughout the world, with domestic travel and travel between neighbouring country resuming first. China for example has essentially announced it will not open to the world until October, whilst also promoting internal travel.
Social distancing does not equal communism and it is here to stay. Expect group tours not to be done at full capacity. Will flights do the same? More than likely. This will lead, in all likelihood, to prices raising on many trips.
Don’t forget your mask!
We have seen all the people complaining about having to wear face masks, but again it doesn’t equal communism and is quite easy to get used to. In Asia, face masks have been part of the scene for quite some time now. Alas, it will not be a choice: a face mask will be part of a travel kit, certainly for tours to China and North Korea.
The world will not open in a day
It cannot be overestimated just how much lack of cohesion there has been in the world over fighting COVID-19, some countries have gone on complete lockdown, with others such as Sweden trying Herd Immunity and Belarus acting as if nothing has happened. As for the United States of America, well, that is a whole other story. This will likely mean travel restrictions often being reciprocal, so not everywhere will be to everyone at the same time.
You will need to be flexible
Whilst your travel ideas might be of huge importance to you, survival is the prime motivator for most of the world. Keep in mind, particularly if you want to visit developing countries, that many people have suffered economic destruction helping to stop the spread of the pandemic. Countries can and probably will introduce restrictions at very short notice.