The biggest flaw I see with forecasted trends and assumptive advice on what life will be like post-virus is that no one really knows anything. We can ‘guess’ and plan and predict all we like, but until international borders are open again, our assumptions are just that. We’ve been assuming what will happen and how travellers will use their buying power. (I even took a guess myself in this article ‘the future of travel’.) So…travel beyond the virus that shall not be named, what happens then?

I recently watched a series of interviews hosted by Skift.

They call themselves a “global travel industry intelligence” and their team were each paired up with a panel of industry experts and market leaders who a) know their sh*t and b) have been surveying future travellers on their concerns for the future.

Five hours later, I’d heard from all of the travel industries protagonists on Europe’s center stage, of whom the experts included: Stephen Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor, Simon Vincent, President of Hilton , Erik Friemuth, CMO of the TUI group, the President of Expedia Cyril Ranque (worth googling just for the silver fox, French, eye candy, I’ve saved you the time) and Johannes Reck from Get Your Guide. As well as delegates from various European tourism boards and the European Travel Commission.

Gaining access to the Skift Forum 2020 was a real privilege and collating this information combined with updates from WWTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) and IATA (International Air Transport Association) gave me some exceptional insights into where we’re headed from here.

I have to interrupt here – because it’s awfully depressing to even think about travel, now that I’m in Victoria and we’re no longer allowed to leave the suburb, let alone the state! – however – it does give me enormous hope for the future of the industry and for my future studies to come. (Starting 3rd of August!!)

I digress.

Salina, Sicily
Here’s a picture of a Sicilian beach to distract you!

With the information gained, I wrote an article for UK based Exploriada. I have to say, it’s my favourite article that I’ve written in 2020 so far. I’m really proud of it and hope you enjoy the read.

Topics covered:

  • Accommodation, transport and experience trends
  • The future of sustainable travel
  • Travellers priorities and
  • Europe’s ‘Clean and Safe’ stamp of approval (something I’ve noticed businesses using here in Australia)

Tripadvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer is confident that travel will rebound by observing that their online traffic is already back to half of where it was a year ago. Surveys are saying that “two thirds of people are still planning a trip, even when they’re in lock-down. (It) means travel will come back; it’s going to look different; it’s going to be more local, more outdoors as opposed to big urban centres.” This makes for a positive outlook! Despite the fact that nine out of ten people are predominantly concerned about safety.

You can read the full article here.

I suspect the next six weeks of lock down will be largely frustrating, mostly boring and highly unlikely – creative. But then again, we’ve handled it before, we can handle it again. But this time – we have Melbourne’s insatiable coffee scene to get us through.

I think we’re going to be just fine.

Until then xo

(feature image via Unsplash)

Let me know what you think....