The travel experience under Covid: impact & solutions

International tourist arrivals by country

The travel industry  was seen as a robust powerhouse of the world economy. Since it the amount of money and tourist grew every consecutive year, there was no reason to doubt it was ever going to fail. Yet in 2020, the numbers fell to those of 30 years ago. 

Based on data from the World Tourism Organization

The climb from 1995 to 2019

Almost all countries have seen a strong rise in the amount of tourists received each year, some examples include:

DJEO inspires young players to explore and experience locations by doing challenges and uploading video of their adventures.

Effect of COVID on the 2020 travel experience

Closed borders, travel restrictions, canceled flights and later vaccination passports make travel severely more difficult, if not impossible. It’s no surprise that according to UNWTO the number of international tourist arrivals declined by 72% compared to 2019. 

Based on provisional data from the World Tourism Organization, the most affected regions are Asia and the Pacific with a decline of 82.3%, followed by the Middle East with 73.4% and Europe with 68.5%.

Changes in travel experience

The way how we experience travel post-pandemic will change dramatically. A lot of ways in which we use to travel or no longer possible right now and in the future these changes will very possibly remain permanent. 

Here are some changes and what to do about them

authentic travel experience

Problem: less authentic travel

Health concerns will prompt travelers to interact less with locals. It’s important that locals and travelers are connected for the fabric of that society. Not only economical but also sociologically there needs to be a a supportive local community that benefits from local tourism.

Solution: focus on experiential travel

Don’t let your travels be passive observers of your culture and what you have to offer. Have them participate in workshops, festivals, food & drink tasting tours etc. Make this the focus of your post-pandemic communication and lower the threshold for travelers to participate.

covid fears about travel

Problem: travelers fear COVID

Travelers will still fear getting COVID, even after the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Avoiding large crowds, small indoor spaces and modes of transportation.

Solution: transparent communication

Make sure travelers now what it is you are doing and have already done to combat this pandemic. Don’t be afraid to let them know about the current number of infections or hospitalizations. It’s important to be transparent in your communications. There’s no point in hiding it. Travelers know it’s there.

travel experience online resources

Problem: Reliance on online resources to get around

This evolution was already in the works a long time before the pandemic hit but now it’s come into full swing. Young travelers will plan there whole trip online and trust online resources more than suggestions from locals or tourism offices. 

Solution: have a strong online presence

Increase your reach and be on the forefront of the most important watering holes of your visitors. Which social media channels are they primarily using? Which review websites are they checking? What influencers, if any, have recently visited. Make use of a “social media listening tool” to know what your visitors are saying about you online and join the conversation.

Need as strong online presence? See what DJEO can do for you!

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travel in crowds

Problem: Travelers avoid large gatherings

On par with the problem above, travelers might avoid local festivals, parades or other touristic activities that celebrate your culture. These type of events are extremely important for the positive experience of your visitors.

Solution: have health measures in place

Travelers should see which measures you’re taking to make sure the crowded activity can take place safely. Have disinfectant and face masks readily available. 

Travel experience conclusion

Your organization should be ready and put measures in place now. Your organization needs to rise to the occassion and take decisive action.

DJEO is a great way to meet a lot of these demands. Our mobile game puts the focus on experiencing the local culture in a digital environment. It gives tourism agencies or other destination managers the control over which experiences in the city they want to highlight. See what we can do as your partners