The pandemic decimated the global travel industry virtually overnight. Travel restrictions due to the virus outbreak resulted in a staggering 98% drop in international tourist arrivals in May 2020 compared to the same month the previous year. And things only slightly improved since then— the first quarter of 2021 saw a drop of 83%.
The World Tourism Organization disclosed on Tuesday that international travel went down by seventy per cent in the first eight months of 2020 because of the pandemic, but it has predicted that this number will bounce back. However, this won’t happen until the second last quarter of 2021 because of the many travel restrictions related to the pandemic. The real movement will only begin in the year 2022.
Towards the end of 2020, as the number of cases started reducing, people who were stuck at home for more than nine months started going out. “But now, what mattered more was the hygiene and the crowd at hotels rather than the complimentary breakfast menu and the location of the property,” said Anil Punjabi, chairman of the eastern region, Travel Agents Federation of India.
Top 24 Countries To Visit in 2022
Planning ahead is extremely crucial when it comes to traveling. Make a beeline for these top 24 countries to visit in 2022. These countries are affordably priced, easily accessible and must not be missed:
- Sri Lanka – Lush Greenery & Scenic Beaches
- Germany – Postcard-Perfect
- Zimbabwe – Hidden Gem
- Panama – Picturesque Coastline
- Kyrgyzstan – Semi-Nomadic Experience
- Jordan – Open Up To New Experiences
- Indonesia – Most Beautiful Of All
- Belarus – Europe’s Most Trending
- Sao Tome & Principe – Paradise Far Away
- Belize – Gateway To Mayan Culture
- Egypt – Desert Safari
- India – Spirituality & Adventure
- Oman – An Arabian Gem
- New Zealand – Overwhelming Landscapes
- Croatia – Treasure-trove of Experiences
- Bhutan – World’s Happiest Country
- Mexico – Architectural Wonder
- Spain – Vibrant Culture
- Ethiopia – Horn of Africa
- Peru – Live On The Edge
- Netherlands – Beautiful Canals & Museums
- Barbados – Sunny Beaches
- Israel – For Culture-Vultures
- Costa Rica – Grand Adventures
Reimagining travel for the new era
The pandemic has been a game-changer for the global travel and hospitality industry. It has caused consumer habits, expectations, and priorities to transform so profoundly that many of the preferences will have been irreversibly changed for years to come. What will be the ultimate shape of the tourism industry once the COVID-19 pandemic becomes history remains to be seen.
Still, this unprecedented crisis can serve as an opportunity to improve how the industry operates, especially through greater digitisation and environmental sustainability.
As countries start looking for a balance, gradually lifting travel restrictions, and travellers’ confidence slowly returns, the travel will gradually recover due to unleashed pent-up demand. However, bringing back travellers and restoring confidence in travel will require creativity and new approaches to tourism to reflect the changes that have happened over the past 18 months. Travel businesses need to try to understand these changes and adjust.