As we are approaching the last few months of this year, everything seems different. From one’s perspective it seems like life, travel, work, relationships, psychology and pretty much every segment of our lives has changed in just 10 months. Epidemic, pandemic, masks, social distance, work from home, quarantine, uncertainty, closed borders and travel limitations have marked 2020. So, how does travel in times of Covid-19 look like?
The new normal
Our realities started shifting slowly, but now we have a new reality, which is not something we signed up for. People miss the way things used to be or to be precise we miss what was commonly known as our “normal” lifestyles. As a person working in the field of luxury and corporate travel, which is the industry that has been deeply impacted by this pandemic, I decided to address the elephant in the room and shed some light on this state we are currently in.
The corona virus is here and probably not going anywhere for some time, therefore it is up to us to be precautious, to adapt, adjust and keep on living. Maybe we should not expect that travel will be as it was, rather adjust to a new kind of travel that will be more conscious and sustainable.
The new habits of the corporate travellers in times of Covid-19
For the purposes of better understanding the “new normal”, in our company we made analysis among frequent customers to see how their corporate travel habits changed during the pandemic. We analysed clients that travel for business purposes in Europe. The analysis showed that most of the frequent corporate travellers decided to shift from air-transportation to land transportation. In other words, the importance of hygiene safety increased drastically as they believe private transportation with personal driver is more safe than flying and spending few extra hours at airports. Also, hygiene protocols in private transfers make people feel more safe as vehicles are constantly being disinfected and sanitizers as well as face masks are available for all on board. In terms of time management, the benefits of private transfers where pick up and drop off is made from door to door is of huge importance for corporate travellers. Another important benefit is the comfort – while travelling with a professional driver in a new car, customers have the privacy and comfort to work, prepare for meetings or just seat back and enjoy the ride. Most of all, the flexibility and hygiene safety private transfers offer is something corporate travellers highly appreciate in these changed circumstances. We see this trend that clients will chose quality over quantity. However, we have to keep in mind that private land transportation is conditioned by the distance travelled, nevertheless the pandemic is showing that there is a potential for private jets as well.
How the new reality affects us?
To put things into more broad perspective, one can say with certainty that the “new normal” is undoubtedly changing the way we think, decide, act and travel. It is changing our mindset, however what still remains unchanged is the desire to travel. Travel is good for our physical and mental wellbeing as well. Whether is corporate or leisure travel, people still have this wanderlust state of mind, the thirstiness to see and experience new things, while also wanting to stay healthy and safe. Probably this is the main dilemma in our near future travel endeavours… Being in a safe and clean environment on the one side and being exposed to experiences and newness on the other side. Also, from economic point of view, businesses must continue working, productivity and effectiveness must be kept and in a globalized world, this is almost impossible without travel. Thus, we are in the constant push and pull whether to go on a certain business or leisure trip at all. Whether we should risk the safety and comfort of our “bubble environment”, where we control the circumstances or be cautious, respect hygiene protocols, act responsible and adjust to the “new normal”?
To conclude, I would say that these crisis are an opportunity to rethink how we can rebuild our societies, economies, ecosystems and how we interact and co-depend on each other. This pandemic impacts each and every one of us, but with resilience and conscious state of mind I am convinced we can travel, work, be productive and create again.
Author: Mirjana Nikolovska