How traveling in Southeast Asia would look when COVID-19 is almost over

Now that vaccines for COVID-19 are rolling out, we are at the later half of the shared battle against this once-(hopefully)-in-a-lifetime pandemic. The backpackers like myself and many others must be waiting impatiently for the day our governments say we can pick up our bags again with no worries.

All barks as we are, still there is this tingling feeling at the back of our heads that traveling would never be the same again, which we are afraid may play out for real. But maybe, just maybe, your Southeast Asia travel plan would still be of use.

Safety first

Considering the circumstances, travelers also wish that more thought to be put into ensuring safety during their journeys.

A large number of Singapore travelers (62 per cent) say that they will avoid certain destinations, and will only book a particular accommodation if it’s clear what health and hygiene policies it has in place.

However, quarantine measures remain the biggest deterrent, with less than 30 per cent of Singapore travelers willing to accept these to travel to a particular destination.

That being said, the hospitality industry must be heavily engaged in hygiene processes to keep up with the future of travel.

Price second

Since the global economy remains battered after the impact of COVID-19, it is natural to assume that people will become more price-conscious in the future.

As per the report, more than half of Singaporeans (59 per cent) are going to be more likely to hunt down on promotions and savings.

However, the customers are also expecting value beyond price tags, with three-quarters (76 per cent) stating they want travel booking platforms to increase transparency about cancellation policies, refund processes and trip insurance options.

Thai travelers (82 per cent), on the other hand, are overwhelmingly keen on supporting the recovery of their travel industry and want to see how their money is going to go back into the local economy.

Nature travel

According to Booking.com, use of simple pleasure-related endorsements such as hiking (94 per cent), clean air (50 per cent), nature (44 per cent) and relaxation (33 per cent) on its platform have increased globally since the beginning of the pandemic.

That being said, 71 per cent of Singaporeans are expected to appreciate more simple experiences such as spending time outdoors or with the family while on vacation.

Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand travelers are the most likely to seek out more rural, off-the-beaten-track experiences to immerse themselves into the outdoors than any other APAC country, as well as the UK and USA. Relaxing trips will also be high on the travel agenda in the ‘new normal’, with more than half of global respondents (51 per cent) saying it was their preferred type of trip followed by beach breaks (40 per cent) and city trips (29 per cent).

Eco travel

After the COVID-19 impact, many people, lifestyles and industries have changed and given us a chance to introspect. Now, people are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and local communities.

Travelers in Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore said they wanted to travel more sustainably and believe that the industry must adapt to this sustainable mindset for the long-term by offering attractive off-season travel packages (51 per cent) and proposing alternative destinations to prevent overcrowding (38 per cent).

Work from your destination

One of the most substantial changes that the global health emergency has brought about is the “work from home” as a new working normal. As people are getting more used to it people are getting used to the idea of no longer being confined to five days a week in their office.

Half of the Singaporean travelers have already considered working from a different destination, exceeding the global average of 37 per cent. They also say that they would take the opportunity to extend any business trip to enjoy leisure time at the location.

On the contrary, Japanese travelers (29 per cent) are the least likely in the world to do so, and well below the global average of 52 per cent.

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