It’s safe to say that 2020 is a year we’ll never forget. COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our lives, our jobs, and our freedom – and it’s guaranteed to leave lasting changes to the way we travel too. The internet has been buzzing with all sorts of ideas of what a post Coronavirus world could look like, but the reality is that no one knows.
What we do know, is that things will be different, and here are 6 ways that we think organised group travel might change after COVID-19.
Tour costs *might* increase
We spoke with an unnamed travel company recently who said that their 2021 tour prices would be increasing to help recover losses from 2020.
While we can’t see that prices will skyrocket, post COVID-19 tours could easily be 5% more than before.
If you are keen to travel in 2021, we suggest you check out the early bird deals as some operators like
Busabout are offering 2021 trips at 2020 prices – but for a limited time only.
Busabout announced on 5th August 2020 that all Busabout trips will be suspended until 2023. Read more here.
Face masks *might* be required
In June, Uber made it compulsory to wear a face mask when using their service. Could this be the same for organised group travel? While it probably won’t be a condition of travel with tour operators, you might be expected to wear face coverings in certain countries you visit.
Hand sanitising stations will most likely be popping up everywhere, and social distancing rules could be in play for some time still.
Cancellation policies *might* change
Before COVID-19, it was commonplace for travel operators to issue a refund if your trip was cancelled, or if you decided to pull out. But post COVID-19, there may be more stringent cancellation policies in place to help protect travel companies from financial ruin should something like Coronavirus happen again.
We may see that some operators issue a credit to use for future travel rather than a cash refund.
Passenger capacity *might* be reduced
It might be possible that some tour operators reduce the number of passengers who travel on specific tours. Of course, they have to make sure that it’s financially viable, but for companies such as Topdeck and Contiki who typically have up to 50 people per bus, we might start to see some spare seats.
Fewer tours *might* be available
We all love choice, but that might change after COVID-19 as many operators adjust to the financial and operational implications of Coronavirus. Also, some countries – especially in Europe, might not be open and ready for tourists at the same time as their neighbouring countries.
Factors such as the timing of lockdown & their healthcare systems may see some countries recovering sooner.
Some tour operators *might* go bust
Let’s hope that this doesn’t happen, but it could be possible.
Tour operators have had to issue refunds to thousands of would-be travellers, and these costs on top of no bookings could force them into administration.
That’s why we all need to dig deep, support our favourite operator and re-book for 2021.