The endless colours in the lives of holiday-makers - GulfToday

The endless colours in the lives of holiday-makers


A view of the mountainous region of Halong-bay in Vietnam.

Zaim Muhammad

Since the pandemic started almost all industries were hit with crises except a few related to the Health Sector. But the Travel Industry, including Aviation & Hospitality, was the first one to get hit and will be the last one to recover. The pandemic took the world by a surprise and brought all international tourism to a complete halt. Unfortunately, one million travel & tourism jobs were lost on a daily basis in the peak pandemic days in 2020. With the passage of time in 2021, we have seen truly new life breathed into term “Hospitality” when our fellow industry professionals were doing training in providing medical care, sewing masks and taking precautions to keep travellers safe.

There is ambiguity in the situation till now and no one knows what’s next. It has become more important to understand the future of travel.

Earlier, people used to think, plan and travel but not anymore. The whole travel scenario has taken new dimensions. The destinations are taking the approach to ensure the sustainable recovery of the industry. Below questions come to the mind before planning any travel.

First check which destination is open?

What’s the vaccine status of that destination? What are the entry requirements? What would be the Quarantine conditions? Have the budget airlines reinstated the flights to that particular destination or have to take an expensive option? What safety measures do the hotels carry? How public places are sanitized on a regular basis? Is the destination safe for children? How many times, we have to change our facemasks? What would be the return conditions? How much PCR would cost?


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All these question marks have doubled the check list of any traveller. The usual travel is turned into the conscious travel now with increase of travel insurance with every booking.

Would these tough conditions will stop people to travel, the answer is “No.”

Earlier in the mid of January 2022, World Tourism Forum Lucerne & Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority organised a conference. During the panel discussion, CEO Air Arabia Mr. Adel Abdullah Ali answered my question, “What we learned from this pandemic that people will never stop travelling, we reinstated the flight operations much earlier than expected.” Such comments from the Aviation professionals are encouraging for the travel lovers.   

Everyone is keeping “safety” and flexibility in front of them. As per the surveys done by different media channels, the rocky road is becoming smooth gradually.

New corridors are opening. Better testing tools for health & hygiene as per World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travel Protocols are making travel easy. The global coordinated approach, enhancement of current seamless travel experience, embracing the integration of new technologies is helping in rebuilding the confidence of the travellers. The demand evolution of travellers has shifted the behaviours & preferences toward the familiar, predictable and trusted. Even though the longevity of these shifts are unclear but this sector has unique opportunity to rethink & recreate the prevailing travel business model.  From the domestic tourism point of view, we have observed the influxes of visitors to the National Parks in different countries post pandemic. Some trends were seen with the increase in the wilderness as compared to the modern urban life. Wellness tourism is becoming popular that beach goers are swapping sun with shade. It has manifested the rise in workcations by embedding themselves for longer period in a certain place. We must not ignore the positive side of travel pause that the city became quieter; air was less polluted with no traffic on roads and no airplanes in the air. UNESCO World Heritages were not crowded. Overall, our planet has a sense of relief and we all learned a vital lesson. 

Last but not the least, talking about United Arab Emirates, which has always been heaven for the tourists from all over the world, the massive figures of the visitors at the Dubai Expo 2020 are the proof that UAE is one of the safest countries in the world which has 90% ratio of Fully Vaccinated Residents.


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