Let me just get this out in the open. I WANT TO TRAVEL. Okay, let me rephrase that a little – I want to be able to travel.
When the pandemic struck, one of the sectors to get most adversely affected was the Travel industry and consequently the hospitality sector as a whole. Through the lockdown there have been two kinds of customer responses to this – one being the obvious apprehensions of travelling in the future but secondly, the want (also in this case, the predicted demand) to travel has seen a high increase. The only thing that can tip the needle on the later is the type of ideas, innovations and practices that these two industries come up with.
While the impact can not be immediate – let’s look at some of the intriguing ideas that are materializing (or soon to be) to change the way of travel post the COVID-19 era.
The Flight Plan
Let’s take baby steps. To get to possibly anywhere the first avenue to tap on is well- flights. Even though minimal movement has begun in parts of the world, a long term solution is still necessary because honestly, all the precautionary measures currently are highly subjected to human error. Do we want to keep risking that in the future? Probably not.
To heed to this problem, an Italian aircraft design firm, Avio, has pushed forward an idea that will help accomplish social distancing and minimal contact among passengers. The concept is to have the middle seat facing the opposite direction making this as good as an alternate seat approach but more efficient. (But also, everybody will be able to peek into your screen and is that a risk you’re willing to take?) The second suggestion is to have a glass shield in between the seats which would be a cost efficient way to go about it. While the talks are in force, we can only hope for the safest option to be a part of the new world order.
The Dutch Greenhouse Charm
The best way to get to truly know a new culture is to head straight for its authentic food and beverages. But now, with safety first! Tell me honestly, do you really think we can give up the riverside, candle light dinners? Didn’t think so and now we won’t have to. A bar and restaurant in Amsterdam has come up with a new world dining concept – Serres Sépparéés (Quarantine Greenhouses) that factor in protection, social distancing and privacy without you having to compromise on the view or the food.
Let’s Travel Through Time
Were you the utterly fascinated 12-year old girl (or boy) watching Hermoine Granger turn her time turner to travel back and forth in time and wishing with all your heart that you could experience that too? Well, thanks to the world of virtual reality, there is a possibility of experiencing that sitting comfortably on your couch. I mean, talk about magic, right? The immersive virtual reality app – Timelooper – allows you to travel back in time and have a virtual experience of real time events ranging back to almost 750 years.
Imagine visiting the historic castles and monuments in the time of them actually making history. A Starbucks today could have actually been a piece of barren land. I have goosebumps just thinking about it. But that’s just the trailer to what the app promises – and the chills running down your back are something that can definitely not escape due to time of your virtual experience.
The 5G Hype is Real
Ah, I’d be really slaushed if I had a shot for every time I heard ‘5G’ this year. Not that I am saying that I drink. Or maybe I do. But the point is 5G has been quite a hype this year and we’re all trying to figure out if it’s worth it. The travel industry definitely has some pros going for it. 5G will have a significant impact in the domain of self-driving cars.
It could be the link that had been missing to provide an efficient and smart approach in this segment. Driverless cars that in the near future will use 5G as a standard, will be able to communicate faster which in turn will decrease reaction time for the automobile in time of a potential collision. This will be a step towards a smarter transportation system but whether it’ll come at a huge cost to employment is a topic up for debate.
Also Read: What is 5G? How Does It Work?
The Not-Your-Usual Virtual Assistants
Alexa? No. Siri? No. Cortana? No. These virtual assistants are real people. Confused? Well, the pandemic with it brought a wave of imaginative ways and ideas that connected people and brought them together. Finland and Foroe Islands came up with something extremely unique factoring in their low population and high wilderness. They hosted two travel opportunities – Rent a Finn and Remote Travel.
Rent a Finn allows you to travel with a Finnish person through a live stream, which is basically experiencing a day in the life of. The stream opens up to conversations and discussions about the islands and gives you a feel of understanding a completely different culture. Remote Travel, on the other hand, allows you to literally control the movements of someone on the islands which means you can explore on your own terms. This also means that your travel experience will always be unique to you and isn’t that what all of us really want?