Post 9/11 and the Icelandic ash cloud, 95,000 flights were canceled within a span of 5 days. And at that time, it was considered a huge blow to the travel industry.How staycations are getting more and more popular as we continue dealing with COVID and vaccines are also starting to be provided?Here is why.
However, considering what has been going around the world for a year now, the losses seem trivial. Covid-19 has ripped off the travel industry and the losses are surmounting.
Why Staycations Are The New Travel Normal
The Impact Of Covid
March 2020 was the turning point for the global economy. And one of the worst-hit industries during this recession time was hospitality. According to a report, about 60% of the jobs lost between March and May 2020 were from the hospitality industry.
Nearly 70% of the hotels and restaurants were forced to close due to imposing lockdowns. The financial losses amounted to nearly $100,000 by the end of 2020.
On the brighter side, after July 2020, the scenario seemed to take a positive turn for the hospitality industry. But, with a new normal coming into the limelight within the industry- staycation.
For many, staycation would mean staying at home and indulging in leisure activities. However, the term has a broader meaning to it.
To put it correctly, a staycation is when travelers stay within a destination for several weeks or months. It essentially allows travelers to explore a location while continuing to carry out their daily regimes. For example, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and sometimes work as well. But, instead of working as a full-time office employee, travelers mostly enjoy remote work.
This brings us to the question at hand- why choose staycation? Well, firstly, staycations make for the safest alternative to enjoy some leisure time in any location. For example, Put-in-Bay Hotels & Resorts make for the best local staycation option. The small island village situated in Lake Erie offers seclusion as well as fun opportunities at the same time.
Of course, the pandemic has changed travel norms forever. And people are now preferring to stay in one place for long, to mitigate the risks of contracting the virus.
Changing Travel Norms
It is not just the travelers who are preferring for safer travel but government agencies are intervening too. For instance, there have been several guidelines set up by local and central authorities.
To name a few, travelers are now requested to wear masks at all times. People are advised not to make contact with unknowns and follow social distancing norms at all times. In addition to this, several countries have also imposed restrictions for traveling in and out of the country. But, there are certain exceptions to the restrictions too. For example, some countries are allowing tourists who have received the Covid-19 vaccine, while others have still asked for a quarantine period.
Besides, the hospitality industry has special norms of its own. For example, some hotels are only accepting bookings online, if a recent Covid test report is submitted along with the booking details. And all these norms have only been put in place to ensure safety for the travelers.
Staycations As An Alternative
This brings us back to the agenda at hand- should staycations be chosen over routine weekend trips? Well, the answer is not that simple.
For travelers who can continue their work remotely, staycations surely are a superb alternative. With almost every IT-based company extending WFH opportunities, staycations can offer an escape. Not to mention that people working from home are also struggling to maintain their composure and need a vacation out of their homes.
Reports have suggested an increase in anxiety and depression symptoms following the WFH situation. The leading cause for these symptoms includes long working hours and disturbance in work-life balance. Most of the people who have been working from home since late February or early March 2020 are also showing signs of mental breakdown. In such situations, staycations might just be the right way to relax and muster peace and strength.
However, for individuals who still need to attend their office, it might not be the best approach. But, there are other alternatives available too. Weekend trips are slowly gaining their original pace once again. And the hospitality market in 2021 is expected to cope 34% from the losses incurred in 2020 following travel restoration.
On this note, we can conclude that staycations are the new normal for travelers. But, mostly for people who have access to remote work. Besides, staycations not only offer a safe vacation alternative but also allows travelers to balance work and leisure. And, that too without having to compromise with their safety and health.