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Like many business sectors, the travel industry was hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beaches, theme parks, and historic landmarks that once teemed with visitors sat empty as most of the world went into lockdown to slow the spread of the contagion. In one of the most shocking reports on the economic harm brought about by the pandemic, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development predicted that the travel industry would lose an estimated $1.2 trillion before things return to normal. While things may look dire, experts say that tourists should not fret about the future of travel. Although travel might look different in a post-COVID world, people who love to see the world will still be able to enjoy their favorite destinations in the years to come. Understanding the nature of these changes will help travelers prepare themselves for the new status quo in their adventures abroad.

One of the most important things to understand about post-pandemic travel is that destinations will limit guest capacity. It is unlikely that locations will allow visitors to pack their venues as they once did for the foreseeable future. Experts say that some destinations might even withhold booking slots to ensure limited capacity. Fewer slots, therefore, mean higher costs for visitors. As venues cannot generate the same revenue as pre-pandemic days, they will pass these costs on to travelers. Rising costs might further drive travelers to seek the assistance of travel agents. Although many view travel agencies as antiquated, the expert opinions offered by agents will become a cost-cutting measure for many inexperienced travelers.

Travelers can further expect that sanitation protocols instituted in the COVID era to continue for the next several years. Limiting the spread of germs has become a high priority, not only for individuals but for companies as well. Some industry insiders even believe that vacation and flight companies might even create new accommodations for travelers who want specially controlled hygiene parameters for their vacation. Just as cleaning protocols will remain in force, so too will rules involving masks. Although many do not like masks, studies suggest that they limit the spread of COVID-19 and other contagions, creating a safer environment for vacationers.

Travelers have much to look forward to in the future. While travel will not be the same as it once was, people who love to travel will once again be allowed to experience their favorite destinations in a post-pandemic world.