How hard will the coronavirus hit the travel and tourism industry?
The COVID-19 pandemic brings the travel industry to a standstill, causing massive job cuts and revenue losses and what not. It has completely changed our lifestyle and things around us during recent times.
Here some of the examples:
As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the global travel and tourism market is predicted to see a loss of approximately 101 million jobs worldwide in 2020. The region that is supposed to see the biggest loss from COVID-19 is the Asia Pacific region, losing approximately 65 million jobs, while Europe is forecast to be the second hardest hit with a forecasted employment drop of 13 million.
From losses due to cancellations of flight booking and hotel reservations, the uncertainty of the future travel is on hold. Therefore we have reached out to 18 popular travel bloggers and influencers globally sharing the impact of the pandemic on their lives and what they are up to these days.
Jodie from Alajode
As a full-time traveller, the pandemic has had a massive impact on me. As a travel blogger, the impact has been even bigger. I had trips to over 20 countries planned for the rest of 2020, and they’ve all had to be cancelled. That means that the content I had planned has now been scrapped – or at least put on hold indefinitely.
Although it’s been a massive disappointment, it’s given me a chance to work with a ‘clean slate’. With no plans to cover new destinations for the foreseeable future, I’ve been able to refine the content I already have. As well as updating old posts and making sure all information is up to date, I’ve been able to fix all the things that have needed tweaking on the site.
Most importantly of all, though, I’ve had time to really focus on my business plan and goals. As a wildlife photographer, my travel blog has always had a large focus on ethical wildlife encounters, ecotourism and sustainable travel. While this has always been something that my travel blog has focused on, it’s never been obvious from a new user’s perspective. This down time has allowed me the chance to redesign and restructure my blog to put my values centre stage.
Since I made the decision to do this, there has been much talk in the industry about what travel will look like going forward. It seems that most people believe there will be an increase in sustainable and slow travel, and I’m happy that I’ve had this time to make it clear that that’s what my blog is all about. While I’ve taken a massive hit for the time being, I do think this time to restructure and get organised will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Emily from Themandagies
The pandemic has really affected my business this year, in many ways! The most obvious way is inhibiting my travel plans. My husband and I run our outdoor adventure blog together, and we had a lot of backpacking trips, camping excursions and hikes planned for this spring and summer season. Since the Stay At Home Order for our state has come into place, we found ourselves at home, re-evaluating how we can still engage with our audience while being at home. We’ve noticed an increase in Instagram story views and more engagement across all social media platforms, including our Pinterest account.
Because our audience is outdoor-focused, we’ve pivoted to creating content around creative ways to get outside locally. This means we have spent a lot of time landscaping our yard and planting flowers, building an outdoor fire pit, and even throwing a backyard campout! We know this is a temporary focus, but it’s been fun to create a different kind of content and connect more deeply with our followers on Instagram stories in real-time. We are also planning to do some more live events, either on Instagram or Facebook, asking our audience questions about the outdoors and providing photography tips to practice during this time at home!
When this is all over and we’re free to travel again, I hope to continue to connect with our audience as we have been doing these past few weeks. It’s been fun to share the ‘home-life’ side of the travel blogging world, and I love the relationships that we are creating during this time!
Ayngelina from baconismagic
I’m Ayngelina from Canada and write about culinary travel. I won’t be traveling anytime soon so I have been sharing my favourite food and drink recipes from around the world. For me this is a gift of time to get organized and get around to all the things I previously wished I had time to do.
I have a list of over 200 food related posts I’d like to write, and recipes I’d like to make but I don’t have the ability to do it when I’m traveling. I spend a lot of time in Havana and productivity goes down as I don’t have the same type of access to internet. I’ve started writing posts, dealing with broken links, addressing some technical issues with the site and strengthening technical SEO.
That said, I have noticed that people are looking to be entertained by culinary travel posts, and to remember the good times. So for example, when I shared my favourite fruit in Jamaica a lot of people wanted to comment what they loved too. I’m also surprised people are still planning. So I’m still getting requests to share my favorite Havana restaurants, even though people may not be traveling there this year, they see the additional time as a way to plan the perfect holiday.
As I’m in it for the long haul, I have created a calendar of what I want to tackle each month and this summer I’m going to start editing the backlog of video and hopefully become more active on Youtube, after all I don’t have an excuse that there is no time!
Abhishek & Neha from Revolvingcompass
Bhushavali from bhushavali
I’ve always stuck to writing 1 post per week and sometimes 3 posts every 2 weeks! So I still am trying to keep up that and write a post every week. I’m living in Belgium and I’m from India. Currently I’m writing the articles about the various places in India & Belgium, that I had visited but not written about.
After the lock-down, I’m planning to explore more of Belgium, which is one of the often-ignored country in Western Europe. I have met many who say, a day is enough for Brussels – I’ve been living here since a couple of years and I’m yet to see so many places in Brussels! Also, most international tourists know only of Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp and set aside hardly 2 days for this country. I already have a section about the non-touristy, beautiful, unique places to visit in Belgium! I’m hoping to explore more of the smaller towns & villages of this small country and showcase all that this country has to offer!
As much as I love to travel, I’m been trying to be conscious and responsible. With the way nature is restoring itself now, thanks to lock-downs worldwide, I’m all the more convinced about the need for being eco-friendly while traveling. Almost 90% of the times, I’ve traveled taking public transport and here on too, I’m going to continue the same and try to increase that as well and try to explore the nearby countries taking the train instead of flying!
Juliet from Live Your Dream TODAY
I literally just started my life as a full-time travel blogger when all of this happened. My husband and I said our goodbyes to everyone and flew to Sri Lanka which was a starting point of what was supposed to be a year-plus long journey. It was on our last day in Sri Lanka when we realized we had to come back home immediately as our president was closing the borders in three days.
So we flew back, found an Airbnb as we gave up our rent before leaving, and isolated ourselves for a while. To be honest, I haven’t been outside the apartment for two months as we order deliveries to stay safe, and pretty much everything is closed anyway. So much for living my dream life!
Nevertheless, I’m keeping myself busy and making the most of this time. I actually try to see the good sides of the situation and stay optimistic. For example, I now get to learn SEO which I never had time for while traveling, although it’s critical for a successful blog. Many companies opened their courses and training programs for free so we can learn a lot these days without spending any money.
I stopped using Instagram as it was full of negative vibes regarding COVID–19 and concentrated on my blog. Now I’m writing all the drafted posts I have about our amazing trip to Sri Lanka. I’m putting a lot of work into each of those articles to provide maximum value for future travelers by sharing my personal experience. Lastly, I finally had the time to redesign my blog and I love its new look that inspires me to create more quality content for my readers!
Lieze from Glitterrebel
Two things can happen: people will start travelling all over the world again, taking advantage of all the cheap hotels and packages that are being offered (like for instance to Sicily which is paying for half of your plane ticket and 1 night of hotel for every 2 days you stay) OR people will travel inside their own country as borders and quarantine policies might be a hurdle for international travelers.
As we travel bloggers do not have a crystal ball, it will be quite hard to make useful predictions. It does seem however, that people will take more trips inside their home country – which means we bloggers will need to rethink our content. I have been focusing a lot on content about the countries my three main groups of visitors come from: the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
I have especially been looking at content for day trips and listicles of hotels and attractions in cities and areas people will want to travel to for a little local getaway! I have already seen an uplift in traffic towards articles about the USA, the UK and the UAE and will keep building content around these countries. It is important, however, not to lose sight on other destinations for when everything gets back to normal so try to mix things up!
Dorota from Bornglobals
I have been writing a travel blog for the last 4 years. After two years of trial and error, I focused on SEO and affiliate marketing. Since then, my blog started growing steadily and started bringing income. Just when it hit a decent amount – the pandemic came. The world froze, traveling stopped – and so did my blogging income. Statistics plummeted. And I don’t know when travel industry will go back to normal and when people will need my posts about international travel again.
After some hard time and tough emotions, I decided to launch a new project.
I set up a new blog. And I am treating it like a business from day one. I use all the knowledge I gathered in the last 4 years and I avoid mistakes I’ve made with my first blog. This one is much more specific – it is going to be about weekend trips in Poland (where I’m from), written for Poles, in Polish.
Why? Well, trips in our countries may be the only safe(ish) option this year. Also, people’s budgets got hit hard by the pandemic. They may not be able to go anywhere for longer than a prolonged weekend for quite some time.
Linn from Brainybackpackers
While the travel industry died overnight, and we don’t really know when it will pick up again, there is one thing we know and that is that it will pick up again at some point. For that reason, I haven’t stopped creating content for my blog. I’ve tried to add as much optimized content as possible for when travel is an opportunity again. While I haven’t promoted all the new posts on social media, I have promoted any travel post as armchair travel.
Even though people can’t travel it doesn’t mean they don’t dream about travel, see pretty travel pictures, and read about places they can go after all of this is over. I’ve also noticed an increase in interest in sustainable tourism, so I’ve been working on updating the content I have on the area and I’m getting out new content on how people can make armchair travel sustainably as well as future travel.
My main goal now, is to get as many people as possible to be responsible travelers once they start traveling again. Overtourism disappeared overnight. However, if we as travelers don’t make the right choices when we head out in the world again, the problem will emerge again just as quickly as it went away. Travelers need to take responsibility for how they travel and I’ll do my part by helping them in the right direction.
On the side of this, I have also started a second blog, Easy Way To Vegan, a vegan food blog helping people to cook easy vegan food. With this insane situation, we suddenly got faced with in the travel industry, I found it smart to build a business in a different niche too, to have my butt covered in the future.
Jiayi from Thediaryofanomad
I launched my travel blog during the quarantine and have been taking advantage of the time indoors to push out as much content as possible. I have procrastinated on this project of mine for over half a year now mostly due to constant traveling, so while I’m aware that right now is not the ideal time to start a travel blog, I’m also grateful that I get to have as much time as possible to really work on it.
My blog focuses on the lesser-visited destinations such as Uzbekistan and Oman. I think that once international travel is on the table again, people will be looking at these kinds of places more so than the popular, touristy ones to avoid the crowds. I also know it takes a while for articles to rank on Google, so I’m hoping that with all the SEO optimization I’ve been doing, I’ll start seeing some results by the time people are searching for travel-related articles again.
As for my social media platforms, I have been posting on Instagram as usual; my audience has expressed that my travel pictures are a great distraction and escape for them at the moment. I hope to continue helping them dream and giving them travel inspiration for the future! I’m also using this time at home to learn about Pinterest and Tailwind, and have been taking courses to help me get a grasp of the nitty-gritty of it all. I’m basically using quarantine to get my blog and business in the shape I want them to be by the time travel will be on people’s minds again!
Contributed by Eppie
Mayuri from Fernwehrahee
I made my Last trip in February to Varanasi, just few days before the Pandemic and was about to take flight to USA when Lockdown declared in India. Since than I am away from My husband whom I didn’t meet since a year. Initially, I couldn’t accept the situation as COVID was spreading vastly in USA and I was tensed for him but then I accepted the situation like this for me as Virus is not going anywhere and I can’t meet my husband for next few months!! I was broken but then I started attending my office, meditating to maintain peace with my mind, read few books in free time and gradually started diverting my mind towards Blogging.
Though I am blogging for 3 years, but with my full-time job It was crucial to maintain both of them well, I always run out of time! During this Lockdown, being free for few days in a week, I resumed my love for writing. I know nobody is travelling at the moment but People being at home, they may like to read about their future trips or they can gather the required information by searching the required content on the internet. With this hope, I started writing about my Previous trips that I took earlier this year in India. Apart from this, I started redoing old Posts for SEO purpose, started sharing posts(new and old) on Social Media, took few online courses for my blog, learnt about Pinterest strategies from other Social Media Groups and I am now active in many Travel Blogging Groups, this way I could connect with other amazing Blogging communities during Lockdown. As I post one blog each week, my friends started appreciating my efforts to stay away from depression that took over me as I couldn’t be with my husband during such tough situation!
I know, Travel industry is dooming but I am sure things will return to normal one day and hope I can fly to USA to meet my husband. I am grateful to my essential service job which pay me well but my heart goes to them who have no job and struggling to meet their ends!
Alissa & Mark from Mountadventureclub
Mikaela from Voyageurtripper
Both before and during the lockdown I’ve blogged while working a full time job. With commuting and traveling for work out of the way, I suddenly found myself with quite a bit of extra time and have used it as an opportunity to take my blog and Instagram up a notch. As I’ve done a lot of local travel and my blog is dedicated to camping, I took this as an opportunity to double down on destination guides for nearby national and provincial parks, like Killarney Provincial Park for example. Where I’ve really seen this strategy shine is on Instagram.
Nadine from Theexpatmummy
Kenya is the heart of the safari industry in Africa. Our economy relies heavily on tourism. Our world-renown game parks, from the spectacle of the great migration in the Maasai Mara to the opportunity to visit the last of the Northern White Rhino at Ol Pejeta, has visitors flocking in their millions to safari in Kenya.
With the arrival of Covid-19, tourism here, has ground to a halt and the effects have been far reaching. Kenya is a third world country and the majority of its population lives in extreme poverty. The ending of tourism has shattered the lives of people all over Kenya. Not just the affluent resorts who have been forced to close, but the gamekeepers, rangers, cooks, cleaners, tour drivers who work in the camps and parks. The Maasai beaders, cloth makers, wood carvers who sell their wares to the tourists. And the restaurants and bars that accommodate our friends from overseas. In Kenya, the response has been to postpone not cancel urging tourists who would have visited, to travel later rather than not at all. In country, we are in lockdown in our major cities, but camps and hotels have responded by publishing deals for the locals. Buy now and save or no cancellation fees are common. Some establishments offer a vouchers scheme – ‘buy a voucher now redeemable at any time it the next year’. The tourist industry is grabbing at straws to stay afloat, and as we move towards July when the migration begins in full, hotels which are usually at full capacity may still lie empty.
As a travel blogger, I have committed to support our tourism industry by continuing to write about places and experiences in Kenya. I hope that reading about the wildlife and wonder that is here in Kenya will inspire people to keep thinking about travel. Only by keeping Kenya in the forefront of people’s minds and motivating them to travel when they can, will we be able to keep our wonderful safari lifestyle alive.
Sundeep and Bedabrata from Delhifundos
The Covid 19 pandemic is changing the world. We have dropped everything and are confined to our covered spaces. Words like distancing and isolation are doing the rounds. All this is unnerving to stay the least. In such heavy circumstances, our only retreat is the cyber world. There is no distancing here, and people all over the world, are spending online time like never before. Social media gives us hope. Our Covid 19 resolution is to remain positive. We are using this forced break to advance our social media platforms. We have been running a website for about 8 years. We are also active on Instagram, FaceBook. All these forums are keeping us so busy that we are mostly successful in keeping negativity at bay.
Here is a list of our present activities that we hope inspires you to remain positive as well.
- Redesigning our website – Our website was designed almost 8 years ago. We wanted a new design but were not getting time to implement that. We are using the lockdown period to revamp our website.
- Pending blogs – Given that we are forever preoccupied with travel or assignments or our vocations, we tend to accumulate a backlog of pending blogs. Now is the time to tackle that and we are at with vengeance.
- Exploring new platforms – We have been meaning to try out new platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. The extra time of hand is allowing us to explore these platforms and connect with a whole new audience base out there.
And we are keeping our eyes open for the “new normal” with masks, sanitizers and so on. We hope to connect soon with the post-Covid world, not only online but also in real.
Anh and James from Teamajtravels
We have been lucky enough for our day jobs to be (mostly) unaffected and had the opportunity to work from home. The upside of this means no time lost to commuting, and with no socialising possible this could be the most productive period of our lives! Or the least…. I mean we do have a backlog of Netflix series to catch up on.
To keep us on track there are three objectives that we have set ourselves above the usual content creation.
- Sort out our massive library of photos: When on the road the golden rule is to take more pics than you need so you can pick and choose the best ones. The catch is you have to take the time to sit down and do this or that library can get monstrously large. This will be our best opportunity to organise, delete, and sort out what is blog worthy and what is not.
- Get Pinterest up and running: This can be a daunting prospect when starting out. We know that we will end up creating thousands of these things which is why we have put this off until now. As we sort out the photos we can have our pin content ready to go and churn these out fairly quickly. But to get from zero up to 4-5 pins per day, all with keyword optimized descriptions means a lot of hours. But once we get to that point we know it will snow ball over time and we can gradually build from there. And it will pay off in the long run.
- Plan out our Australian trips and content ideas: It looks like it will be a long time before border controls in Australia will be relaxed. But we have so many great destinations right under our nose that we always thought we would just get to later. Well, now is later. The rest of the world will have to wait.
You can follow Anh and James: Facebook
Cath from Travelaroundireland
Since travel has been so negatively impacted as a result of the pandemic, so too have I felt the effects of the crisis. As a travel blogger, I had been working for a year to scale my blog in order to monetize it and had been making in-roads to achieve my goal. Then the crisis hit.
I’ve had to rethink my strategy and consider things from a long-term perspective. I’ve also had to manage fitting in blogging around homeschooling my son, no easy challenge when you have been used to six hours a day to dedicate to your blog being taken from you.
As a result, I have been re-optimizing old blog posts for keywords, resizing old images and generally cleaning up my family travel blog in the hope it pays off once travel become safe to do so again. I am also filling in gaps for countries and cities we’ve visited with supporting posts for my main content. I am also working on a destination site and writing content for that, also in the hope it will age with Google and gain rankings once people start looking for information about travelling to that country.
Personally, as a family, we had a two-month road trip planned around Europe for the summer which we have had to postpone until next summer (fingers crossed). It just doesn’t feel safe enough yet to even think about continuing with our plans, especially as we would be travelling with a 6-year-old. We had also had a short road trip planned over Easter within the country we live in which had to be cancelled. If cases reduce significantly over the coming months, we will rearrange that trip so as to support the local economy which will need as much help as possible where tourism is concerned. I will write about the cities and regions we visit in an effort to put these locations on people’s radars for their future holidays too.
Just one piece of advice: everything is possible; it’s just a matter of accepting those changes and moving on.
Stay safe! Stay healthy!
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