Future of Travel Blogger- My thoughts!

Given the collapse of travel industry due to Corona Virus, how would future of a travel blogger be in post Covid-19 era? Would it die down? Would it boom? How long will it take to recover? Will we ever reach pre-corona levels? This post shares my thoughts.
1. Travel is not dead-it is only hibernating.
In my personal opinion travel and by extension of it, travel blogging are not dead. It may be in a state of suspended animation right now but it will recover and bounce back.
  • Travel & Tourism is a large industry world wide. While some players may go bankrupt, a significant part of this industry will survive and bounce back once the virus scare ends. Travel bloggers need to survive till that time.
  • People will travel once the virus scare is gone. Not being able to travel for long kinds of builds up the pressure to go out and unwind. But with virus scare and restrictions world wide potential tourists will hold all leisure travel for now, but once the scare of Corona Virus goes away, people will come out and travel. It could take 6 months or an year, but it will happen.
  • Offbeat places may gain more traction: Attractions that get large crowds, events like music concerts, festivals may be suspended for a few more years. But smaller places that can open with social distancing norms will open up earlier. Instead of visiting a popular monuments people might prefer to drive to a remote beach or national park or such places that are deemed safer.
2. People will be looking for different kind of advise
All the content on the net as of now may lose relevance in post Corona world. If someone is planning a trip in say 2021, they will have different kind of questions, such as
  • Is a specific country issuing visa/allowing international tourists? Any restrictions in place?
  • What kind of social distancing measures are in place at an attraction?
  • How much the fee has increased (since now they can accommodate less people)
  • Is there any travel insurance that covers risks related to covid-19 like pandemic?
  • What are the off beat places in a city we can explore safely without having to deal with large crowds?
  • Is public transport safe in a country? If it is expected to be crowded would taxi/private transport be very expensive?
  • Will it be practical to plan a multi-country trip? What happens to the itinerary if we are quarantined at one place?
  • What are the cancellation policy/refund policy of a hotel/airline/holiday company in case our plans are to be cancelled last minute?
  • How to ensure the hotel room is properly sanitized before stepping in?
Travel bloggers need to gear up to address these new sets of questions. Tourism boards may conduct FAMs to familiarize travel bloggers with various social distancing and safety measures in their country. Even otherwise someone has to go out, find out how is the new world and help others plan their travel. Those who can assist potential travelers with clarifications like above will get good traffic and can flourish.

3. Some diversification may be needed
Many travel bloggers have some kind of secondary skills- Photography, food, art, fashion etc. You might have to polish some of these skills and try to earn some revenue from these, to supplement travel blogging income.

4. Virtual Travel may see good demand
If you can make good videos, 3D shoots, drone footage and other such interesting content, you might find it easier to survive. Many would defer physical travel and spend more time consuming online travel content to keep them engaged.

5. Risk vs Reward:
Once the world, or a particular destination opens up do you dare to be the first few to travel there and tell everyone how it feels? Or Would you wait for someone else to go there first, confirm everything is fine and then plan your travel? Traveling soon after lockdown ends carries a very high risk of infection. But sooner or later someone somewhere has to get started exploring the world again. Would you be that first few to venture out? Then lots of people might want to know how are things now. Every travel blogger has to decide how they want to balance this risk vs reward, how much safety net they wish to keep. It is easier to say "Don't go anywhere for 2 years" but I am sure there will be a few who will step out within 3-4 months. Everyone has to do their own risk assessment and take a call on this.

Update: Rajiv Verma has shared following thought:
  • Travel in no way is going to be dead. It might sound a little weird but i think, once things star opening up again, there will be a short boom in domestic travel. Significant part of it will be people who love to ride and drive.
  • While we expect people not to crowd places, they will, unless the destinations them self put in some sort of moderation and strictly enforce it.
  • No-self drive travel (domestic) will pickup too, albeit slowly as compared to the previous.
  • Regional international travel will also likely pickup sooner than expected, mostly because of it being cheaper than usual. There will be incentives that will be offered by businesses to help this sector to pickup.
  • This also means, travel blogging too, will pickup. My personal guess is, in the Indian subcontinent, by September end October.
  • Outbound long distance international travel will only start to crawl around mid next year in my opinion.
What do you think? Let me know.

15 comments:

  1. Nothing changes for hobby bloggers like me... :)

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  2. So goood analysis! I will travelpost lockdown for 2-3 months though it would be leisure travel.Most important thing would be how travelers choose airlines.Wht are your views about airlines part post covid?

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    1. Thanks. Refer this post for airline recovery analysis
      http://www.airlineblog.in/2020/04/airline-recovery-phases-once-lockdown-lifted.html

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  3. Nothing changes for people like new who travel cos we enjoy it..its only those going on free trips/junkets that worry sets in...

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  4. A lot of people are forced to look for alternatives for a living.

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    1. That is true across several industries due to massive job loss.

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  5. Great article Shrinidhi Hande. A couple of caveats before I add my comments. I am a travel writer, and not a travel blogger. I do make some money from my published stories, but I do not rely on it for my living. I travel for pleasure. I would like to share what I would do once the Covid19 scare lessens considerably.
    1 I would defer all my international travel for the next 12 months.
    2 I would travel only within India, and to destinations around 500 kilometers of where I live- Bangalore. And I will drive to these places, no public transport. So this would open up AP, Telengana, TN and Kerala for me. There are enough hidden gems which I have always wanted to explore and these do not attract crowds. I am now researching these and will be creating a list.
    3 For a travel blogger such sites would be great traffic pullers to your website. Travel magazines (those that survive) will be using stories from India. I suspect international stories will take a back seat for a few months at least.

    Some points in your story I have alternate views on:
    1 Virtual travel material has always been there on YouTube etc. This is no substitute for travel and it only increases the appetite for travel. So, I do not think virtual travel material will be in any greater demand.
    2 I am not sure if a travel blogger's stories after a FAM trip will convince me to travel. I would suspect the recommendations especially if I knew it was written after a sponsored trip.

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  6. My crystal gazing says the following

    Travel, leisure one, will start only some time next year that too cautiously.

    For few years, people may prefer domestic leisure travel over the overseas one

    Every thing will be different, from airline seating to crowd control at palaces to castles, cover in the restaurants.

    Crowds are also not likely to build up rapidly.

    Amateur travel bloggers like me will survive and professional travel bloggers like you will have to recycle the contains for a while.

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    1. Noted. I still have unpublished old content, so will survive for a while

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  7. I feel it is the restaurant business that is doomed. Travel will certainly pickup after sometime.

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    1. Hmm, restaurants can shift heavily towards takeaway/delivery and limit dine in

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