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May 13th, 2020 | Outpost Co-founder David Abraham

Last week, a few folks on my team had a happy hour – socially distant, of course. While holed up in Singapore, watching the news, I don’t always see the progress that has allowed them to be so bold in Thailand. The TV news tends to take us to the worst spots over the past few months from China to Iran, the UK and the US. Short shrift is given to those countries who are ahead in round one of this fight – Taiwan, HK, Greece and Lithuania. My hope is that these tourist hotspots will lead the way in where travelers feel safe to go.

While we are at the beginning of a sustained struggle with Covid-19, we are learning ways to beat it. And while lockdowns are painful, if strategically used, we will be able to get through them. While our remote work lifestyle has now spread faster than the virus, it has snubbed out the travel part of nomadism but not its global mindset. But that will return. Until then, here’s what I see…

What To Expect

Travel itineraries. Longer trips from home, fewer destinations on each.

Tracers are the new TSA. Biggest new occupation: Contact Tracers. Hopefully this 100k plus workforce won’t have jobs for long.

The summer of isolation…by choice: Expect short-term exodus from large cities. Think campgrounds, cabins in the mountains and limited capacity retreats. Nomads will follow.

Visas. Many governments have shelved visa overstay penalties. With tourists unlikely to travel overseas for a quick trip, governments see incentives to can those pesky fees.

Traveler accommodations. Trusted hotel brands with smaller number of rooms win over home-stays for sanitary fears.

What I’m Watching

Flight costs, up and way up. With airlines subsidies set to end; empty middle seats; new health protocols; and deserted biz class travellers, ticket prices will jump. Even rock-bottom oil prices won’t save low fare prices. How much will they jump?

Is a quarantine the vacation itself? The location of a country’s quarantines will impact tourism. Few would travel if they knew a 14-day quarantine was in a university dorm. But if it were at the beachfront Marriott…would you go?

Virtual reality: virtually missing. With everyone wanting to be anywhere except where they are, today should be VR’s shining moment. Even clunky Zoom, which puts fifty people on a 13 inch screen is taking off, why not VR? Did it miss its defining moment?

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