The COVID-19 pandemic drastically transformed many spheres of society, with the tourism industry being one of the most impacted. Hotels, restaurants, airlines, and travel agencies had to suspend their operations almost entirely for an extended period, leading to an unprecedented situation.

On March 13, 2020, the Vice President of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predicted that the global business could potentially decline by 25%, putting 50 million jobs worldwide at risk. Shortly thereafter, these ominous predictions materialized with the complete closure of hospitality and restaurants in many countries, along with restricted mobility between nations.

This unprecedented situation completely altered the landscape for both tourists and the tourism industry, reshaping how people plan, experience, and enjoy their travels. It marked the beginning of a new era in the tourism sector.

In the following lines, we provide a brief analysis of the characteristics of today’s tourist.


Priority on safety and health

The top consideration for the post-COVID-19 tourist is safety and health. Travelers are more aware of the importance of choosing destinations and accommodations that implement strict health measures. Transparency in cleaning policies, social distancing, and the availability of reliable medical services have become crucial in decision-making.


Shift in destination preferences

The pandemic has altered destination preferences, with an increase in the popularity of less crowded and more secluded places. Rural destinations, natural parks, and less-explored locations are gaining prominence, reflecting the desire for authentic experiences and the need to escape urban hustle and bustle.


Flexibility in travel plans

The uncertainty associated with the pandemic has led to a higher appreciation for flexibility in travel plans. Today’s tourists seek options that allow them to adjust itineraries and make last-minute changes without significant penalties. More lenient cancellation and rescheduling policies are now a crucial factor in choosing tourism services.


Technology for a secure travel experience

Technology has become an indispensable ally in ensuring a safe travel experience. From contactless check-ins to the use of apps to monitor the capacity of tourist attractions, tourists now seek technological solutions that minimize physical interaction and reduce risks. 


Focus on sustainable tourism

Environmental awareness has surged. There is a growing interest in supporting destinations and tourism businesses committed to sustainable and responsible practices that contribute to minimizing their environmental footprint. Connection with nature, environmental conservation, and positive contributions to local communities are key factors in the choice of destinations and activities.


Digital transformation and virtual experiences

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual experiences and digital transformation in tourism. The post-COVID-19 tourist explores options such as virtual museum visits, online tours, and activities that allow them to immerse themselves in culture and history from the comfort of their homes.


In a nutshell, today’s travelers embrace a completely transformed mindset, prioritizing safety, flexibility, and sustainability. The tourism industry, in turn, adapts to these changes to offer experiences that meet new expectations and needs, shaping an era where health, responsibility, and authentic connection with the environment are key elements in the enjoyment of travel.