New Travel Protocols to Ensure Safety and Hygiene Standards

The US travel industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many travel operators and businesses to temporarily close down. As the country starts to gradually lift restrictions and travel resumes, new travel protocols have been put in place to guarantee the safety and well-being of everyone involved. This includes mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing protocols and increased sanitation measures up to the standards of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While these new protocols have added an extra layer of effort and expenses for businesses, they also present opportunities for travelers to feel more confident booking travel arrangements knowing that their safety is of the utmost importance to travel providers. With this confidence in place, travel companies can focus on promoting outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and road trips, widely considered to be less risky when it comes to contagion.

The Rise of Domestic Travel and The Importance of Regional Tourism

The pandemic has pushed international travel to the back burner and has thus made domestic travel more important than ever before. Inbound travel reached record lows and outbound travel faced serious restrictions, forcing families and solo travelers alike to re-plan their trips to explore our own backyard. This ‘staycation’ mentality has quickened the shift towards regional tourism, where tourists explore what their country has to offer closer to home. For example, beach towns, national parks, and lesser-known cities with outdoor attractions are seeing an uptick in visitation. Regions that cater to outdoor adventure, cultural diversity, and rich history are poised to grow in popularity.

Travel companies should take note of this change and capitalize on advertising regional tour add-ons to complement longer or more extensive trips to the wider US. Travel packages and promotions which showcase hidden gems in their own region can appeal to budget-conscious, environmental-conscious, and safety-focused travelers by incentivizing them to extend their tourism footprint to neighboring states to garner a new appreciation of their local surroundings.

The Growth of Sustainable Tourism

With the widespread phenomenon of climate change and environmental degradation due to massive carbon footprints and littered tourist spots, sustainable tourism has garnered increasing importance in recent times. Environmentally friendly travel options should be offered by travel agencies to cater to responsible travel enthusiasts. The popularity of sustainable tourism is set to soar in the post-COVID era, with environmentally-conscious travel enthusiasts looking for travel providers prioritizing sustainable options.

The US is home to a fabulously diverse array of natural landscapes and wilderness regions. As domestic travel and regional tourism continue to flourish, tourism companies that offer sustainable tourism options, including eco practices like zoo and habitat preservation or green hotels and tours, may find themselves at the forefront of travelers’ minds as they shop for their next trip.

The Importance of Digital Marketing in the Era of Social Distancing

With social distancing guidelines still in place, traditional advertising strategies like trade shows and meet-and-greet events have become practically obsolete. Instead, more emphasis falls on digital marketing – including social media, email campaigns, and online events, to market the US travel industry to the world.

With social media usage at an all-time peak, US travel companies should direct their online spending budget towards social media channels, YouTube, and the development of their website, enhancing their digital presence and making themselves more visible to potential customers. Given the growing trend of virtual events, which has proven to be a phenomenal success story during the pandemic, travel firms must consider hosting online events to keep potential and existing customers engaged.

The Road Ahead: The Future of US Tourism

The US travel industry has seen unprecedented challenges during the pandemic and has been forced to adapt constantly. Industry players need to continue to reinvent themselves to cope with changing travel trends, safety guidelines, and regulatory changes to keep their guests safe and regain public confidence in post-COVID travel. Eager to learn more about the topic? Merca2, we recommend this to enhance your reading and broaden your knowledge.

That being said, the US travel industry’s resilience, coupled with the projected boom in regional and sustainable tourism, suggests there’s a brighter road ahead. With the right mix of safety protocols, innovative promotional strategies, and diversification in terms of destinations and activities, travel firms can look forward to a rosy revival of the US travel scene as a whole.

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