How long will the deadly Coronavirus outbreak keep travelers shuttered in their homes? In the midst of a pandemic, the question seems almost inappropriate. But the travel industry generates billions of dollars, millions of jobs and offers a welcome respite for consumers that now view inhaling fresh air as a commodity. Our worlds have been condensed to the square footage of our homes for weeks, or in some cases months, but opportunities to come up for air seem moderately tangible for CBS News travel journalist Peter Greenberg.
When can we get back to traveling?
The award-winning journalist tells TravelCoterie he expects the travel world to emerge from quarantine “in stages” beginning in early June. “We’ll probably emerge from this around the first through 15th of June where we’ll sort of get a qualified green light to be able to go outside and actually take a trip.”
Where will Americans travel first?
Get those National Park passes ready and look for most travelers to keep their adventures domestic and close to home following the outbreak. Peter believes Americans will spend much of the summer exploring from the comfort of their car in a sort of domestic road-trip renaissance. “If Americans are anything like they were back in 9/11, they’re not going to be taking long trips. We’re going to start with domestic travel, drive-to-destinations. People are going to get in their cars for trips of less than 400-miles.”
Will there be an RV resurrection?
Social distancing is also likely etched into America’s cultural fabric for the foreseeable future so look for families, groups of friends and couples to opt for RVs for those extended vacations. “People are going to love to be able to go in their RV, which they can rent, as a self-contained unit which also provides lodging.”
What about international travel?
Peter believes international leisure travel will resume in the fall, after business travelers have proven it’s safe to return to the friendly skies. “Maybe by September … we’ll start seeing people flying over large bodies of water to go other places, but this is not gonna turnaround instantaneously. This is global, it’s almost biblical and we’re gonna have to just take things one step at a time and chances are they’re gonna have to be small steps.”