What Will the Future of Travel Look Like?


What Will the Future of Travel Look Like?


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The travel industry has endured many crises but very few were adequately prepared for a pandemic as devastating as COVID-19. What we are experiencing now is unlike anything that has gone before – this is a crisis everyone is learning to navigate in real time and the longer the lockdown and travel limitations go on, the louder the questions of ‘what next?‘ reverberate through every business connected to tourism.

What has started to become clear is that there is no straightforward answer and everything has become interlinked, travel cannot happen without developments in healthcare. These developments are aided by advances in the world of technology and many are pointing to how all three industries, tech, travel and healthcare will help to lead the way towards a more sustainably sound and socially aware global future.

In this most recent white paper of FINN Partners, The Future of Travel, we invited three of our own oracles – Jane Madden, FINN Partners’ Managing Partner, Global Sustainability & Social Impact; Dr. Karen Panetta, IEEE Fellow and Dean of Graduate Engineering at Tufts University; Dr. James Hildreth, President/ CEO of Meharry Medical College – to give us their view and provide us with some outside expertise to predict the future of travel – from the standpoints of technology, sustainability and healthcare – and illuminate a path to navigate through this global crisis towards our ‘new normal’.

While it is expected that the travel and tourism industry will experience a huge loss, the only way the industry can protect itself from more global disruptions is to build sustainability into the business at its core. This is also a time for responsible tourism to become the norm, fueled by the real commitment and leadership of all stakeholders. In the recover phase, it is critical that businesses in the industry maintain the integration of sustainability and develop strategic resiliency plan in order to protect the business, employees, travelers and the environment on an ongoing basis

Technology suddenly has a new travel mandate: keeping us healthy. The world will eventually return to traveling once the pandemic eases restrictions on personal movement – but it is going to look and feel very different, even if you never notice the intricate system of technology making it all possible. At the center of this dynamic change will be core technologies of artificial intelligence, machine learning and sensors. Two vital issues need to be addressed for this safer state of future travel: integration and compliance.

COVID-19 is likely not the only pandemic many adults will face in our lifetimes. As humans travel to and explore new habitats, they inevitably encounter new pathogens. The world has become smaller, and the population has become larger. We are more connected than ever before. With the incredible increase of global travel comes pandemic risk—as we have seen with the emergence of new viruses every decade in the recent past. We would be wise to seize this unprecedented moment to make scientifically informed, far-reaching changes to the way we travel for the sake of worldwide health. With COVID-19, our global population has embarked on a collective crash-course in virus transmission. Scientific knowledge and a unifying sense of community responsibility will catapult us into a new era of ethical travel.

To download the complete report, please click here.

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