Why travel is still on or off the agenda

Here we are

The world is “in uncharted territory” on the coronavirus outbreak, the WHO has said. This much, is clear for all to see, especially in the travel space. There are very few businesses, in the travel industry and well beyond, (except for insurance companies) that thrive in times like these— or will get out unscathed. Household name companies, wealthy airlines, hotel chains and global travel companies, all the way down the chain to local family businesses; all rely on tourism for their income.

So, should you book a trip or cancel existing travel plans?

When it comes to booking a holiday months in advance, there are always risks associated – even without coronavirus. When it comes time to actually make the final decision to depart, you can’t guarantee that the country you’re travelling to, won’t have been hit by a natural disaster, political unrest or another situation that will make visiting there a little trickier than you originally anticipated. To ease this hesitation, SpiceRoads has introduced Flexible Bookings - allowing you to change your trip up to 60 days before departure with no penalty.

SR Customer Support team staff Michelle & Lucy

Positive impact

While you certainly shouldn’t do anything out of a feeling of guilt, any trips you do take over the next several months or even this year will have a tangible positive impact on local businesses and vendors. Yes, you will be supporting SpiceRoads, but more importantly, the people in our supply chain that have been part of the family for many years. Obviously the guides, the drivers and mechanics, and also the many hotels, restaurants and communities you visit along the way. Finally, our silent army in the office, customer support, office admin, the critical operations team, and even us dreamers in the marketing department.

SpiceRoads MD - Daniel Moylan: “Economies in Asia are dependent on tourism dollars, so when people stop travelling, it is a huge problem. We need to consider the knock-on effect to restaurants, hotels and other roles, for millions of people employed in the wider industry”

SR guide Vibol with a group in Cambodia

Benefits of travelling in these times

If you do decide to go on tour, great. You’ll probably be fine, and you’ll probably have a very nice time, maybe an even better time, as there will be heavily reduced tourist numbers, guides and teams more focused on your experience and more opportunity to be deeply immersed into unique local interactions.

There are various discounts around the world emerging on everything from flights, tour packages and accommodation, to upgrades and rentals. You can probably grab some great deals to lock in flexible future travel. Keep an eye out for SpiceRoads promotions in the months ahead.

Opportunity for safe(r) travel

While travel to most destinations around the world remains safe, and your risk of infection remains very low, the wary traveller might do well to seek out some of the world’s more remote, off the beaten track, and more sparsely-populated destinations. The challenge may be getting to these destinations, do your homework or we can assist with suggestions for trips in optimal regions.

Kazakhstan, a truly off-the-beaten-track destination

The Elephant in the room

You won’t find many experts out there prepared to say travel is absolutely 100% safe, no matter the region or precautions you take, and that you should just carry on as normal. This is, in part, because nobody really knows how widely the coronavirus will spread. There is no hiding from the hysteria unfortunately amplified by the media and misinformation.

Final Thoughts

So, as long as you’re comfortable to travel, you should. Just be smart with the destinations you visit, get travel insurance, stay up-to-date with changing situations and quarantine rules, and look after your health and hygiene, both at home and abroad. Here at SpiceRoads we are constantly monitoring the evolving situation, staying in touch with our many local representatives on the ground around the world. With this information, we are here to assist you with any questions you have, no matter how big or small we stand ready to support you. At the end of the day, the health, safety and welfare of you and the community around you (should you travel and return home) are priority one. That there are still very viable travel options available, is a bonus to be able to consider.

Noel Tanner

Director of Cycling

A personal note from someone facing constant coronavirus reports and updates out of necessity as it is so deeply impacting our industry: If possible limit your exposure to the barrage of news, spend time with the people and things that make you feel good and be kind to yourselves during this strange time.