In this uncertain world of coronavirus outbreaks and travel restrictions, what is a travel blogger to do?
As I write this, I should have been in Brussels right now for a training program. Of course, if I had flown there as expected, I’d be scrambling to get home right now with the new flight restrictions implemented by President Trump.
If that weren’t enough, there are suggestions to cancel congregations of 250+ people. We’ve seen this play out across sporting events, Broadway shows, and universities all across America this week, and it has impacted some of the travel I haven’t cancelled yet. I just got notification that one of the tours I’d lined up in NYC has cancelled.
So, what’s a travel blogger to do?
I do realize that if I were to take a break from blogging, the world would not end. Most people would not even care, or notice. This isn’t how I make a living, so my livelihood would not be impacted. But as melodramatic as it sounds, I need to travel. Traveling to different parts of the world, experiencing new cultures, learning about new sub-cultures/sports/events/sights fuels me spiritually in a way that nothing else does.
Simply put, being a travel blogger is an essential part of who I am.
So again, what’s a travel blogger to do?
This travel blogger has come up with a solution for the immediate future. I will continue to travel to places closer to home and explore sights/experiences that aren’t dependent on businesses being open and groups congregating for tours.
I’ll hold to the idea of social distancing. I can travel alone in my car and avoid crowds for the most part. But I also want to spend money in local economies. The trickle-down effect of cancelled travel & tourism is going to be disastrous.
Here are a few U.S. statistics from the 2018 tourism certification class I took:
- Travel is a $2.4 trillion industry nationwide; $6.6 billion per day!
- Travel & tourism creates 15.6 million jobs in the U.S.
- Tourism constitutes 1 of every 9 jobs in the U.S.
- Tourism generates $164.8 billion in tax revenues, which saves taxpayers and estimated $1,300 they might otherwise pay in federal taxes each year.
Competition for tourism dollars is likely to become more competitive than ever as we see drops in travel and tourism around the world. This all trickles down to the hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and JOBS that our local communities rely on.
So, here’s my plan while I can still responsibly travel close-to-home:
- I will adhere to social distancing suggestions to limit interactions to small group settings.
- In many cases, I will look for activities that I can do regardless of cancellations.
- I will continue to support local businesses/restaurants/museums/hotels as I wander off-the-beaten path.
I like to think of my next upcoming trips as treasure hunts: what can I find to see and do on my own? I’m heading to Michigan soon. Wait and see…
How have your travel plans been impacted?