8 Travel Destinations That Will Never Be The Same Again

By Loraine Balita-Centeno on June 3 2020 in Travel

Cramped shopping streets like Jiufen in Taiwan may see fewer visitors because of the pandemic. Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash
Cramped shopping streets like Jiufen in Taiwan may see fewer visitors because of the pandemic. Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash
  • The Deer Cave in Borneo is home to around 3 million bats.
  • The Shibuya crossing in Tokyo is dubbed
  • You can now tour the Toronto Zoo from the comfort of your own car through their Scenic Safari tour.

This pandemic has upended people’s lives in ways nobody expected. It has changed the way people educate their children, work, and interact. Many experts believe that after this experience the world will never be the same again. Many companies will adopt a work-from-home set-up, schools will integrate more virtual classes, and it will take a while before people will have the courage to travel to distant destinations again. Even when tourist spots open, people will still be wary of strangers and keep to themselves.

We can say goodbye to budget airfares as airlines announce social distancing measures in planes. Some are proposing to keep passengers a few seats apart, and this means flying with fewer passengers and many unoccupied slots. This ultimately means tickets will be more expensive. The practice may also trickle down to other modes of transportation for tourists like buses, trains, and boats. No longer will you be allowed to squeeze into a packed tourist bus, and your excitement in a jampacked tourist area will be replaced by fear and apprehension.

Places that are normally packed with people will have to make adjustments too to keep people safe while traveling. Other areas that let people be in close contact with wild animals will also be affected. If you’re wondering how this pandemic can change the way we travel, we’re giving you a list of eight destinations that will never be the same again.

8. Caves And National Parks That Let People See Bats Up Close

Gunung Mulu is famous for its bats, but tourists will likely avoid the area entirely now. Image credit: wikimedia.org

Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo was a favorite spot among tourists to see bats up close. The park features several caves, and the most visited one was the Deer Cave where more than 3,000,000 bats and twelve different bat species reside. Every day at sunset, the bats put on a beautiful display as they fly out of the caves to find food. COVID-19 closely resembles a known coronavirus harbored in horseshoe bats, and there’s a possibility that it originated from one of these creatures. Therefore, people will now be more wary to go into caves and be in close contact with millions of flying bats.

7. Tourist Spots That Let People Come In Contact With Birds

Many travelers will avoid coming in contact with birds in Venice. Photo by Juan Encalada on Unsplash

Places like St. Mark Square or Piazza San Marco in Venice allow people to feed birds, tons of them. Humans get to interact with a crazy mob of pigeons that seems overly eager to welcome tourists. You can feed them off the palm of your hand if you don’t mind getting covered with birds all over your body. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience for tourists who want to experience Venice.

After getting hit hard by the virus, many believe Italy will take a while to recover. Aside from this, places like Piazza San Marco may see fewer tourists in the coming months and years as people try to avoid close contact with animals. Some will be brave enough to try it again, but other people will be more careful and avoid these places instead.

6. Wet Markets

Travelers will likely avoid wet markets in the future. Photo by Jonal Dela Cruz on Unsplash

Before scientists traced the origin of the virus back to a wet market in Wuhan, many tourists visited wet markets in Asia to experience authentic cuisine. In Shanghai, for example, people can book a tour of the wet market and watch a cooking show after. The tour was a great way to experience local culture through food.  

The virus may have come from a wet market that sells wild animal meat in Wuhan, so people will now think twice before booking a tour of a wet market. Those who are more brave and adventurous may still go and try it, but they will be wary of trying unknown items in the market.

5. Party Destinations

Party locales like Ibiza will likely see a decline in visitors. Photo by melanie Gabbi on Unsplash

Islands like Ibiza are famous for jampacked parties throughout the summer months, and they welcome thousands of visitors each year. Tourists flock to this volcanic island close to Spain for the non-stop parties and unlimited opportunities to mingle with strangers from all over the world. After this pandemic, many believe places like Ibiza will see fewer visitors this year. Many people will choose to party within their circle or crowd. Others will even want to skip the partying altogether just to be safe.

4. Places With Small Enclosed Alleys

Crowded shopping streets like Jiufen will see fewer visitors. Photo by Mikolaj Hyzy on Unsplash

Squeezing your way into an alley packed with other tourists used to be exciting. Slowly inching your way towards the cobbled streets like those in Jiufen in Taiwan was part of the experience. Jiufen is home to a centuries-old city atop a mountain that is lined with small and narrow alleyways. These paths are lined with shops that sell authentic Taiwanese street food and other trinkets. The place is almost always packed with people you’d barely be able to move around. Places like this will change after the pandemic as tourists become more anxious to get into narrow alleyways for fear of catching a virus.

3. Zoos With Wild Animals

Zoos will have to find ways to allow visitors to view animals from a safer distance. Photo by Donna Lay on Unsplash

Scientists believe this is not going to be the last pandemic if humans don’t learn to leave wildlife alone. As long as people keep encroaching into their habitat, using them as food, or coming in close contact with them either as a form of entertainment or tourism, wild animals that carry zoonotic viruses will keep passing these on to humans. We will continue to see a virus spillover from animals to people.

Many who will heed these scientists' advice will skip a trip to the zoo or any other places that put humans in close contact with wild animals for fear of another virus crossing over to humans. Some zoos have managed to adjust to new social distancing measures and keep people away from the animals by offering drive-by visits. The Toronto Zoo recently opened to visitors who want to go on a scenic safari tour to see the animals from the comfort of their cars.

2. Theme Parks

Disneyland will always be popular, but some guests may not be comfortable with new social distancing protocols in the park. Photo by Travis Gergen on Unsplash

Part of the fun of being in destinations like Disneyland and Universal Studios is getting to share rides with other guests. Screaming along with others in a rollercoaster during a steep drop is part of the whole theme park experience. After the pandemic, many may opt to skip the trip to a theme park or chose to interact only with their families during their trip. Some rides may even have to adjust to social distancing measures and keep visitors a few seats apart.

1. Packed City Centers

Visitors may stay away from crowded places like Shibuya. Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

Shibuya is famous for its zebra crossing and is flocked by thousands of tourists each year. It’s the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world and allows visitors to experience Tokyo culture and lifestyle. Approximately 2,500 pedestrians cross here from different directions every few minutes. It was a sight to see pre-pandemic.

Now tourists will be more anxious than excited to see 2,500 people so close to each other several times a day. The city center surrounding and the crossing itself gets pretty crowded during rush hour, so many visitors will likely skip the area or wait to see it when the crowds have thinned out.

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