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How Travel Will Change Post-Pandemic: 10 Expert Predictions

1. We’ll rethink Europe.

Expect a cooling of the romance with Europe’s capitals and new affection for less-crowded cities with strong cultural offerings. “I’d keep an eye on Lyon and Hamburg,” said UK-based travel writer Annie Fitzsimmons, who also predicts a rediscovery of less populated European islands. Among them: Germany’s 24-mile-long island of Sylt, a Teutonic Nantucket.

2. Alaska will beckon.

The pandemic’s searing impact will add a FOMO-like urgency to personal bucket lists. The fresh air appeal of Alaska and Montana will propel them into top spots, thinks Erin Francis-Cummings, CEO of travel data company Destination Analysts.

3. As will esoteric food.

Legions more food travelers will seek out the Faroe Islands, predicts TV producer Irene Wong, who travels the globe filming cooking shows. A windy island chain between Scotland and Iceland, it offers a unique cuisine centered on seafood, dairy and hardy root vegetables “Any place that’s far and hard to get to is what gets people the most excited,” said Ms. Wong.

4. We’ll eye quick check-in.

“In 10 years your face could be your airplane ticket,” said Andrew O’Connor, vice president, airports and borders, at SITA, a Swiss-based information technology provider. Biometric software installed in terminal video cameras will recognize and match your features to your flight while assessing your security and health risks, allowing most travelers to stroll unimpeded from check-in to gate.

5. We’ll pay for hygiene.

Germophobic fliers might have the option to pay extra for “Hygiene Class,” a premium cabin that comes with a higher standard of cleanliness, according to Christopher Schaberg, author of “Airportness,” and, coming later this fall, “Grounded: Perpetual Flight…and Then the Pandemic.” Though the air filters shared equally with economy will still do the real work to prevent illness, these higher-priced seats will come with more frequent sanitization and scented sprays.


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