Although COVID-19 is still present, a lot of cities and countries are allowing tourist attractions and locations to open again. The main reason is to help jumpstart the economy. However, what visitors need to remember is that things won’t be the same as it was before the pandemic. The new normal comes with additional challenges and restrictions.
You will most definitely encounter the following things when you visit these places so before buying your plane ticket, consider these changes to your itinerary:
In order to promote social distancing, attractions and stores will be limiting the number of people who can enter at a time. The smaller the store is, the fewer the people it can accommodate. This both for the customer and the employees. Business owners and managers want to make sure that their staff is not in close contact with people. Large supermarkets such as Walmart and Target are already doing this practice.
You can expect that a lot of novelty items and souvenir stores will do something similar. There is a possibility that you will have to wait outside in lines before being able to enter. Take this into consideration when planning your itinerary. Although there might not be that many people, it is worth noting so that you can add a bit more time to that location.
Walk-in customers may be limited in some places. If you are considering going to a popular restaurant or attraction, check online to see if they would require prior reservations.
Limited Opening Hours
Don’t expect tourist attractions to be open as often as they used to. Another way that attractions limit the number of visitors is by closing earlier or starting later than usual. This is both to reduce crowds as well as have additional time for cleaning. They will likely spend more time sanitizing and disinfecting their area after all the guests have left.
Many of them will likely close their business for an additional day. The business has been hard for the tourism industry. A lot of them have likely incurred a lot of expenses and debt over the past year. Since income will continue to be slow, many of them are considering cutting costs, and that includes fewer days. They will likely close their stores on days that don’t usually have a lot of people to prevent additional utility costs.
Attractions will be working with a limited staff to reduce infection between themselves. As a result, many will be reducing the services and products they will be offering. Services that involved a lot of physical contacts will definitely not be available in the new normal. This includes self-service facilities and those that require touching buttons.
This is especially true for amusement parks. Companies such as Cedar Fair Entertainment have already opened their parks but have reduced the number of rides available to just half. Similar to the first point, this is to limit the number of people being in close proximity to each other. At the same time, they anticipate fewer visitors, so the change has likely taken into account their expenses. Fewer rides open means lower operating costs.
For restaurants, they may have changed or reduced the number of items on their menu. With so few people coming in, it is not always sustainable to have a wide range of products. They won’t get sold out as fast as they used to, and the ingredients will just go to waste. Others may have switched to takeout or delivery only as well.
One of the biggest tragedies in the tourism industry is the fact that a lot of businesses had to close down because of the pandemic. They relied heavily on tourists and coupled with local lockdowns, business never truly recovered for them. Many ended up shutting down indefinitely or going bankrupt because they have no other way to generate income during the pandemic.
Before you go on your trip, check online if the places you are going to visit are still open. Both restaurants and entertainment businesses have permanently closed, so you may miss some places. The pandemic did not spare anyone, so even famous and popular locations were unable to stay afloat.
When traveling or visiting tourist attractions during a pandemic, it is important for guests to be considerate of the staff. A lot of them have no choice but to continue working in a pandemic, but they are also worried for their own safety. People are advised to be more cautious when visiting these areas.