Now is the perfect time to plan your next travel experience post-COVID-19
by Takehiko 'Riko' Hashimoto, 04 April 2020
Tea time at a country Buddhist temple in Yamagata region, northern Japan
Autumn trekking in the alpine country of central Japan
The coronavirus outbreak is forcing many of us to spend more time at home and has virtually shut down global tourism. However, these challenging times also offer a perfect opportunity to start planning for your next travel experience, once travel becomes possible again. It is hard to predict what the post-coronavirus tourism scene will look like. After the major downturn, tourism services including accommodation may be in short supply, and it may well be a case of the 'early bird catching a worm'. This is why using your time right now to research and plan your next travel adventure, so that you are ready to make your bookings as soon as global tourism is once again open for business, is a great idea... as well as providing something to look forward to during these difficult times.
The infection of passengers with COVID-19 aboard the cruise ship 'Diamond Princess' earlier this year, and the subsequent infection cases on other cruise ships, have highlighted yet another weakness in mass tourism. The large number of tourists in one location (i.e. the ship) immensely increased the risk of infection for each person. This also made crisis response a major challenge for the local authorities... a situation that is common to all mass tourism scenarios (imagine an earthquake disaster hitting a crowded major tourist destination), as well as putting major strain on local resources such as emergency and medical services.
On the other hand, there is what I call small-scale tourism, i.e. involving small number of tourists in areas away from popular tourist destinations. Small-scale tourism can, in times of emergency (and we sincerely hope that you don't encounter such situations on your travels), greatly reduce the risk of adverse effects on you, as well as the burden on local resources. Mass tourism results in similar travel experiences for many people (cruise ships are arguably the best example of this), whereas small-scale tourism will ensure that your experiences are unique and personal. Small-scale tourism is more likely to directly support small, local businesses and communities, and minimise adverse environmental and socio-economic effects. Small-scale tourism is a win-win for everybody. Wherever in the world you may be going, we invite and encourage you to make your post-COVID-19 travel experiences 'small scale'.
At Deeply Regional Japan, we specialise in small-scale, low-footprint tours in regional, rural and wild areas of Japan like none other, based on our local knowledge and decades of personal travel experience. Although all our tours to Japan are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we welcome your enquiries for future tours once we resume operation, including expressions of interest (obligation free, of course). Please visit https://www.deeplyregionaljapan.com/tours-home or contact us using the form at the bottom of the page, thank you!