COVID Success Stories From The Travel Sector
The travel industry has never had it harder, and speaking as someone who runs trips, has a non-profit built around adventure travel AND a travel blog, it’s certainly been tough times. But that’s not to say that some businesses haven’t been agile, and ready to pivot accordingly to allow growth within their sector. COVID Success Stories exist. A silver lining to a difficult year.
In this blog post, rather than follow the doom and gloom on the normal COVID narrative, I’d love to show you guys a handful of success stories during this trying months. And hopefully shine a light on the reality that not all hope is lost, not even within travel. So let’s have a look.
COVID Success Stories Within Travel
The Outerbanks of North Carolina
For those of you not in the know, the Outerbanks of North Carolina (or the ‘OBX’) are a set of barrier islands off the east coast of the US, North Carolina to be specific. They separate the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland. With that, they’re rich with shipwreck diving sites, state parks, and open-air beaches. What’s not to love?
And were vacation rentals in the OBX hammered with crazy drops in visitors and revenue during 2020 and into 2021? Nope. Not by a long shot. And from their statistics, 2020 was SO strong for them, the data only ran until November and if they didn’t rent a home in December, they’d still be up 10% on the year before.
How did the pull that off?! Well people have been focusing on quality of life more than ever, and the pandemic hastened the trend. So with students studying online, remote workers wanting a better work-life balance, vacation rentals like Carolina Designs focused their marketing around driving distance location, and a unified voice/focus from the government and businesses. They pivoted the narrative and it worked wonders. So paradise was no-longer a super short-term goal for their potential renters. And it paid off. To grow during the toughest year for travel on record. That’s something special.
Remote Worker Software
Following on naturally from this new drive of remote workers, is some tech that makes remote working viable. One of the few positives to take from the awful toll COVID has had on the working world is the new reality of working from home. Or, even better, working whilst in paradise!
The growth of contractors, of consultants, the gig economy, and freelancers over the last few years has been astounding. And then COVID struck, and even mainstream institutions saw that working from home is indeed viable. And with that, we heard people drifting to places away from the CBDs, away from pollution and over-priced housing. Before pre-lockdown, even to places like Chiang Mai, Bali or Bangkok became people’s new offices.
But after becoming a digital nomad, how do you organise your life?! How do you send invoices as a freelancer? Or, how do you register a company? How do you get paid. With that, a whole new set of companies were born, or if not born, grew incredibly in a short space of time. One such company is Xolo.io, a company that can either allow you to ‘borrow’ their European bank accounts to invoice as a freelancer, or for less than $100 a month will legally register your company in Europe and function legally. Their numbers have more than doubled in a short space of time. The era of the digital nomad has begun.
New Wave of Affordable Travel & Health Insurance
For too long insurance premiums have been insane. It’s the desire of every human to know that in the case of an emergency, they are financially and legally taken care of. Not everyone is lucky enough to be born in London, Belfast or Whitley Bay, and therefore just from being born in the UK having free healthcare for life. Many countries simply don’t offer it. And yet, those of us who didn’t have it, equally couldn’t afford it.
When COVID struck, it was the perfect storm. No healthcare in the country you’re in, and no insurance. This affected both locals and the new wave of digital nomads. So it’s delightful to see a company shining financially in these dark times, but also helping people out.
SafetyWing has only been around a handful of years. Originally they were designed as digital nomad insurance, then with demand they began offering healthcare in your home country, and even remote health! Essentially super-cheap health care wherever you are in the world. They didn’t stop there. Next up, out of nowhere, they began including COVID and COVID-related struggles as part of their health insurance. And they took off. Now they are the best in the business, and starting at $10 a week, that’s music to my ears.
Final thoughts on our 3 COVID Success Stories
So times are hard. We’re worn down by lockdowns. We want to see our friends and family, and we want to be safe. But even in these testing times, it’s great to see some businesses step back, pivot and flourish with their COVID Success Stories. I wish you guys good luck with yours too. Me? I’ve had enough of COVID for a couple of months. I’m off to row across the Atlantic.
Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!
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