When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, the effect was immediate. Countries began to restrict the number of people let in, prioritising their own citizens’ safety. Travel itself became impossible, and to an extent, irresponsible. A smaller unheard-from group reeling in the effects of COVID-19 is travel bloggers – one of whom being Cedric Okiorina, having to make adjustments to his lifestyle. Now that several vaccines have rolled out into significant parts of the world, there is hope that travel might resume.
In 2021, several countries are at the tail-end of the pandemic, with borders reopening, albeit restricting travel from countries that have yet to recover. Several countries with borders reopened have still closed their doors to visitors from the UK, Japan, and parts of Africa, owing to the COVID-19 variants that seem to originate from these countries.
It seems likely too that in the (hopefully) near future, governments worldwide may place specific restrictions on incoming travellers as a means of preventing future outbreaks of COVID-19 and its variants. There is talk that there may be mandatory checks as to whether travellers have been vaccinated or not, before being allowed to enter a country. Mask-wearing may still be customary in certain countries, though this seems more a personal caution than a communal responsibility. For Cedric, the hope to travel again necessitates registering for vaccination as soon as they become available.
“The vaccine is not just a safeguard for my health but also the ticket to resuming my blogging career,” he shares. “My friends from around the world have also expressed similar views.”
Navigating the Pandemic
Travel bloggers – people who make a living curating travel experiences for others – are now finding themselves stuck. Website revenues are slashed now that travel plans are being cancelled, and with a drop in engagement, affiliations and advertising are next to be cut. The question is, how do travel bloggers adapt?
Without travel itself, travel bloggers lose an income source. But like with everyone else, they need to evolve. Some, like Cedric, have taken it upon themselves to stop monitoring the traffic of their websites, and to blog about things beyond travelling in order to keep his website alive – cooking, crafting, keeping a healthy lifestyle – and so on. It helps to shift angles – Cedric curates experiences for people living in his country to make up for it.