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Travelling in the era of Covid-19 pandemic

By Dolapo Aina
01 December 2021   |   2:33 pm
The covid pandemic really put a dent to travellers and travelling in several ways but one major dent is that cost of travelling. In the past, it was pretty much straight forward. If you had to travel, you apply for your visa (if you had to travel to a country which does not have the…

Airport staff assist travellers at various check-in counters while an electronic flight notice board displays some cancelled flights at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on November 27, 2021, after several countries banned flights from South Africa following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant Omicron.  (Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP)

The covid pandemic really put a dent to travellers and travelling in several ways but one major dent is that cost of travelling. In the past, it was pretty much straight forward. If you had to travel, you apply for your visa (if you had to travel to a country which does not have the visa on arrival policy); you purchase your ticket to your destination and you get your luggage ready for your appointed travel date; on the said day, you get to the airport; you board your flight and you arrive at your destination. Pretty much straightforward.

With the advent of the covid pandemic and the vaccination still ongoing in the world, post covid travelling has its baggage and to some, the strings attached has become an irritant monkey. Presently, the most noticeable, is the fact that post covid travelling is not for those who cannot afford it.

The added cost implications would have side-lined those who could easily hop on a plane and travel in the past. And where the concern for a lot of people is in the area of the PVR tests one is mandated to do in each country one flies into and spends a specific number of days.
Now, travellers are left to carry along extra papers with their travelling documents (for those who are not digitally and softcopy initiated) and some end up looking like those secretaries in civil service complexes who prefer running helter-skelter (rather than designate some tasks to others), trying to get things done in the office.

The pandemic and its unfolding consequences would have affected and would still be affecting people in various aspects of human endeavours and activities and air travel is one of the major areas. Probably this new kind of travelling (covid tests etc) is the new norm and which is quite expensive, but it is glaring that travelling statistics might not be what it used to be.

Originally published on Thursday, 5 August 2004, the book titled; “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” by C. K. Prahalad focuses on and highlights new business models targeted at providing goods and services to the poorest people in the world.

The publisher also makes a case for the fastest growing new markets and entrepreneurial opportunities being found among the billions of poor people ‘at the bottom of the financial pyramid. In a nutshell, the book posits that focusing on the masses is usually where the fortune is.

To get the masses back to flying, vaccine equity has to be holistic and most especially, the ardent extra costs associated with preparations for travelling have to be reduced. Travelling which used to be a necessity has in the last two years morphed into a luxury. This should not be.

Aina writes from Kigali, Rwanda.

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