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Is This the Long-Awaited Return of Leisure & Lifestyle?
Oh, how we’ve waited for this for over a year. It’s not happening full-scale, and it’s not happening everywhere around the world, but generally speaking, we can say that life is on the path back to sanity. Slowly but steadily, we’re going back to the way things were before the pandemic. And one of the signs of this old-new reality is the recurring bloom of the leisure and lifestyle sectors.
“We can certainly feel that commerce of what we call ‘non-necessities is on the rise once again,” told us Samuel Adams, managing director at Promo Leads, a world-renowned digital marketing initiative. “We see it in the number of businesses selling things like fashion items, luxury brands, and even vacations, which are approaching us and asking for global marketing plans.”
This phenomenon seems a bit confusing since the numbers show that the disease is far from being behind us. As a matter of fact, many nations around the world are going through another wave, and generally, the scale of cases per day is on the rise. So how does this all make sense, and is this ‘back to normal’ trend just a phase, or is it here to stay?
The dose that makes the difference
Now, time for the good news: There is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel, and it can be seen clearly. The difference between this wave and the past ones is the big game-changer: the vaccines. While we still see alarming numbers of people being diagnosed daily with the virus, there is also a steady incline on the graph of people fully and partially vaccinated – with over 2% of the global population being fully vaccinated at the time of writing, and almost 5.5% being partially vaccinated.
These millions are people who can return to their routine, which includes shopping, vacations, eating out, etc. And if the demand exists, then the supply should as well. Shops, hotels, cafes, restaurants and such are re-opening, with safety precautions of course, because there are people who can freely spend their money at these places.
“Less than %10 of the population of the UK is vaccinated, but that’s still a lot of people who can and really want to go on a vacation,” told us Matt Dernier, a travel agent from Sheffield, UK. “If you add to that the number of people who will probably be vaccinated by the summer, you can understand why business is booming for us recently.”
Return of leisure: too soon to say?
However, there are a few factors that are, in a sense, overshadowing this wave of optimism. The first is the financial aftermath of the disease, which we may not have fully felt yet. True, COVID-19’s first signs on the economy can already be seen – but this might be just a prelude to a much more serious blow. Therefore, we’re not sure that people are going to be financially willing and able to spend, spend, spend due to their condition.
“Promo Leads sees high demand for our digital marketing platform not only from businesses who need our service but also from freelance advertisers who want to put their skill to work and earn a commission,” added Adams. “Our platform serves as sort of a meeting place for the two, and the conclusion here is unavoidable: A lot of people are still out of work or on unpaid leave around the world – and looking for alternative ways to make ends meet.”
The other concern is a health one. It is too soon to tell how effective these vaccines really are and, more importantly, for how long. With that in mind, national authorities are aware that even people who are currently immune to the disease might not stay that way for long. The current estimate is that they have a 6-month validity, but no one knows for sure. This means that very soon, the first people to have gotten the vaccine (around last November) might have to get another shot – or go back to restrictions.
Return of Leisure: Final thoughts
Let’s end with optimism: As we’ve witnessed throughout the past year, there is a way to give the disease a good fight back, even without immunity. Social distancing, hygiene, and avoidance of large gatherings were and still are very important. While these measures are not as effective as a jab in the arm, they can certainly help keep the disease under control and support the effort to enjoy life once again as it used to be.