Can backpacking – a form of low-cost, independent travel – really survive a new age of social distancing, test and trace, potentially rising flight prices and constantly changing travel restrictions?
There’s no doubt the loss of income from backpackers has impacted destinations these travelers frequent in large numbers.
Although backpacking is a relatively cheap way to travel independently, it brings in a huge amount of revenue to the tourism industry.
According to figures from WYSE Travel Confederation, 45 million backpacking trips are taken each year, with the average amount spent per trip in 2017 at around 4,000 dollars.
Southeast Asia has remained one of the world’s most popular backpacking spots and Thailand is undoubtedly one of its top destinations.
Over 20 million people usually visit its capital Bangkok each year, and the vast majority end up going to Khao San Road, one of the most famous backpacker strips.