Margareta Friman talks about the coronavirus and travel habits on SVT2021-01-29
On January 27, Margareta Friman, Professor of Psychology and transport researcher at CTF, was interviewed by Sveriges Television in Värmland, on how our travel habits will change after the pandemic.
"Those who travel for pleasure will probably continue to do so. Our needs have not changed during the pandemic. This is a lesson we have learned from countries where the spread of infection has decreased," says Margareta Friman, who recently participated in an international transport conference which, among other things, focused on transport planning after Covid-19.
Reduced spread of infection seems to lead to increased local, regional and national travel. International travel deviates, which can in part be explained by continued border restrictions, but also by concerns for one's own health and safety.
"If there is confidence in the country's health and safety measures, one feel safe, which increases the desire to travel, first locally and then further away. As long as our prosperity and curiosity for other cultures remains, our desire to travel will not disappear," says Margareta Friman.
Longer recovery time for international business travel
"Local business- and work related travel will likely recover relatively quickly. Many companies appreciate, for example, physical customer meetings, and once someone starts it becomes difficult for others not to follow. One lesson leaned from the financial crisis 2008–2009, is that it took quite a long time for international business travel to recover," says Margareta Friman.
She also believes that many appreciate the value of digital meetings, and will question the benefits of certain business trips, which speaks for some continued digital "travel" in the future as well. She also sees that new digital habits and financial difficulties may be the beginning of a long-term structural change in the transport sector.
"It remains to be seen if our new habits during the pandemic will result in more lasting changes in how and when we choose to travel in the future."