In the world of travel, there’s has never been a more interesting time.
After an anxious start to the year, by springtime with the widespread availability of the vaccine, came some optimism to the tourism and hospitality world. By early summer it almost felt “normal” (pre-pandemic) with a nice jolt of pent-up demand. But, by August, we all felt that little bit of anxiety as the delta variant did its rounds. That moment of, here we go again and slight panic. And then, when the various media-related travel news outlets and CDC announcements sent negative waves rippling across industries, and consumers reacted, we all collectively held our breath. Yet, in spite of uncertainty, across tourism stakeholders, we all continue to forge forward adapting, determined to bounce back having pledged to do so better. With the United States announcing border reopening from 33 countries in November just yesterday, it looks as if the travel and hospitality industries are about to get the rebound it’s been waiting for. That is of course, we can continue lowering the number of Covid-19 cases, and get more people vaccinated. These days take predicting travel demand with a grain of salt in this rapidly changing environment.
Travelers Support Regulations for Enhanced Traveler Safety
One thing we can all agree, since the onset of the pandemic, it has us all on a rollercoaster ride. The many waves of rising Covid-19 infection rates across the world sadly will not be going away. You will now more than ever need to be aware of the infection numbers in your local community and where you will be traveling to. It will become the norm. Just as wearing a mask, hand sanitizing, social distancing, travel restrictions, answering questions as to Covid-19 symptoms or exposure, etc. To go on with your life in a somewhat “normal way” is the realization that Covid-19 is here to stay, and travel-related restrictions are here for years to come. According to a recent travel sentiment survey, 67%, the majority of Americans agree, Covid-19 will be here for the long term and the majority of travelers support regulations for enhanced traveler safety.
U.S Travel Reopening Plan Aims to Boost the Global Travel Economy
Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced requiring foreign nationals to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the U.S (starting in November), joining a shortlist of other countries that will require showing proof of Covid-19 vaccination before being allowed to enter their country. The administration is getting stricter on those non-vaccinated Americans returning back into the U.S, with additional testing required a day within travel. The U.S reopening plan is expected to help boost the upcoming travel season and accelerate the recovery of millions of travel-related jobs that have been lost due to the international travel restrictions that have been in place for the past 18 months. With more countries globally announcing reopening for fully vaccination travelers, or refreshed entry requirements for the unvaccinated, there has never been a time that the American consumer (for both vaccinated or not) has been more marketable for travel. And just in time for the peak holiday/winter season.
For larger countries to come out and mandate vaccines for entry to their country, let’s face it takes some cojones. Particularly when they can’t mandate the vaccine to anyone within their own country. They do it because their economy is diverse, and tourism is just one of the many pillars. But that is not the case for other countries where tourism is the main and sometimes only economic driver. A vaccine-only entry requirement for these nations could potentially change the tourism landscape altogether. The days ahead will be interesting to watch tourism holistically and see which other destinations, (aside from bigger players) take a stance, or not, as to their welcoming reputation towards vaccinated or non vaccinated travelers.
How excited are you for the next era in travel and tourism?
Until next Time ~ Ayri
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