What's Happening in the Travel Industry
If you are planning to wear your running shoes again and dust off your passport to tour the world, brace yourself! It may be that the long-haul travel may not get going until 2023 or 2024. If you wonder why even after the coronavirus vaccines? It is because it still isn’t clear if the vaccines will actually stop travelers from spreading the disease, even if they are less likely to catch it themselves. What is more concerning among the governments worldwide is the new, more-infectious mutant strains that are forcing governments to seal their borders. The fear is more as the vaccines are not tested for the new mutant strains.
This means that we will have to wait for a safer travel till every citizen of every country is immunized from any mutant strains of coronavirus. This also means that the sky has to wait for international flight till 2023 or beyond. But can the international flights be kept in isolation for long? As Bloomberg quotes Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson in Geneva, “It’s very important for people to understand that at the moment, all we know about the vaccines is that they will very effectively reduce your risk of severe disease. We haven’t seen any evidence yet indicating whether or not they stop transmission”.
The governments globally have noted that international travel was the biggest driver of COVID deaths and hence no government seems to be in a hurry to open their sky for international flights and borders for international travelers. However, if you are vaccinated, you can travel to countries like Seychelles, Phuket, Georgia, and Iceland.
As WTTC tweeted, “Travel & Tourism businesses and destinations may still need to adapt and reinvent themselves for this next normal, ultimately transforming the sector as well know it; adjusting but ultimately coming out stronger through the process”.
It is important that before the government opens it door for international travelers, it invests in the mental wellbeing of this sector. Hence it is important the industry develops a supportive system, create safe spaces, support an agile system and exemplifying support for good mental health. World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) mentions these guidelines on its website as the four pillars.
However as India is inching closer to lesser COVID-19 cases, the domestic tourism is opening up. Cities like Jaipur, Spiti Valley is witnessing good footfalls; Puri police has revived the tourist helpline number. And with the vaccine drive picking pace in the country, states will start witnessing more tourists and better revenue growth, though not like earlier, but at least not in slump.
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